Why Did Only Half My Forsythia Bloom?

3139028770 c77f75dd7b o 300x225 Why Did Only Half My Forsythia Bloom?The Forsythia blooms are now almost completely gone across the USA, leaving the roadside gardens a light hue of green as leaves fill in their place – and a few gardeners perplexed as to why only half the bush bloomed yellow this year.  

If you are like many gardeners, your bush may be the picture of health, with branches showing healthy foliage buds, or even full leaves by this time.  If your Forsythia is healthy, and simply skipped putting out yellow blooms with several branches skipping right to the foliage stage, you have a bush that has been pruned within the past year, and that needs maturation before flowering.

Forsythia plants blooms on old wood, and branches need at least a full year of growth before they will produce flowers.  If you do annual shaping on your bush, try to trim the plant back to the same approximate place every year, to encourage a uniform bloom, and overall shape. After a few years of trimming, your bush should reach a full appearance, and will bloom throughout the plant. 


Photo Courtesy of: Arielle*

Roses: When To Begin Spring Pruning

img 0050 225x300 Roses: When To Begin Spring PruningEarly spring is the perfect time to do large scale cut backs on your rose bushes to encourage new growth, and a bush full of blooms!

The key to spring pruning is to trim just as the plant is budding and waking up from its winter dormancy. A bush that has grown “leggy” over the course of several years can be trimmed all the way back to about 8 inches in height at this time safely to encourage a fuller plant. The best way to identify your spring window of opportunity is to watch the blooming of the Forsythia plants for your cue.

Rose breeders recommend trimming your roses when Forsythias are blooming, usually at the end of March. Although roses will bloom through the summer and fall, the heaviest pruning and shaping of the plant should be done at the beginning of the growing season, when the cool temperatures, and lack of insects make pruning wounds easy to recover from. 

Successful Pruning

When considering your rose bush  for pruning, identify any “woody” stems on the plant that are giving the plant height, but reduced bloom production, and place these on the top of you list for pruning. Even an aging plant with dead sections can benefit from strong pruning in the spring to encourage new shoots to emerge from the roots.  

Most roses can benefit from a heavier pruning every few years to encourage blooming, and to keep the plant full and pliable. If your roses have had more bare stems than fruitful branches with leaves and buds in the past few years, your bush is ripe for a spring pruning. If you are hesitant to trim the whole plant at once, select a few feeder stems and prune them heavily to within 6-10 inches of the ground.

Spring thinning and pruning will rejuvenate your plants and soon have you reaping the benefits of a far healthier plant.