Forsythia x 'Sunrise'

Status: In stock

Product ID#: fsunr
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Local Pick-up Waterloo, WI
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Starting at: $24.99
Product Description
Sun Exposure Sun, Part Sun/Shade
Bloom Time Spring
Soil Conditions Normal, Clay/Heavy
Fall Color Burgundy/Purple
Flower Color Yellow
Fruit Color Brown
Mature Plant Size (H x W) 4-5' x 4-5'
Sunrise Forsythia is a deciduous shrub with an abundant bright-yellow display of bell-shaped flowers that grow on short branches.

Sunrise Forsythia works well planted individually or in a mass. This plant has a vivid yellow bloom time that starts in the late winter to early spring and a dark green, glossy foliage that lasts all season long. In fall, the foliage shifts to purple.

Pruning is best immediately after flowering to allow new growth to form flower buds for the following spring.

Sunrise Forsythia was developed at Iowa State University. Sunrise produces flower buds that are hardy—they can withstand temperatures up to -20 degrees F. Forsythia are named after William Forsyth, a founder of the Royal Horticultural Society in the 18th century.
  • sunshade Sun, Part Sun/Shade
  • Mature Plant Size (H x W) Mature Plant Size (H x W): 4-5' x 4-5'
  • Bloom Season Bloom Season: Spring
Key features
  • Deer Resistant
  • Salt Tolerant
  • Walnut Toxicity Resistant
  • Cut Flower
  • Fragrant Flowers
  • Attracts Pollinators
Planting Care

Planting & Care for Deciduous Shrub – Forsythia

  • A sunny position is vital when you’re planting Sunrise Forysthia. If you do plant Sunrise Forsythia in the shade, many shoots may form, but many of its flower buds will refuse to open. Growth also becomes loose and weak.
  • Sunrise, like most Forsythia varieties, braves the cold wind! Sunrise produces flower buds that are hardy and are able to withstand temperatures up to -13 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Sunrise Forsythia grows strongly in most well-drained soils, from heavy clay soil to light sand and chalk.
  • Before planting any Forsythia varieties, fortify impoverished borders, especially where roots from nearby trees invade, with humus-rich forming, old crumbly, or proprietary composted manure or well-rotted garden compost.
Opening Plant Material
  • Bare root - Cut open the Sunrise Forsythia bundle (top and roots are tied) and separate all the plants. Soak roots in buckets of water until planted. Each plant type will be labeled separately for identification. Do not expose the roots to the sun. They should never dry out. Keep roots covered. All bare-root plants must be trimmed when planted. 
  • Containers - Completely saturate all container plants by putting them in a larger container of water until they stop bubbling. Remove. Now they’re ready to plant. Dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container and 6" or more, making sure it’s wider on the sides.
Planting Bare Root
  • Plant bare root Sunrise Forsythia in fall. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected, hold off on planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 6" wider and the same depth as the root mass. The crown or graft of the Sunrise Forsythia should be slightly higher than ground level where it was grown at the nursery.
  • Trim off the broken roots and branches.
  • Place fertilizer packets in the hole (if purchased). Do not place other fertilizers in the planting hole. *Use our recommended fertilizer.
  • Spread the roots of the Sunrise Forsythia and fill halfway with soil, then water until the soil settles completely, saturating the soil and planting pit.
  • Readjust the plant and fill the hole with the rest of the soil.
  • Backfill the balance of the soil and water well. 
  • See our Handling & Planting Guidelines for illustrations on planting. 
Planting Containers
  • Slide the Sunlight Forsythia from the pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • With a shovel or knife, trim the bottom 2" off the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
    Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use our recommended fertilizer.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.
Pruning - After Planting
  • Bare Root - Prune ALL bare root plants to reduce transplant shock and ensure success. Pruning should occur either before or as soon after planting as possible. All pruning should be done with a sharp pruning shears.
  • Containers - Although it is not essential for containers to be pruned after planting, a light pruning for shape, to remove any broken branches from shipping, or to thin out a heavily branched plant will help in the transplanting process and in the appearance of your new planting.
Pruning - Through-out the Season
  • Prune your Sunrise Forsythia in May, during its vivid yellow bloom time. Once established, keep your Forsythia youthful and showing a bright yellow display freely by removing from the base a third of the oldest shoots when flowers fade. Clip hedges at the same time of year so that flower buds form from the following year.
  • Avoid pruning these flowering shrubs into a round-shaped display; their natural shapes look graceful as they are.
Watering - After Planting
  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.
Watering - Through-out the Season
  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Planting & Handling Help

Download our Planting and Handling Guide below to plan for a successful arrival and install of your plants. Be sure to water all plants as soon as they arrive and every day until you’re ready to plant. Keep any bare root bundles in a shady, cool spot with the roots covered at all times.

Learn More

Watch our videos on handling bare root plants, how your order is prepared for shipment and more.

Plant Sizing

What is the difference between Containers, Grow Bags, Bare Root, and Balled & Burlap (B&B)?

Shipping Times

Our FedEx and local shipping times depend on two factors, one is by the region and the second is the type of product being shipped. For example, small fruits are only shipped in spring, but majority of our perennials are shipped from spring until fall. Keep in mind the dates below act as a general guide. Due to unpredictable weather, staffing, inventory and industry demands these timelines can change. Therefore, we cannot guarantee any of these times.


Shipping Dates by Region*


Northern Cold Region: April 22nd - November 7th

Northern Region: April 15th - November 7th

Middle Region: April 1st - November 7th

Southern Region: March 15th - November 7th

Local Delivery (small radius from Waterloo, WI): April 22nd - November 7th


Shipping Dates by Season*


Spring Shipping: Region Start Date (above) - May

Fall Shipping: September - November


Due to unpredictable weather, these times may vary. Some varieties are exceptions due to heat and plant health reasons. Enter your shipping zip code at the top of this page and be sure to check the shipping information on each product before you add it to your cart. If the product is too large or restricted in your state, you will not be able to checkout with that item in your cart.