Forsythia × intermedia 'Gold Leaf'
Common Name: forsythia
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Oleaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best flowering in full sun, but more shade tolerant than most forsythias. Tolerates summer heat and drought. Blooms on previous year's wood, so pruning should be done immediately after flowering (wide range of pruning options include cutting to the ground or simply removing oldest stems and shaping).

Noteworthy Characteristics

This forsythia cultivar is a spreading, mounding, deciduous shrub which typically grows 3-5' tall and is most noted for its unusual gold foliage color. Features light yellow flowers which appear in profusion before the leaves in late winter to early spring. One of the earliest blooming shrubs... a true harbinger of spring. Ovate leaves emerge lime green in spring, but mature to a golden yellow and remain attractive throughout the growing season.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to crown gall and leaf spot. Although forsythia is vegetatively winter hardy to USDA Zone 5, the flower buds of many Forsythia are often damaged by cold winter temperatures and late freezes in Zone 5.

Garden Uses

Mass or group in the shrub border, on banks or on slopes. This cultivar also does well in woodland gardens and shaded areas.