I have a nice, full forsythia bush that appears healthy but this Spring, and...

Asked May 16, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

I have a nice, full forsythia bush that appears healthy but this Spring, and last, only had a couple of branches that bloomed. These were on the lower portion of the shrub. The leaves are opening now all over so it isn't dead.....suggestions?

Scott County Minnesota

1 Response

Forsythia bloom on old wood, meaning this year's flowers were formed last summer. The three main reasons they wouldn't bloom is not enough sun, the shrub was pruned after the flowers were formed, or cold weather that killed the buds. Given that the plant blooms on the lower branches, it is likely that temperature is your problem. Snow most likely insulated the bottom of the plant. There are some newer cultivars that might bloom better for you or perhaps you can cover the plant with snow or another protector next winter.

Here is a little more about forsythias from the University of Iowa: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/2005/apr/apr0506.htm