Trees and Shrubs forum: Siting a forsythia - part shade?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Nov 8, 2014 2:17 PM CST
I know that forsythia likes full sun. Has anyone had luck with part shade? I currently have two forsythias and just bought a third (Lynwood) to kind of balance the spring impact (3 pops of yellow). I'd like to site it at the base of a mature big leaf maple to kind of play off the trunk a bit and also create a bit of a triangular eye path between the other two. This is in my front field so would have native orchard grasses growing along with it. The shrub I have is pretty big - over 7' - so should be able to compete with the grass OK. The maple would be to the north of the forsythia, giving it dappled shade most of the day. The maple is limbed up quite a ways (easy to drive a tractor under it) and has a rounded pyramid shape. I also don't know how greedy the maple might be for available water, although that is usually not an issue for me (Pacific NW where it rains and rains and rains...). My thought on that is the maple has some pretty deep roots and the forsythia would be slightly uphill of the maple with roots much closer to the surface. ?? Thanks for any thoughts/advice.
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Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
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Kabby
Dec 10, 2014 4:01 PM CST
@Bonehead Deb I'm sure you have already planted your forsythia by now. When I planted mine I really wasn't that enamoured of having one. It's shielded from morning sun by a large fig tree, afternoon sun by a line of oaks and finally maybe 3pm it gets sun afterwards. It is anemic, sparse. That being said I don't water, fertilize, mulch, or pay attention to it and it refuses to die. It does bloom every spring reliably. I know this area is not good for sun lovers as I have crinum here and they bloom sporadically. Hope you have luck with yours. Smiling
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Jan 25, 2015 12:43 PM CST
I have one that is totally shaded in early spring and even summer by a 6' fence to the east and a huge spruce to the immediate south. It gets full sun in the later afternoon til nightfall though from late June on. It flowers very little though the bush is certainly healthy. I also don't fertilize. Not sure it would help with the sun problem. Thoughts. I hate the thought of trying to dig it up. It has been there since 2007 so the roots would be huge plus probably mixed with the spruce roots.
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Apr 27, 2015 6:20 AM CST
I too am really interested in how this turned out. I planted 9 forsythia in part shade along a tree line/fence we share w the neighbor. Their place is kind of trashy so I wanted something large that would screen it off in the summer. Plus it is kinda a ways from the house so something w some color that would pop. Right now it gets sun most of the afternoon. Shaded mornings on the east side. But I did plant some maples and fruit trees along the area and eventually those will shade the are in the afternoon. I know that will be 10 years from now, so I am just going to enjoy for the time being. Eventually, they may not bloom much due to lack of sun, but I will be happy at that point if they just are large and green as a privacy hedge. I do not plan on pruning them- only to shape them a little, cut off dead stuff, nothing serious. My neighbor on the other side of me has some planted as a hedge and she shears them off formal. I think they look kind of silly that way and they hardly bloom for her-but they are thick, green, They are also planted in more shade than sun. And also under some trees, hickory mostly.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Apr 27, 2015 11:11 AM CST
So far, so good. The forsythia bloomed prior to the tree leafing out and was a nice bright spot of color. I didn't get a photo of it in bloom unfortunately, but will try next year. The real test, I think, will be if the shrub thrives during the rest of this season after the tree is actually shading it through summer and fall.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 27, 2015 11:12 AM CST
I did notice too that my forsythia bloomed before the trees leafed out and that may allow it to bloom each year even though it is going to be in mostly shade later on after it matures.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
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Shadegardener
Apr 27, 2015 1:38 PM CST
My dad passed on some forsythia to me 20+ years ago and it's been planted on a slope, in clay and in part shade. Blooms almost every year to some degree and bloomed really well this year. Hasn't been pruned in all that time but will be in another week or two with some rejuvenation pruning. It will finish up blooming just as the oak leaves emerge.

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