pruning forsythia?


Old 02-28-01, 10:10 AM
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my forsythia is blooming now. should i cut it back in the summer? also, when i bought the house in oct. , i knew what it was because there were still a few flowers on it. so, i gueuss it either blooms a long time , or is "repeat-blooming"? because of that, i dont know when to prune it. it does have some scraggly branches in it. are these suckers? should i go ahead and dig down to the suckers and cut them? or is it old wood? is it old wood im not supposed to cut, or should i cut it back hard after its first blooming? i have several of these bushes, it would help if i knew how to care for them. thank you for you help!
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Old 02-28-01, 01:45 PM
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Forsythia only blooms in the spring, on old wood before the leaves come out. Are you sure you don't have something else, like winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)? It looks similar, but is shorter, with green stems. It mainly blooms in the spring but I think I've seen a few stray flowers later in the season. The Jasminum always looks a little straggly to me as it doesn't have much for leaves (although there are other species with larger leaves than J. nudiflorum)

If you truly do have forsythia, cut it back after the flowers have died. Then let it grow for the rest of the season. If you cut it back too late, you won't have flowers the following spring. Don't worry about pruning too much, forsythia's a little hard to kill.

HOWEVER, a neat trick is to cut off some brances as soon as the buds begin to swell, and bring them in the house and force them to open in a vase. Really nice effect. I would do it in January here (Athens GA, zone 7), but we used to do it just before Easter I think in MA.

Either way, any woody plant that blooms first thing in the spring (before the leaves come out) is blooming on old wood. Therefore, you need to prune right after it's done.
Old 02-28-01, 08:36 PM
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prining forsythia

thank you, leu. i'll have to check that, i really did assume it was forsythia. i'll that up. thank you!

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