Plant of the Week:


It's OK to show off.

When you're this awesome, it's OK to show off. Think of Michael Jordan catching air, or Lady Gaga singing the national anthem. Being that fabulous and not showing the world would be weird, like if a stock market savant chose to live in a modest house in Omaha. Oh, wait - that's what Warren Buffet does. And I'll bet that he's got a forsythia in his yard, because after a dreary midwestern winter he deserves some yellow flowers.


If you're going to have a plant that adds something to the landscape for only a couple of weeks, make it the best couple of weeks you can. Show Off® Forsythia have better flower displays than other varieties, and nice compact habits that don't take up room in the landscape the rest of the year.
 
Pick the size that's right for you: the original Show Off® grows 5-6' tall. Show Off® Starlet is 2-3' tall, and Show Off® Sugar Baby is just 1.5-2.5' tall and wide. All are hardy to USDA Zone 5 and will grow in full sun or partial shade.

Let's show a little respect for Forsythia.

Let's be honest. It's hard to get excited about Forsythia. It's not the kind of plant that gets you points in the plant snob world. After all, it's something that almost everyone recognizes and everyone knows its Latin name. How on earth are you supposed to show off your horticultural superiority with Forsythia?
 
Well, start by getting over yourself. People know and love forsythia because it makes them happy after a long, cold winter. It looks its best just as folks are ready to finally do something about their crummy landscape, so of course it's what they buy on that first spring trip to the garden center.

It's also a very functional plant. Deer-resistant and durable, it will tolerate clay soil, black walnut and generally lousy conditions including urban sites. It's a great gateway plant for the beginning gardener.

The only tricky thing can be flowering. Don't prune it in fall. Gardeners in colder climates may see flowers only below the snow line because uninsulated buds get damaged by cold temperatures. Compact varieties like Show Off® will have a better bloom display because the flowers are protected by snow overwinter. Show Off's flowers run from base to tip so you get a really nice full display.
 
And that's how you show off your horticultural knowledge with Forsythia: you recommend the best variety for the site and keep people from pruning it into a disappointing meatball.

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