Guide to Growing Lynwood Gold Forsythia

Sometimes, you come across a plant that is so easy to grow, & does so well in your yard: you can’t wait to plant more of them.  For me, gardening in Bend, Oregon (which is Zone 6): that plant is the distinctive Lynwood Gold Forsythia.  It’s the first of all my plants to bloom in spring, changing from dormancy into bright yellow, upright, happy shoots ~ seemingly overnight.  Even when you get a late spring snow storm, as we have all week: the forsythias remain un-phased & stay yellow (while my hydrangeas died an instant overnight death)!  In this “Guide to Growing Lynwood Gold Forsythia,” we’ll learn all about this wonderful plant & what you need to know to grow it successfully!

Guide to Growing Lynwood Gold Forsythia, Girl Who Gardens

My bright yellow, Lynwood Gold Forsythia plants are the FIRST thing to bloom every spring: they let you know that planting season is right around the corner…

Forsythia look great either grown in the ground, or in beautiful raised garden beds. Compliment them with Adirondack chairs & a fire pit; you’ll feel cozy & protected surrounded by tall, wild forsythia…

Facts about Lynwood Gold Forsythia 

  • Botanical Name: Forsythia x Intermedia
  • Other Names: “Lynwood Gold,” Golden Bells, Border Forsythia
  • Hardiness Zones: USDA Zones 4-8
  • Hardy to: – 20 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Hard or Easy to Grow? EASY!! SO easy. Great for beginners.
  • Type of Plant: Ornamental Deciduous Shrub
  • Sun or Shade? Best planted in FULL SUN. Needs at least 6 hours/day of sunlight for the best blooms. May also tolerate partial shade, but make sure not to over-water.
  • Watering Needs: Water fairly regularly first year; after that, rain water may suffice. Take care not to overwater, as these plants lean more towards drought-tolerance than needing excessive watering.
  • Soil Type: Well-draining; mix in some native soil to whatever compost or soil you plant with ~ the Lynwood should adapt just fine to about any soil type (mine have).
  • Fertilize or Not? You do NOT have to fertilize forsythia. And definitely DON’T fertilize during their dormant winter months; it’s better to just let them rest. If you DO fertilize, use a well-balanced, all-purpose fertilizer every 2-3 months during the growing season. I’ve used a fertilizer with Vitamin B-1 & a balanced mix of nutrients: this has worked very well for my forsythia (& my entire garden).
  • When to Plant? In warmer climates, plant in the fall (or spring). In colder climates, plant during early spring to give roots a chance to branch out before cold temps hit.
  • Bloom Time: Early spring (in Bend, mine bloomed in late March).
  • Growth Rate: FAST. These puppies can grow up to 2-4 feet per year.
  • Height: Plant forsythia where they have room to grow ~ because they can reach 8-12 feet tall. They also have a spreading habit, & can grow wide as well. Either let them go wild, or prune to your liking before summer hits.
  • Where to Plant Forsythia: They are great for borders & the edge of your garden, where you may want to either create privacy from neighbors, or where you allow your garden be a little “wilder.”
  • Are Forsythia Toxic to Plants or Humans? NO.
  • When to Prune? Prune them by summer, so their shape doesn’t get out-of-control over the warmer summer months. 
  • Pest Problems? As forsythia is not native to the United States, it suffers from almost zero pest issues. But if your roots get too soggy, you may encounter slugs & snails.
  • Most Likely Problem: Root rot/over-watering. Don’t overwater these plants!! Check roots occasionally to make sure the soil is draining well & they’re not overly saturated.
  • How Long do They Stay Yellow? Forsythia will stay yellow for at least two weeks; mine have been yellow now for almost a month. But the great part about this plant is: after they turn yellow, for the rest of the year ~ they become a lovely green color, & look more like a traditional shrub…which makes them perfectly suited as a beautiful border/backdrop for the rest of the garden, or along ugly fences, or other things you’d like to “hide” in your garden.

Photos of Lynwood Gold Forsythia

Remember that forsythia only stay yellow for about a month or so in the spring; the rest of the year they’ll be a lovely green, so they won’t compete with any other color schemes you have going on in the garden.  And they typically bloom before everything else, so put them in a place where you’ll notice their show-stopping spring color.

How to Grow Lynwood Gold Forsythia, Girl Who Gardens

I love the wild, upright shapes forsythia creates…

How to Grow Lynwood Gold Forsythia, Girl Who Gardens

Before I planted my forsythia, I placed them in an existing raised bed to make sure it was the right “fit.”

It’s FAR easier to plant forsythia (especially large ones) in a raised cedar bed vs. in the ground, particularly if you have hard, unforgiving soil like I do. In the 2 x 8′ raised bed above, these large forsythia fit perfectly.

How to Grow Lynwood Gold Forsythia, Girl Who Gardens

In case you’re wondering what forsythia looks like the rest of the year: scroll in to the far right of this picture; the forsythia are a beautiful green.

How to Grow Lynwood Gold Forsythia, Girl Who Gardens

The lovely bell-shaped blooms gave the forsythia its other name: “Golden Bells.”

Why Lynwood Gold Forsythia is an AMAZING Spring Plant, Girl Who Gardens

This is my 2023 “Spring Garden” ~ all the bursts of yellow you see are forsythia!

How to Grow Yellow Forsythia

The bottom line on growing Lynwood Gold Forsythia is: just GO FOR IT!!  Even novice gardeners will be successful with this easy-going plant, & it’s lively yellow shoots will brighten your spring garden ten-fold.  For other popular garden articles, check out how to create a Joanna Gaines-worthy garden, or how to start your very own raised bed garden.  

Happy Growing!

xoxo Noelia

Read Next: How to Create a French Country Garden

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Why Lynwood Gold Forsythia is an Amazing Spring Plant, Girl Who Gardens