The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Forsythia

Question: how can one transplant forsythia cuttings or CAN you take cuttings from a forsythia?

Answer: Forsythia can be propagated by cuttings, by layering and also sometimes by division.

Take tip cuttings in the spring, use a rooting hormone if desired, and set them in a pot of damp soilless mix to root. Forsythia is quite easy to root this way. Once the plant has a good set of roots it can be planted in a nursery area of the garden or directly where it is to grow.

You can also layer the plant, or direct a branch downward to the ground so that it makes a "U" shape with the bottom of the U touching the ground. Bury the base of the U and leave the growing tip of the branch exposed. You may need to use a rock to keep the branch down securely. Roughening the bark at the bottom of the U can also be helpful in encouraging roots. The branch will root eventually where it touches the ground and by next spring you should be able to separate it from the mother plant.

Finally, sometimes it is possible to dig up divisions from the perimeter of an established forsythia shrub. (You may also find plants that have layered themselves and can be separated.) Do this in very early spring for best results. Transplant and keep the soil moist yet not soggy until the plant becomes established in the new location.

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