Forsythia Quick Guide: 10 Different Forsythia Varieties And How To Grow Them

Forsythia Varieties

Forsythia Varieties

Updated on 12/3/2023
Emma DowneyBy Emma Downey
Gardening Expert
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What better way to greet the arrival of spring than with a burst of cheerful yellow flowers? Yes, we're discussing forsythia. This shrubby perennial can be used to create a pleasant backdrop, centerpiece, or border in your garden. It can also be used as a fast-growing flowering hedge, making it a year-round addition to your yard. Learn about the most intriguing forsythia kinds and how to grow them right now.

Forsythia is a yellow flowering plant with tall branches that create a sunny look in early spring. Before any leaves grow, it bursts into a vibrant display of golden blossoms.

In the spring, forsythia blooms

In the spring, forsythia blooms

If you want to cultivate a forsythia, you must take adequate care of it. It's also crucial to plant it correctly. Otherwise, the plant may not be able to reach its full potential. So, let's get this party started!

What Does Forsythia Mean?

Forsythia is a flower representing the sun of spring and the excitement that comes with it. It's no surprise that it blooms in the spring.

The plant also has the meanings of dignity and nobility. The Victorians used it to express their admiration for someone they admired.

This flower may not be the most popular, but it can certainly brighten up your landscape.

Facts About Forsythia

Here are some interesting facts about this flower, which has long been found in gardens worldwide.

  • This shrub was named after William Forsyth, an 18th-century Scottish gardener.
  • The flowers are usually a variety of yellows, ranging from mild to deep yellow. These blossoms can be anywhere between 14 and 12 inches long, and they look like bells and grow in groups.
  • This flower has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to purify the body and treat fever and colds.
  • Forsythia blooms tip downward to protect their pollen when it rains. This plant knows how to please the bees!
  • The blooms are drought-resistant, shade-tolerant, and deer-resistant.
  • Although this plant is related to the olive tree, it is not edible!

There isn't a lot of variation in the color of the various forsythia kinds. Yellow, yellow, and yellow are the colors of the rainbow, and the white forsythia is the only exception.

blossoms of forsythia

blossoms of forsythia

This isn't to say that different variations aren't intriguing. Not at all, and size, shape, and bloom times are all different.

Let's look at the most common forsythia kinds and their qualities.

1. Suspensa Forsythia

Weeping forsythia, or Forsythia Suspensa, is a widespread form of the plant native to Asia. These shrubs are reliable and hardy, with pale yellow flowers and huge growth.

The flowers grow typically 8 to 10 feet tall, with leaves 2 to 5 inches long.

suspensa forsythia

suspensa forsythia

You've got yourself an excellent hedging plant on your hands. Forsythia blossoms look lovely, growing on a slope or hanging over a wall. This cultivar has a 4-petal flower and blooms from April to May.

Did you know? This flower is a critical ingredient in traditional and pharmaceutical treatments for fever, sore throat, swelling, and vomiting.

2. The Northern Gold Forsythia

This lovely golden-yellow flower is known as the "official spring harbinger." The upright-growing Northern Gold blooms before the dark green leaves develop in the spring.

northern Gold Forsythia

northern Gold Forsythia

This plant thrives in full sun and wet soil, growing to a height of 6-8 feet and a width of 5-7 feet.

Tip: Use this variety to create a vibrant yellow landscape.

3. Border Forsythia

Border Forsythia, often known as "golden bells," is a medium-sized plant that can be found throughout the southern United States. It is well-known for its brilliant bright yellow blossoms.

Forsythia is bordered with golden bells

Forsythia is bordered with golden bells

You're looking at a cross between a Green-Stemmed Forsythia and a Weeping Forsythia hybrid that can thrive in full sun or shade.

Another fantastic feature of this species is that its eye-catching yellows let it stand out even in the twilight.

4. Vermont Sun Forsythia

This variety, commonly known as Forsythia Mandschurica, is one hardest.

The leaves are 3 inches in diameter and circular. The rigid and upright branches, which are a vital trait of this cultivar, can be seen in the photograph below.

Sun forsythia mandshurica in Vermont

Sun forsythia mandshurica in Vermont

Black buds give way to sulphur yellow blooms. The flowers are deciduous and hardy, and early February is when the flowers begin to bloom.

This Forsythia type can grow in partial shade or full sun and reach a 6-8 feet height.

5. Green Stem Forsythia

Forsythia Viridissima is another name for this cultivar. It's a little deciduous shrub that can reach a height of 0.75 to 1 foot and a spread of 2 to 3 feet. The leaves are elliptic-oblong in form and can reach a length of 6 inches.

Forsythia viridissima (green stem)

Forsythia viridissima (green stem)

This plant thrives in a low-growing environment and blooms from March to April. It has yellow flowers that are toned down and may thrive in partial shade and full sun.

If you decide to grow this plant, make sure the soil is well-drained. It's optimal if the moisture level is between medium and high.

6. Forsythia Goldilocks

This variation, also known as Courtacour or Gold Curl Forsythia, is a deciduous shrub mutation of the Spring Glory type.

As shown in the image below, the flowers are firm and compact in shape, and they grow in abundance.

goldilocks forsythia courtacour

goldilocks forsythia courtacour

Well-drained soil is ideal for these plants. Don't be too concerned about the temperature; and this species can even withstand cold conditions.

7. White Forsythia

Because of its color, white forsythia stands out among the other varieties. It produces rich white flowers that resemble the conventional yellow variants in shape and arrangement.

This flower may undoubtedly offer a sense of elegance to a landscape, whether alone or in combination with other flowering plants.

white forsythia is a type of forsythia that grows in

white forsythia is a type of forsythia that grows in

These flowers, likewise in the Oleaceae family, typically reach a height of 3 to 6 12 feet. From March to April is the blooming season.

However, the best time to plant these bushes is in the spring or early fall. Although it can thrive in both full sunlight and somewhat shaded areas, it blooms better in the latter.

Did you know: This plant has comparable medical characteristics to Witch Hazel and can be used to cure fever and swelling, among other things.

8. Forsythia Gold Tide

This compact perennial border shrub, sometimes known as Forsythia Courtasol, grows up to 24 inches tall and spreads 3-4 feet wide.

With some of its branches laying directly on the ground, it's a beautiful ground cover type forsythia.

forthysia cortasol gold tide

forthysia cortasol gold tide

The petals turn a beautiful reddish color on the outside and a soft yellow on the interior as the fall season approaches.

This plant bloomed with magnificent lemon-yellow flowers in the early spring season, as seen in the photo above.

9. Dwarf Forsythia Arnold

The Arnold dwarf plant, also known as a magnificent dwarf subterranean shrub species, can grow up to 2-3 feet tall.

dwarf forsythia Arnold

dwarf forsythia Arnold

The flowers are pale yellow, while the leaves are sharp green. As shown above, it also produces gorgeous dark green foliage that turns a dramatic bronze-green color in the fall.

It thrives on wet, acidic, dry clay, sandy soils, and full to partial sun.

10. Forsythia Lynwood Gold

Last but not least, this type is charming in the spring, when it blooms profusely with bright golden blossoms that can reach a height of up to 10 feet.

forsythia Lynwood gold

forsythia Lynwood gold

To thrive, it requires well-cultivated soil. Apart from that, it is not a high-maintenance plant.

One feature worth highlighting is that when the blooms fade, the petals take on crimson and orange hues that contrast beautifully with the dark green leaves.

How To Grow And Care for Forsythia

Aren't you used to viewing the leaves first and then the blossoms on most plants? This one is unique.

Flowers occur before leaves on forsythia plants. As a result, you'll get an unobstructed view of these lovely blossoms.

You can expect the plant to bloom as early as late January if you live in a warm area, but it usually blooms around March.

Fact: Depending on how much sunlight the plant receives, the blossoms will turn somewhat yellow, purple, or maroon.
cultivate forsythia in the garden

cultivate forsythia in the garden

These blossoms can remain for two to three weeks if not killed by the cold. But be careful with the pruning, since it might easily damage them! In a moment, we'll talk about pruning.

Planting Forsythia Seeds

Seeds are a relatively simple technique to grow this plant. You can merely acquire the seeds if you don't have them in a container ready to transplant, and it's something that a lot of gardeners do.

Look for high-quality seeds in a variety that is well-suited to your climate. Seeds are available both locally and online.

To get you started, here are some suggestions:

When Should You Plant Forsythia?

If there isn't a freeze or frost, you can plant the seeds at any time. However, it is advisable to avoid growing them during the hot summer months.

Early April is the optimum time to plant your forsythia.

If you forget to plant it in the spring, you can do so in the fall. However, keep in mind that a hard winter could harm it.


Almost all soil conditions are tolerated by forsythia, and it does, however, prefer clay and loam soils. Not sure what kind of soil you have? More information on soil types can be found here.

choosing the right soil type for forsythia

choosing the right soil type for forsythia

A well-drained garden with a medium nutrient level in the soil is ideal for blossom. The pH level for these yellow flowering shrubs should be between 6.8 and 7.7.

You can use sublimed sulphur to lower the pH of the soil if it is too high. If the pH needs to be raised because it's below the required level, powdered limestone can help.


Forsythia flowers thrive in full sun, but they can also thrive in partial shade, but they may not bloom as well. A lack of sunshine may result in straggly growth.

forsythia in full sun throughout the day

forsythia in full sun throughout the day

As a result, make sure your forsythia plant gets at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. You're taking chances if you go lower than that.


Forsythia thrives in temperatures ranging from 55 to 70 degrees. In lower conditions, the plants will be pretty hardy.

Keep in mind that forsythia thrives in humid environments. Flowers will wilt if the climate is too moist, and they may not grow in arid conditions.


Often, you can only water the plant during long periods of drought. But, to be sure, look at the soil's surface. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that dry soil means your plant needs water.

Pay attention to the leaves as well. If they start to sag, the plant isn't getting enough water.

forsythia that has recently been watered

forsythia that has recently been watered

Early morning or late evening are the optimum times to water your plant. The plant usually doesn't need any more watering in the fall, winter, or spring (unless it's an arid season).

Tip: Because the roots are shallow, you must pour the water slowly, which helps the plant absorb water from the surface layers of the soil before it drains into the deeper levels.


Pruning is critical to the shrub's healthy and attractive development. If you don't prune the bushes regularly, they can become unruly and, to be honest, rather wild-looking.

Isn't it probably not what you're going for? Trim your forsythia now and again for a tidy, compact appearance.

It's possible that your flower isn't blossoming because of improper pruning. It's critical to prune this plant shortly after flowering since it generates buds on the previous year's growth.

a forsythia that has to be pruned

a forsythia that has to be pruned

Start by removing 1/4 to 1/3 of the oldest branches before pruning. These need to be trimmed down to the ground and this method will encourage new growth, but it will also compact the shrub.

You can also prune the shrub's newer branches to give it a more excellent form.

However, this shrub does not need to be pruned every year. Some gardeners prefer the shrub's unkempt appearance, which works well in a rock garden.

Prune every two years or so if you enjoy the messy look. The final line is that pruning is beneficial but not required.


While this shrub prefers the sun, it usually has little trouble surviving the winter. Low temperatures are no problem for older bushes and those planted in the spring.

Only if you plant it in the fall is there an exemption. If you do this and then have a brutal winter, your plant may struggle to grow and even perish.

Tip: If you live in a cold climate, wait until spring to plant forsythia to ensure that it will survive the winter.
thicket of forsythia

thicket of forsythia

You can also safeguard your plant in the winter by doing the following:

  • Add a thick layer of brushwood or mulch on top.
  • Place potted plants on a styrofoam plate and cover with a fleece or foil to preserve the container.

Gardeners frequently ask us questions about this plant. We decided to compile a list of the most often asked questions and provide answers here. We hope you find the responses to be helpful!

Forsythia Will Brighten Up Your Garden

Or how about some beautiful white forsythia? It's entirely up to you.

You're looking at a lovely, low-maintenance shrub with brilliant golden blossoms that can bring color and volume to your garden while filling in gaps and hiding unsightly areas.

Something about the yellow blooms reaching for the blue sky in the image below makes you want to plant this in your yard, right?

forsythia is a lovely flower

forsythia is a lovely flower

Regardless of which kind you choose, we recommend pruning it once a year to keep it looking friendly and healthy.

Now it's your turn. Do you have any queries regarding these lovely flowers? Get in contact with us, and we'll be pleased to answer your questions and assist you in growing beautiful forsythias!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Most Excellent Place to Plant Forsythia?

Full sun and clay or loamy soil are ideal for Forsythia shrubs. Place these flowers outside or in a location where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. This flexible, easy-to-grow plant will grow 2 to 4 feet every year if you do that.

What is The Maximum Size of Forsythia?

Forsythia is a fast-growing shrub that can reach 8 to 10 feet if given ample sunlight and good soil. Here are some helpful hints for growing forsythias.

What is The Forsythia Blossoming Season?

Most forsythia cultivars bloom in the late winter and early spring, offering a bright spectacle before the rest of the landscape begins to green up.

Is Forsythia A Simple Plant to Grow?

Forsythia flowers are simple to grow and require little to no maintenance. To survive, they only need plenty of sunlight and moist soil. Also, be careful not to overwater them!