The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Time For Forsythia

Question: I have several mature Forsythia bushes that I need to transplant. How and when can I move them? Can they be divided to make more plants? Thank You.


Forsythia can be transplanted in either fall or very early spring. Water thoroughly the day before you dig it up. Try to take as many of the roots as possible and trim back the branches to compensate for roots lost in the move. Replant immediately into prepared soil, setting the plant at the same depth as it grew before. Water well to settle the soil, then mulch and keep the soil moist until the ground freezes just as you would for any newly planted shrub.

You may be able to divide them, but this may be quite an arduous task. If you want to try it, simply cut straight down through the plant (use an axe or saw maybe) so that there are roots still attached to the corresponding top branches. Replant as above.

Forsythia is easy to propagate by rooting branch tips cut in early spring or by layering a branch -- bend it down to the ground in a "U" shape, bury the bottom of the U, weight it down with a rock if necessary, and wait until roots form underground. This takes about a season, then the new plant can be separated and transplanted.

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