The Q&A Archives: Overgrowing Forsythia

Question: I have a forsythia that I am trying to keep small (about 2 feet high). Once the blooms all fell off, I began to trim it back. It seems that every time I do this it grows much faster. Am I imagining things or should I just let it grow until next year and trim it back just before it's blooming season??

Answer: Forsythia is normally a large shrub in the six to eight foot range or larger. Unfortunately it is virtually impossible to maintain it at two feet -- it grows almost as fast as you can prune it, pruning stimulates growth, and worst of all, since it blooms on old wood, you will be limiting the blooms you get next spring. I would suggest you consider replacing it with something that will stay in the size range you have the space for. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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