Forsythia: Pruned or Natural?

The forsythia is in bloom here now, and it seems to be a good year for this shrub. Most of the ones I am seeing are looking healthy and in-your-face YELLOW.

Forsythia is a member of the Oleaceae, or olive family. It usually grows to about 9 feet, and it flowers before its leaves emerge.

Now the big question is, should they be pruned or not?  Personally, I don’t think there is a question. It’s fine to cut them back to keep them under control (after they flower, of course) but it’s not fine to turn them into the tortured little balls pictured below.


I love to see forsythia blooming flamboyantly and naturally, with plenty of space to show off.

Much better


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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8 Responses to Forsythia: Pruned or Natural?

  1. HerbDoc says:

    I agree that these should be enjoyed in their natural state; I’m sure nature didn’t intend them to look like gigantic yellow lollipops!


  2. cjwright says:

    I’m with you guys. I’ll take free-form any day.


  3. gardenpest says:

    Count me on keeping it in its natural form – for me, its intense color and maverick draping growth trumpet in Spring’s arrival with a bang.

    Often Mother Nature knows best, good example!


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