My two forsythia bushes look a bit scraggily. I put fertilizer stakes on them after the blooming season. I also think that they may need a serious pruning. My husband wants to pull them out, but I know they can be wonderful when given a chance!
Forsythia can be pruned in spring or fall, but since flower buds are formed the previous season, it is best to wait until after flowering to prune. For maintenance pruning, cut a few of the oldest stems back to the ground each year and head back any that appear too rambunctious. Forsythias are survivors, so if yours is completely out of hand, cut the entire plant back to the ground. It will come back with vigor. By the second spring, it will be beautiful. We feed our plants with a light topdressing of manure each spring. They like wood ashes, too. And, yes, husbands can be wonderful when given a chance. —Gardening experts George and Becky Lohmiller, Hancock, New Hampshire