dividing & moving old Forsythia
Pegletbee Posts: 41
I know forsythia are pretty tough. I don't normally like them much, but the one I have inherited is a little paler than most, so I'm prepared to give it a home somewhere - but not where it currently lives. It's a big old plant, with a lot of old, cut-back stems on one side and some smaller, younger stems on the other. Would I be able to hack it in half and save the younger stems? What does anyone think? And would I be right in thinking that the best time to attempt this butchery would be next autumn when it goes into dormancy?
Just dig out a good amount of roots around one of the younger plants along the edge and replant. I've even just pruned off a 1cm diameter at an angle and stuck it into moist spring soil.. It grew into a healthy plant with no issues. It took longer than one with a rootball, but eventually caught up.
I think you would be better off by taking cuttings - normally done in June, but worth trying now. You want the top 6" from the shoots, put in a 50/50 mixture of compost/grit and cover with a plastic bag or plastic bottle with the bottom cut off. Leave somewhere warm but out of direct sunlight.
Edit: just seen BO's reply - that would also work if any stems have roots.
Thanks Blue Onion and Bob. Not sure I want it enough to cosset a cutting, but I might try moving one of the younger shoots fairly soon as Blue Onion suggests. However I go about it though, digging up the bulk of it is going to be hard work!
Yes, the roots are pretty tough and go deep - I had one which popped-up the other side of a wall which had a 3ft drop on the other side! The good news is that I now enjoy the flowers from the remaining bit which is growing in the tennis court's land and not in my border!
Hatchet job by the sound of it then. I'll try to get my son to do it - he enjoys a bit of destruction.
They're pretty tough plants.. the more roots the better, so get what you can.. but it doesn't need to be mollycoddled like some shrubs.
That's just as well. I've tried molly coddling in the past and can never keep it up I'm afraid. Too busy and/or away too much. My plants need to be fairly independent. Thanks again both.