So what’s the difference between “common” and “popular”? Both are terms used to describe the in-your-eye yellow Forsythia. The two terms are often confused but can actually affect the meaning behind a statement; for example, “popular” should be used to describe something or someone that a lot of people like, whereas “common” describes something that occurs often – it is not always apparent whether people like it or not.
The problem with Forsythia is that it is so “common” that it may be seen as commonplace, but take a good long look at it and maybe you’ll fall for the plant just because of its vibrant flowers.
Forsythia is traditionally considered to be a herald of spring and is said to be a symbol of a good nature, innocence and anticipation. Korean legend states that this flower depicts the rejuvenation of love.
Even if you don’t put any stock in symbols and legends, you should be cheered by the mass of yellow blooms which appear for a few weeks every spring.
The plant is a great choice for a container garden. It needs little care and is hardy and will faithfully produce those bright golden, bell-shaped flowers on bare branches in the spring. And then, when the flowers fade, green foliage appears and lasts throughout summer and autumn.
Plant a specimen in sun or partial shade, ideally in moist but well-drained soil, although Forsythia fortunei is not very fussy and will grow just about anywhere where the soil isn’t waterlogged.
For the best blooms, prune the branches that have flowered back to a pair of strong buds. To propagate, just pull off a bit of stem and stick it in the soil – nine times out of 10 it will root and grow without any encouragement from the gardener.