Growing on the High Plains: Wake up, Forsythia!

Apr 5, 2018

Stretching its branches in a bright yellow yawn, the forsythia is waking up!

We’ve finally reached that hopeful time of year. It’s the time when winter loosens its icy hold on the High Plains and the first signs of spring burgeon up from the frozen ground, dotting the naked foliage with the budding promise of warmer times to come.

Today on Growing on the High Plains, let’s celebrate one of our earliest bloomers. Forsythia, the flowering shrub with roots that trace back to the Far East, bursts forth in early spring with its bright yellow blossoms and twiggy thicket. It’s especially well-suited for the High Plains gardener as it requires minimal special care to thrive in our prairie soil—just sun and space, with some basic annual pruning and shaping.

But, as a final bout of frost can cut their blooming schedule short, I’ll offer my best tips to beat back the end-of-winter blues by harvesting a handful of last year’s branches and coaxing a little early springtime reprieve, if only indoors.