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Border Forsythia

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

Latin Name: Forsythia x intermedia

This shrub provides an early-Spring show - if you have the space to plant it!

● Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4+* (NVK)

(USDA Zone: 5-8, according to MBG)

● Plant Type: Flowering Shrub

● Bloom Time: Early Spring

● Bloom Colour: Yellow

● Maintenance: Low

● Water Use: Low

*see "Ideal Growing Conditions

"If I buy you, bring you home, stick you in the ground, water you and love you -

and you DIE on me - either I didn't do my research OR - you're a sh*t plant."

- a Motivational Speech for plants



What makes this plant beneficial to people, places, animals or our environment?

  • This is a FAST-GROWING shrub so it fills-in quickly.

  • Bright pop of happy yellow blooms in early Spring.

  • Can be planted on slopes for erosion-control.

  • Is an available food source for beneficial insects though blooms so early in Southwestern, Ontario that many of those little bugs aren't around yet.

  • Fairly drought-tolerant once established.



What does it LOOK like?

Varieties differ in overall shape with some having more of an arching, weeping or upright habit (see below).

Generally, this shrub has a rounded, branching or leggy shape.

Height: 6-8 feet

Spread: 6-8 feet

*Smaller, dwarf varieties range in heights and spreads of 15-40 inches.


Ideal Growing Conditions

Where does it GROW?

Though Forsythia is cold-hardy to Canadian Zone 4 and will live - some varieties do not have blooms that are hardy to these low temperatures.

Plant in well-drained soils in Full Sun to Part Shade.

Flower production will increase if planted in Full Sun.



Does this plant attract deer, mosquitos or Japanese beetles? Is it susceptible to blight, leaf spot or root rot?

Some varieties can get leaf spot, crown gall and die-back.



Photo Credit: NVK Nurseries


In the Garden/Home/Landscape

Why did I choose to spend my time writing about this particular plant?

  • This shrub grows VERY quickly so it is only a low-maintenance shrub if it is allowed to grow and keep its natural shape.

  • Regular pruning and maintenance will be required if you want this shrub to stay in a nice, clean shape.

  • Excellent for hedgerows or privacy screens if planted in a line or group.

  • We personally have one planted within sight from our kitchen window so my husband and I can appreciate the early Spring show of yellow blooms while we wash dishes (who am I kidding - I have an AMAZING husband! HE can enjoy the show while HE washes the dishes).


Tips, Tricks and Notes

  1. Best time to prune is right after blooms finish in Spring!

  2. Cut shrub down to soil line leaving approx. 2 inches for rejuvenation.

  3. A "one trick pony" so to speak. Though it provides an excellent Spring show - the show is then quickly over without much more interest through the other seasons.


Other Resources:


This is just one plant of SO MANY!

Stay tuned for a new post each week that summarizes an Annual, Perennial, Shrub or Tree!


Weekly #FridayFeatureFlower At the top is the pep talk I give my new plants before purchasing them.

I have had a lot dead plants and broken-hearts over the years and I hope that this weekly feature will provide a bit of the research side to help others from suffering my same fate.


The main focus of this blog is plants that thrive outdoors in Southwestern Ontario.

Each week, I’ll review benefits, characteristics, growing conditions, Pests/Diseases/Issues and landscape/garden design applications of one of my favourite, high-impact, low-maintenance plants!

I want your Feedback!

Have you had a different experience with this plant?

Love it? Hate it? Want to know where you can find it? Is there a plant or flower you would like to know more about?

Leave your comments below

or contact me through my website:

Heather Jerrard, My Landscape Artist

Follow me on Instagram! @mylandscapeartist


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