Featured Plant

Northern Gold Forsythia

The Northern Gold Forsythia is a beautiful deciduous shrub known for its bright golden-yellow flowers that bloom in the springtime. At maturity, this shrub reaches 6 – 8 feet in height and has a 5 – 6 foot spread.

The spectacular display of golden-yellow flowers appear before this shrub’s green leaves, providing one of the first brilliant signs of spring. The Northern Gold Forsythia cultivar has the hardiest flower buds of the species and is excellent for mass planting and hedges.

Forcing flowers on cut stems is a great way to hurry spring along. The only equipment you need is a sharp pair of pruning shears, a bucket, and some floral preservative. Here is how to force forsythia flowers:

  • Pick a day that is above freezing.
  • Cut the forsythia stems in lengths of less than three feet and bring them inside.
  • Put the stems in a bucket of warm water.
  • Use the pruning shears to cut another inch off the bottoms of the submerged stems. This second cut, performed underwater where air cannot act as a drying agent, will promote water intake.
  • Allow the forsythia stems to soak up the warm water for several hours.
  • Change the water in the bucket. As you're refilling it, add some floral preservative and mix it in well.
  • Re-cut the stems, again making the cut under the water.
  • Place the bucket of stems in a sunny area. It's best where there is ample indirect light, rather than strong direct light, which can be too hot. It will also help speed up the flowering if the air is relatively humid. If not, mist the branches periodically to provide some moisture.
  • Change the water if it turns cloudy, as needed.
  • Continue misting and changing the water, as needed, until the buds begin to bloom.

Northern Gold Forsythia grow at Assiniboine Park in the English Garden and at Assiniboine Park Zoo at the Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden. While our gardens and the Zoo are temporarily closed, try spotting these colourful blooms around your neighbourhood this spring!