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Common Name:

Border Forsythia

Scientific Name:

Forsythia x intermedia

Family Name:



Border Forsythia is one of America's most commonly planted deciduous shrubs. It is valued for its wide range of adaptability and its often spectacular two weeks of yellow blooms that are a welcomed harbenger of spring. Unfortunately, the form and appearance of the plant is extremely marginal throughout the remainder of the year, earning it a place as a classic in the two week wonder category.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, medium shrub, large shrub


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Pale to golden yellow

Blooming Period:

Spring, winter

Fruit Characteristics:

Capsule, not ornamental


6 ft to 8 ft, sometimes 10 ft


8 ft to 10 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Border Forsythia is not picky as to soil types as long as it is moderately well drained. Cold hardiness varies and cultivar selection can be important in cooler climates. The vigor of the species is reduced in zone 9 and warmer portions of USDA zone 8. Requires frequent pruning to maintain a presentable appearance. Tends to throw flowers throughout the winter and early spring in warm regions and also retains some foliage in zone 8 and 9 in winter. Aphids are a common afliction on new growth.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.