Field of Science

Forcing Flowering

Now is the right time to prune Forsythia and Abeliophyllum (sometimes called dwarf pink or white forsythia).  Both of these are early flowering shrubs in the olive family. Both sometimes need pruning to keep them in check. The do not need and should not be poodled thereby turning a graceful shape into an ugly ovoid chess piece. You simply look for branches that are ungainly and out of place and cut them off.  Then you take the pieces bearing flower buds cut them to reasonable lengths, split the base of the twigs an inch or so, and place them in a vase of water. In 5 to 7 days they usually flower. They do best in a cool place. A vase of charming Forsythia sits atop a bookshelf in our kitchen right now. TPP suggests you consider Abeliophyllum as a medium border plant; it handles shade pretty well and is so pretty in the early spring, more delicate and lacy appearing than its yellow cousin.

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