How to Grow Northern Gold Forsythia - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Northern gold forsythia is a plant that is native to Asia. It is a member of the Oleaceae family and is closely related to the jasmine plant. The northern gold forsythia is a shrub that can grow to be six feet tall. It has yellow flowers that bloom in the springtime. The leaves of the northern gold forsythia are green and oval shaped. This plant is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens.

How to Grow Northern Gold Forsythia - Plant Care & Tips

Popular name

  • Border forsythia
  • Early forsythia
  • Golden bells
  • Winter bloom
  • Winter jasmine

Good to Know

  • Northern gold forsythia is a deciduous shrub that is native to Russia and China.
  • It typically grows to 6-8 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide.
  • The leaves are oblong to ovate-shaped and have a golden-yellow color with a toothed margin.
  • The flowers are yellow and borne in showy, terminal clusters.
  • Flowering typically occurs in early to mid-spring.
  • After flowering, the shrub produces small, round, dark-purple fruits.
  • Northern gold forsythia is relatively easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions.
  • It is often used as a hedge or border plant in landscaping.
  • This shrub is also deer and rabbits resistant.
  • Northern gold forsythia can be propagated by seed, softwood cuttings, or hardwood cuttings.

Related plant:
Northern Bush Honeysuckle

How to Grow

  1. For northern gold forsythia, first step is to acquire a young plant from a nursery or garden center.
  2. Choose a location in full sun to partial shade for your northern gold forsythia.
  3. Be sure to prepare the planting bed before adding your forsythia plant. Remove all weeds and loosen the soil.
  4. Dig a hole that is twice the width and depth of the root ball of your plant.
  5. Place your forsythia in the hole and fill in with loose soil, tamping down as you go.
  6. Water your forsythia deeply immediately after planting.
  7. Add a layer of mulch around your plant, being sure to keep it away from the stem.
  8. Forsythia are generally low maintenance plants and only need to be watered during extended periods of drought.
  9. fertilize your forsythia yearly with a general purpose fertilizer.
  10. Enjoy the bright yellow flowers your forsythia produces in early spring!

Related plant:
Northern Lights Azalea

Soil Requirement

About soil condition, northern gold forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia 'Northern Gold') prefer humus-rich, moist, but well-drained soil. It also grows in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils, but will not tolerate wet soils. It has no significant negative characteristics.

About light

Just like other forsythias, the northern gold forsythia prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade, especially in hot climates. It grows best in moist, well-drained soil but is quite drought tolerant once established. This plant is also relatively disease and pest resistant.

Good Temperature

The temperature condition that is best for growing northern gold forsythia is full sun to partial shade. This plant prefers well-drained soil and does not like wet or soggy conditions. It is also tolerant of a wide range of pH levels, from 5.5 to 7.5.

Humidity Aspect

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is between 40% to 60%. If the humidity level is too low, the leaves of the plant will start to turn brown and drop off. If the humidity level is too high, the leaves of the plant will start to turn yellow and drop off.


About fertilizer, this type of plant does not require a lot of fertilizer. You can apply a light fertilizer in early spring, and then again in late summer. As for the roots, they are relatively shallow, so you'll want to be careful not to damage them when working in the garden bed.

About light

Pruning is an important aspect of plant care for the northern gold forsythia. This plant benefits from being cut back each year to encourage new growth. Pruning also helps to keep the plant tidy and prevent it from becoming overgrown. The best time to prune the northern gold forsythia is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

About Propagating

Propagation is best done through cuttings taken in late summer or autumn. The best time to take cuttings is when the plant is just starting to bloom. Cuttings should be taken from non-flowering shoots that are about 6-8 inches long. Strip the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, and dip the cut end in rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a pot filled with well-drained potting mix, and water lightly. Place the pot in a bright, sunny spot, and keep the soil moist. The cutting should root within 4-6 weeks.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate is considered to be slow to moderate, with an expected increase of 6 to 12 inches per year. However, in ideal conditions, some gardeners have reported experiencing much faster rates of growth. Ultimately, your forsythia's growth will be determined by a number of variables, including the quality of the soil, the amount of sunlight the plant gets, and the amount of water it receives.

Basic Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are stem canker, aphids, and powdery mildew. Stem canker is a fungal disease that causes the stems of the plant to die. Aphids are small insects that suck the sap out of the plant, causing it to become weak and stunted. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that causes the leaves of the plant to become covered in a white powder. These problems can be controlled by pruning out infected parts of the plant, spraying the plant with insecticide, and applying fungicide to the plant.

Growing Tips

  • If you are growing northern gold forsythia in a container, make sure it has plenty of drainage holes.
  • Place the container in a sunny spot.
  • Water regularly, making sure the soil stays moist but not soggy.
  • Feed northern gold forsythia with a balanced all-purpose fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
  • To encourage bushy growth, pinch back the tips of the stems in spring.
  • To keep the plant looking tidy, prune it back by one-third after it blooms in late spring.
  • Northern gold forsythia is generally disease- and pest-free. However, watch for aphids and scale, which can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  • If you live in an area where deer are a problem, you may need to take extra measures to protect your forsythia. Deer love to munch on

Similar Plants

  • Gold forsythia is a common name for Forsythia viridissima and for similar forsythia species and hybrids.
  • Forsythia intermedia is a common name for a number of forsythia species, hybrids and cultivars.
  • Forsythia suspensa is a common name for a number of forsythia species, hybrids and cultivars.
  • Forsythia x intermedia is a common name for a number of forsythia species, hybrids and cultivars.
  • Forsythia x suspensa is a common name for a number of forsythia species, hybrids and cultivars.
  • Golden bell is a common name for a number of plant species, including:
  • Golden bells may also refer to:
  • The golden bells may refer to:
  • The Golden Bells, a 1934 British comedy film
  • The Golden Bell

Forsythia: boring or beautiful? - University of Illinois
Forsythia Varieties for Iowa | Horticulture and Home Pest News
Border Forsythia | UMD Arboretum & Botanical Garden

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Reviewed & Published by Richelle
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Shrubs Category