How To Propagate Forsythia From Cuttings: Step-by-Step Guide



Forsythia, with its vibrant yellow blooms, is a sure sign of spring and a dazzling addition to any garden. Propagating forsythia from cuttings is a simple and cost-effective way to expand your garden or share the joy of these bright, cheerful plants with friends and family. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of propagating forsythia from cuttings step-by-step.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Cuttings

For successful propagation, you’ll want to choose the right cuttings from a healthy, established forsythia plant. Look for semi-hardwood cuttings, which are stems that are neither too soft and green nor too woody and mature. The ideal cutting should be about 6 to 8 inches long, with at least three sets of leaves on the stem. Choose cuttings from a well-lit area of the plant that have not yet flowered.

Step 2: Preparing Your Cuttings

Once you’ve selected your cuttings, it’s time to prepare them for planting. Remove the leaves from the lower half of the stem, as they can draw energy away from root development. Make a clean, diagonal cut just below a leaf node (the point where leaves emerge from the stem). You can also lightly scrape the bark off the lower part of the stem to encourage root growth.

Step 3: Rooting Hormone (Optional)

Using a rooting hormone can increase the likelihood of successful propagation. Dip the cut end of your forsythia cutting into a powdered or liquid rooting hormone, tapping off any excess. This step is optional, but it may help speed up the rooting process and improve the success rate.

Step 4: Planting Your Cuttings

Fill small pots or a propagation tray with a well-draining, sterile potting mix, such as a mix of perlite and peat moss. Make a hole in the center of the pot or cell with your finger or a pencil. Insert the cutting into the hole, burying about half of the stem, and firm the soil around the base of the cutting. Water the cutting thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain.

Step 5: Providing the Right Environment

Place a plastic bag or a clear plastic dome over your cuttings to create a humid environment that encourages root development. Place the cuttings in a bright, indirect light location, away from direct sunlight. Ensure the soil remains consistently moist but not soggy by misting the cuttings regularly.

Step 6: Monitoring and Transplanting

After 4 to 6 weeks, you should begin to see new growth on your cuttings, indicating that they have successfully rooted. Gently tug on the cutting; if it resists being pulled, it has likely rooted well. Once the cuttings have established a strong root system, you can transplant them into larger pots or directly into your garden.


With a little patience and care, propagating forsythia from cuttings can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to expand your garden or share these delightful plants with others. By following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying an abundance of vibrant yellow blooms each spring. Happy gardening!