Forsythia Bonsai

Bonsai Species Guides

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"Upon finding that I work as a professional bonsai artist, many people will remark that they once had a bonsai, but it died and with some regret, they gave up".

Based on the Bonsai Basics section of the hugely successful website and an e-book of the same name, 'Bonsai Basics: The Foundations of Bonsai', written and developed over the past 15 years is out now!

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Forsythia is a genus of 7 species of deciduous, occasionally semi-evergreen shrubs found in open woodland in E. Asia. They bear opposite, simple, toothed or entire leaves.

Forsythia are best known for their buttercup yellow flowers that form on bare branches in Spring. Flower buds emerge at the side of the leaves; it also produces new shoots in areas where there have been flowers.

All Forsythia species are suitable for use as bonsai; they are however quite coarse growing and are primarily grown for their flower display in Spring.


Full sun or light dappled shade. Fully hardy to -10°C.

FEEDING Every two weeks throughout the growing season.

REPOTTING Every one or two years in Spring after flowering.

PRUNING After flowering, prune back branches hard and continue to prune out growth until mid-Summer after which the following Spring's flower buds will be produced and only minimal pruning should be carried out.

PROPAGATION Root greenwood cuttings in late Spring or early Summer. Root semi-ripe cuttings in Summer. By division in Winter and early Spring.

PESTS AND DISEASES Forsythia gall can affect some plants; birds may eat flower buds in early Spring.

STYLING Informal upright forms and cascades in all sizes.