Show Off® ForsythiaForsythia x intermedia 'Mindor' (PP# 19,321)
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Forsythia x intermedia 'Mindor' (PP# 19,321)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Show Off® Forsythia is a huge improvement on older varieties, as it’s a compact bush that grows 5 or 6 feet tall and wide, needing no regular pruning to stay neat and full of blooms. Every stem flowers from the ground all the way to the top, in early spring, among the very first shrubs to flower in your garden. The large green leaves make it dense and bushy all summer – the perfect background shrub. A very reliable flowering plant that is easy to grow, you can also cut stems in late winter and open them in a vase indoors.
Full sun is best for the Show Off® Forsythia, or a little partial shade. It grows well in any well-drained soil, including clays and poor urban conditions. Pests and diseases are normally absent, and regular pruning is optional, a real improvement on the usually untidy growth of other types of forsythia. Older plants can be pruned immediately after they bloom.
After months of winter, we ache to see blooms in our garden, and golden yellow, like the sun we have missed, is always really cheering at that time. You won’t have to wait long to see the golden rays shining in your garden when spring rolls around when you grow a Forsythia. This heirloom shrub has been a garden classic for centuries, but its spring charm never fails to do just that – charm the socks off us. Only trouble is, this is a tricky plant to prune, and if you don’t do it, and do it well, then that charming bush becomes a garden monster, sprouting in all directions and getting seriously out of hand. It takes persistence and skill to produce that golden glory on a manageable shrub – or it used to. Now, with the Show Off® Forsythia, you can have all that gold, and none of that work, because this more compact plant is perfectly happy left unpruned, and will continue to bloom from top to bottom for years. Plant it as a stand-out specimen in a shrub bed, or even on a lawn. Grow it as an outstanding screen or untrimmed hedge for a dense, green summer and a spectacular golden spring. If you love the blooms of forsythia but hate the bush itself, let this one show itself off to you – you will love what you see.
The Show Off® Forsythia is an upright deciduous shrub that is fast-growing and reliable. Within 3 years it will be 3 feet tall, and it matures not much later at 5 or 6 feet tall. It has long, upright stems with many side branches, spreading outwards into a shrub around 5 or 6 feet wide. The sturdy branches are covered in slightly-knobby yellow-brown bark, which is mid-brown on older branches. The leaves are unusually large and flat compared to other forsythia, and they measure over 3 inches in length, and they are almost 1½ inches wide. They have a smooth, slightly glossy surface, and they are flat and oval, with a smooth edge, without the serrations seen on most other forsythia plants. They turn yellow in fall.
Flower buds form in the late summer of the year before, and sit on the stems through winter. After a period of cold they are ready to go, and the first warm days of spring bring them bursting out on the bare stems. Golden yellow bells, almost 1½ inches across, cluster in heavy bunches all along the stems, from the ground to their tip. Unlike older varieties, the stems continue to bloom for many years, and the bush remains neat, minimizing or eliminating the need for pruning. The blooms stay gorgeous and colorful for 2 to 3 weeks, before disappearing among the new leaves that are now beginning to grow.
Flowering early, when the weather is still cold, you should place your Show Off Forsythia in a place where you see it coming and going from home, or out of a window. Plant it among shrubs that bloom later, and it’s also great on a lawn or among the foundation planting around your home. Grow it too along the edge of more natural areas, where it adds a terrific burst of spring color, and then quietly grows for the rest of the year. It also makes a great medium-sized screening hedge, bushy in summer and drop-dead gorgeous in spring. Space plants about 3 feet apart in a row for a continuous and beautiful hedge that needs no pruning.
As well, once there have been a couple of months of cold winter weather, you can cut branches from your bush and bring them indoors in a vase. The warmth will quickly bring them into bloom – lovely!
The Show Off Forsythia is hardy in zone 5, and all the way into zone 8. In zone 4 the flower buds are often killed by late cold snaps, so for varieties hardy there, check our current range.
Full sun will always give the most flower buds on your plants, but the Show Off Forsythia can be grown in partial shade too, as long as it gets at least 6 hours of direct sun a day. It isn’t fussy about soil, and grows well even in poor soils, but of course better in a spot where you have enriched the soil and dug it well. Good drainage is needed, so don’t plant in wet places. Once well-established it is resistant to ordinary summer drought, although in hot zones it makes sense to water from time to time in summer.
You won’t have to worry about pests or diseases, as they rarely bother these plants. Some people find it deer resistant, but others don’t – that’s deer for you. You don’t really need to prune the Show Off Forsythia, but once plants are older it is a good idea to remove a few of the oldest branches close to the ground. As well, trim back any long, untidy shoots. Prune as soon as the flowers fade.
The background of forsythia is a bit complex. Two different species were introduced into Europe and America from their native land of China around the middle of the 19th century. One, Forsythia viridissima, is an upright shrub, and the other, Forsythia suspensa, is a trailing or rambling shrub, still grown today as a wall plant. Not many years after they were introduced, in 1885 at the Göttingen Botanic Garden, Germany, they were crossed together, creating a hybrid. That plant is called Forsythia x intermedia, and it’s the parent of most of our garden forsythias, including the popular variety, ‘Lynwood’.
In 1977, at the Farmington Valley Nursery in Connecticut, Harry Wilcox Jr. found a branch that had white and green variegated foliage growing on a plant of ‘Lynwood’. He named it ‘Fiesta’. 20 years later, at his nursery in Angers, France, Jean-Paul Davasse saw a plain green shoot growing from a plant of ‘Fiesta’. It should perhaps have simply been the original ‘Lynwood’, but it wasn’t. The leaves were different, and the plant was shorter and generally neater and more compact. He named it ‘Mindor’. This is the plant we know as Show Off®, a registered trademark name owned by Spring Meadow Nursery of Michigan, who released it under their Proven Winners® brand.
Finally, a neat and tidy forsythia. The Show Off® Forsythia is a real breakthrough, and gives that plant, usually so unruly, a place in every garden. Now you can enjoy brilliant garden color to welcome in the spring, so order now and discover for yourself just how terrific it is. This is a unique and special plant, and our stock is constantly running out, so order now – we will soon be putting up the ‘out of stock’ notice on it again.