Shohin Forsythia Progression

This is an update and expansion of a post first published in 2019

Forsythia is one of my favourite garden shrubs, the yellow glow of their flowers on bare stems in Spring is magnificent. Although they are still quite rare as bonsai, when you do see one in flower you can’t fail to be impressed by them. I had been looking for some suitable material to start one for some time and in 2018 I was able to remove the specimen you see in the following pictures from a friend’s garden.


The next 2 pictures show the tree at the end of its’ first season in a pot. In a single season it had filled this 9 inch pot with strong healthy roots.


In late Winter of 2018/2019, I pruned it back and carried out some basic carving on the trunk. This is how it looked at that time.


In early Spring of 2019, I took it out of the plastic pot, cut back the roots and re-potted it in a clay oval training pot. I removed as much of the roots as I felt I could without killing the tree but it will probably need further root reduction in the future to fit it into its’ final pot. This is how it looked after the re-pot.


A few weeks later when the temperature began to rise, it burst into life and not surprisingly, considering the work that had been done on it, it went straight to leaf without producing any flowers.


Almost exactly a year later in March 2020 it produced 3 flowers before going into leaf


Another year on in March 2021 it produced a few more flowers


This is how it looked this year (March 2022)during the flowering period


Forsythias are quire vigourous and fast growing and need a lot of pruning and root work to maintain there health and shape when grown in a pot. I repotted the tree after flowering this year and the next picture shows how it looks at the moment.


And after a light trim this morning. I will do the main pruning for shape in the Autumn after the leaves have dropped.