The Q&A Archives: Sick forsythia

Question: Last year I planted 3 forsythia bushes. Two did fine, one seemed to suffer from the dry weather despite watering; only real rain would perk it up. This spring all three bloomed beautifully, but now that the flowers have dropped, two are doing well but the third one is looking peaked. We have had ample rain, but there are some wilted-looking branches while other branches look fine. This is the forsythia that gets the least amount of sun, shaded in the afternoon by my neighbor's apple tree. I'm tempted to relocate it, or at least reseat it in its current location, in case there is an air pocket around the roots. Any other suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Based on the fact that it wilted even though it was watered but perked up after a rain, I'd recommend digging the plant, working the soil well, replanting, then watering it in to settle the soil. Rain definitely does a better job than any sprinkler does, so take your cue from the rain and apply water slowly so it can trickle down and wet the entire root mass. A deep soaking once a week should keep your forsythia happy. Best wishes with your forsythias!

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