Forsythia ‘Fiesta’

variegated forsythia

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Forsythia is the herald of spring and in March, its gleaming golden-flowers let us know that this season has arrived! While many forsythia become monstrously large and lack interest after flowering, this is not true of the lovely Forsythia 'Fiesta'. This compact cultivar maintains its interest through the summer with lovely variegated foliage. Once the bright yellow flowers of spring have faded, the new foliage emerges with lemon-yellow leaves edged in green. This variegated foliage softens into the summer, but continues to provide an interesting focus without being gaudy in the garden. Forsythia 'Fiesta's leaves are very resistant to burning in full sun and, as with all forsythia, it tolerates a wide range of tough urban conditions. The loose upright habit of this shrub is perfect for working into perennial plantings. Its variegation is intensified when planted next to darker foliage plants. The purple and lavender summer bloomers, such as Echinacea or Campanula, contrast beautifully with the colorful variegation of Forsythia 'Fiesta'.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Flower Color: yellow

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: occasional watering during extended dry weather

Wildlife Associations: bees

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: blue, chartreuse, dark green

Great Color Partners: yellow, white, cream, rose, pink

Culture Notes
Forsythia is easy to grow in any well-drained soil, and it will tolerate sandy soils and clay if the drainage is adequate. Plant it in full sun for the best flowers and foliage, but it will tolerate light to open shade. It will grow best with occasional water during extended dry weather. While it requires little pruning, removing the older twiggy branches on older plants will encourage vigorous new stems. Try to resist the urge to prune down or to remove strong whip-like growth as these branches will provide the best flowering for spring.