The Right Place
Border forsythias grow well in full sun to medium shade, and adapt to a wide range of soil conditions. If they do not get enough sun, they bloom weakly. They do best in fertile, well-drained soil that is slightly acid or neutral (pH 6.0 to 7.0).
Planting Nursery Stock
Plant forsythias with soil covered roots wrapped in burlap in late spring or early fall. Fall is the best time for planting if you have a choice. Shrubs in containers can be planted almost any time during the season. Keep the rootball moist until planting time. Remove the shrub from its container or wrappings, taking care to retain as much soil as possible around the roots. Pull apart or clip off any roots that are densely matted or are circling the rootball due to confinement in the container.
Dig a saucer-shaped planting hole slightly larger than the diameter of the rootball. Score or roughen the sloping sides of the hole, but do not put any loose soil in the bottom. Set the forsythia in the hole, making certain that the top of the rootball is at or even a little above, ground level. Backfill the hole with plain soil to the level of the surrounding ground, pressing it firmly to prevent air from being trapped near the roots. Then water thoroughly to provide good soil-to-root contact. Do not fertilize at this time. Allow forsythias a space 8 to 10 feet in diameter in which to expand as they mature.
Amendments In Planting or Transplanting
There are a number of products at the garden center that will help your newly planted or transplanted plants deal better with the stress inherent in the planting process. All healthy plants have beneficial fungi, called mycorrhizal fungi, living on their roots. You can buy these valuable additions to your plant’s ecosystem. See the file describing Using Micorrhizae When Planting.
In addition, there are a number of products such as seaweed, compost tea, and beneficial soil microbes that when added to the planting process will help your newly established plants get going faster. See the file New Technology In Plant Growth Activators
For more information see the file on Planting Shrubs. For planting tools see Hand Tools For Digging and Planting in Yardener’s Tool Shed.