Pruning - Knowledgebase Question

Clinton, Io
Question by gconnolly95
August 7, 2009
In my yard I have 5 New Hampshire Gold Forsythia bushes. Should I prune them to shape them up? If so when? Should I fertilize them? If so when? This is the second year I've had them. I didn't see hardly any flowers on them this year. Will they flower more the older they get?


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Answer from NGA
August 7, 2009

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Forsythia produces flowers on new shoots from the previous summer's growth. So, if you aren't pruning your forsythia, it won't bloom well. Pruning not only removes old, twiggy growth, but encourages the production of new, flowering wood. Prune your forsythia by removing dead wood and cutting the productive wood back by one-third. If you reach inside and cut back some of the stems and branches, the plant will respond by producing new wood. You'll be doing your forsythia a favor by cutting it back each spring. By wintertime it will have grown lots of new shoots which will produce flowers the following year. Forsythias generally do not need feeding but they do need to be watered deeply once or twice each week. I'd give them the rest of the summer to grow and establish well. Prune them back early next spring and by next winter they should bloom beautifully for you. Enjoy!

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