Forsythia is an early blooming shrub. They can burst with bright yellow blossoms as early as February. These shrubs enjoy full sun or partial shade and are notorious for their low maintenance. They grow quickly, their branches making large arches. They are usually used to contrast other, larger plants or as a privacy hedge. Even in the winter, when the blossoms are long gone, the branches are so prolific they are hard to see through. Because of how easily they grow, they easily become companions to other plants.
Blossoming shrubs can become beautiful companions to Forsythia. Early blooming shrubs, like Flowering Quince, offset the Forsythia’s bright yellow blossoms. The Quince should not be used on its own. Once the flowers are gone, it looks rather plain and spindly. Companion shrubs need to be kept several feet apart. This will allow them to branch out. This is especially true for the Forsythia. If the Forsythia is cut back to much, it will not blossom well. Buds appear as soon as the old flowers have fallen. Any pruning will result in these buds being destroyed. If you have smaller trees or shrubs, Forsythia acts as a brilliant backdrop. Forsythia can be up to 9 feet high and 6 feet wide.
Other plants that coexist well with Forsythia are vines. For example, the Purple Wisteria has clusters of large purple flowers. It blooms after the Forsythia, so there will be more color, for longer periods of time. It can grow over the limbs of the Forsythia or it can grow up a fence with the Forsythia plated underneath. This is true of other vines. It is important to consider when the vines will blossom. This will help you visualize how your garden will look throughout the year.
Another interesting combination is Forsythia planted in front of Cherry trees. The red cherries, or their blossoms, and forsythia’s yellow flowers are strange but attractive companions.
Forsythia can thrive in almost any kind of soil. Just be sure that it is not constantly wet. If the plant you are considering as a companion needs constant water, it may not do well with the Forsythia. Do not use plants that have very different soil requirements. Planting several Forsythia shrubs together will create a solid wall of color. This wall can be utilized in several arrangements. You can use them as a foreground for trees, a background for shrubs or the center that pulls the whole thing together.
There is no end to what you can do with a Forsythia plant. The only limit is your imagination and the colors you think will go well with a bright yellow. There are many colors available, just be sure you don’t think they will clash with the bush.