Forsythia cutting


I have a cutting from a forsythia that was started in a jar of water in early spring then it grew a lot of roots and I potted it in soil in a small container 3 weeks ago. Should I let it overwinter outside or bring it inside the house by a window? Thank you!


Well done for propagating the forsythia and getting it this far along.  I would suggest you do one of two things with it now, see below:

  1. Decide where you want a forsythia shrub in your garden, dig a hole, gently take it out of it’s pot being careful of the new roots and then plant it.  Do not plant it any deeper than the depth it is currently at in the pot.  Water it in well at time of planting and frequently thereafter, continuing to do so up until freeze up.  A good 3 inches of mulch around the new plant will help protect it from early frost while it settles into its new home and continues to grow roots.  Begin watering again in the spring and once the ground is workable, you can take back the mulch, top-dress with a well rotted manure or compost and then re-mulch.  This will provide nutrients for both your new shrub and the soil microorganisms which help it thrive.
  2. If you do not intend for this plant to have a permanent home in your garden but intend it for somewhere or somebody else or can’t decide yet where you want it in your garden, I would suggest leaving it in its current pot and planting the whole thing in a space in your garden.  Follow the steps above but sink plant & pot together into the hole so as not to disturb the roots.  This way, come spring, you will be able to dig up the pot without damaging the plant.

Forsythia are a hardy garden shrub but need to be planted in the ground outside.  Trying to overwinter it in a pot outside, without actually planting it, could seriously injure new roots from freezing and may cause ultimate demise.  Also, bringing it inside and placing by a window may not be a good idea as these shrubs need a dormant winter period in order to bloom and thrive.

Hope this helps.