Celebrating Appalachia Videos Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

How to Plant Yellow Bells

Yellow Bells

In my latest video I’m talking about yellow bells. They are shining brightly in Brasstown. Their cheery blooms let me know spring of the year is really here.

When Granny shared the trick about planting yellow bells with me I didn’t hardly believe her—funny to discover that when her mother shared the trick with her she didn’t hardly believe her either 🙂

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  • Reply
    March 24, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    I love your blog, but I have one request…when you are recording outside, please use some sort of muffler to muffle the wind; it blocks out your whole sentences at times. Just a suggestion.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    I just call them a yellow bush. I have one and it is in full bloom. Loved your video. I love watching and listening to granny when you have her on your blog. I loved listening to the creek , it sounded so peaceful.

  • Reply
    Bernie Horan
    March 23, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the “walk” through your neighborhood. My sister-in-law just sent me photos of the forsythia bushes in the yard at our home in Waynesville. They are in full bloom and seem especially full this year. I had never heard them referred to as anything but forsythia but do love the sound of yellow bells. We will be in NC for most of the month of May and I can’t wait! I love the mountains and our home and can’t wait to be there full time.

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    March 23, 2021 at 9:48 am

    Yellow bells are one of the few cherished plants that I remember from home that do grow up here in Michigan. I saw that they were growing wild (actually, probably old homes that were long ago abandoned and tumbled down) like the jonquils you talked about earlier. I cut some sticks and planted them along our drive. I was careful to make sure that they were far enough off the edge to not get run over. That was almost 18 years ago now. They have thrived and gone rampant. I see some people trim them to look like shrubs, but what’s the fun in that? I love their wildness. Ours are just starting to come out of their winter slumber. Can’t wait for their cheery color.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2021 at 9:20 am

    I’ve always called it forsythia. Mama had a bush in her front yard and they’re blooming everywhere in the Richmond, Virginia area. Yellow flowers of any sort are so cheerful.

  • Reply
    March 22, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    My mother from Mississippi called them yellow bells. She loved spring and always described what all she had blooming when we talked on the phone. She passed on her love and knowledge of growing flowers fruits and vegetables. We dearly miss her.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 22, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    I planted 7 yellowbell sticks like you said to do a few years ago. I found them beside road near an old house that was burned by the fire department for practice. Kudzu immediately took over the place and the state had sprayed Roundup to kill it along the right of way. The yellowbell had been hit by the spray and though sickly looking had survived. I stopped and cut 7 sticks and took them home. They took root immediately and started to grow. I stuck 3 or so foot sticks in the ground so that I could see them when I mowed. Well my mower broke and my brother came to mow for me. I told him “Watch out for my yellowbells. They are right up on top of the hill. I have them marked with sticks.” “OK”
    What do you know he mowed right over them. When I confronted him he said “I’m Sorry, I didn’t see them.” So I go to survey the damage. Four of them were missing completely. The mower had jerked them out of the ground and had thrown them I don’t know where. The remaining three were only a couple of inches tall now. Two of them had two little leaves and the other one had one.
    Two of the three survived and thrived. One is about 3 feet tall and the other about half that. The shorter one has a yucca plant growing around it. I hate yuccas! I don’t know how to kill it. Roundup might kill it with repeated treatments but what would happen to the yellowbell. I could dig them both up and separate them but if I leave just a little bit of the yucca root it will grow right back. I was thinking I might dig them up, separate them and wash everything off the roots of the yellowbell and then move it somewhere else. If it survived Roundup, dismemberment then dismemberment again then going barefooted for a little while ought to be a piece of cake, don’t you think?

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    March 22, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    I have yellow bells in my yard. My inlaws and my parents had yellow bells also. I like them. They are easy to grow and are one of the first blooms you see in the spring.

    Your videos are very relaxing to watch. Looking at them is one of my favorite things to do each day.

    Thank you for what you do.

    Dennis Morgan

  • Reply
    Ruth Binder
    March 22, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Had a number of forsythia in the yard at my old home. Now that I think of how I would lightly prune them in the fall, I could have been sticking the shoots in the ground and propagating them at that time! Now I realize it was a waste of valuable clippings and I wish I had them where I now live!

  • Reply
    March 22, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    I remembered you you or somebody calling the yellow bells. They are so pretty with their bright yellow flowers. I used to start them in water to root then plant. I am not sure what possessed me, but I planted them in my flower bed once. they took over , and I had to cut them out of the bed. wonderful anywhere else. Yellow is my favorite color, so I have always loved them.

  • Reply
    Dona DiBernardo Silver
    March 22, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you Tipper. I planed five forsythias by my back fence. They are doing well. I did not know they can be transplanted. I am going to give this a try.
    Happy Spring from New York!

  • Reply
    Sarah G
    March 22, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    I loved the video today! My Mama passed away in December and she always loved the “Yella Bells” I always tried to get her to call them Forsythia but she never did. My Mama was from Stone Mountain Georgia and my dad from Toccoa Georgia. I am familiar with most of your Appalachia ways and language! I love your blog Tipper, thanks for sharing your life with the world.

  • Reply
    March 22, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    I just love day and season brighteners like that

  • Reply
    Mary Anne Johnson
    March 22, 2021 at 10:32 am

    My forsythia began blooming about 3 weeks ago and was beautiful. The wind of last few days have depleted the blossoms. It was lovely while it lasted. It will bloom again next spring, I know.

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    March 22, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Very much appreciate the monologues of Tipper and Granny, who is a star in her own right. I agree with Granny’s mother; Yellow Bells, or March Bells, as we called them a bit NW of you in Knoxville, are easy to get started by just sticking them in the ground. If the ground is not yet warm enough, just put them in a container with water and sit them inside for awhile, check them in about ten days or so and find roots on the bottom. And like Tippers grandmother, don’t trim them, because they’ll “keep walking,” growing new roots as the branches lay on top the ground. And, like my Mother, most of the plants around our home I started from cuttings from neighbors and friends yards or in the fields. They’re the best plants, because they have a story, sorta like Granny’s account of sticking a sprig of Forsythia in the ground to support another planting, only to find that her planting failed but the Forsythia survived.
    PS. Tipper’s blog is one of the few places that we can call each other “hillbillies” and get away with it. A true hillbilly doesn’t need to fake an accent or to wear “overhauls!” and flannel shirts.

  • Reply
    Rick Shepherd
    March 22, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Thank you, Tipper….The edges of our yard are surrounded by woods…..Can I plant Yellow Bells in the woods near the edge of our yard or will it be too shady for them?…..Also, how deep should I plant the sprigs and do I need to water them myself or let nature take its course…..I enjoyed your video with your Grandmother!….Your videos always make me feel like I’m back home as a boy again even though my folks are long gone.

    • Reply
      March 24, 2021 at 1:04 pm

      Rick-Yes you can plant them near the woods. All these years later mine are practically in the woods! Just stick it in the ground a few inches deep-deep enough that it won’t fall out and you’ll be good to go!

  • Reply
    Jane W Bolden
    March 22, 2021 at 9:18 am

    I have forsythia from my grandmother’s yard. They bloomed a week later than others in my town. I was starting to wonder. I wish people wouldn’t trim theirs.

  • Reply
    March 22, 2021 at 8:49 am

    I have never heard them called yellow bells, but I have cut a stem and forced them to bloom inside my house. It won’t be long until the dandelions bloom and I can make jelly for the grandkids. I got the recipe many years ago right here on The Blind Pig & The Acorn. Wild Iris jelly is another good recipe I copied from this site.

  • Reply
    Carol Roy
    March 22, 2021 at 8:26 am

    Hi….I have a beautiful Forsythia Bush in my yard which I love and always anxiously await the first blooms we still have plenty of snow but the sun is much stronger which will make short order of the snow!! I have never heard of Forsythia blooms called Yellow Bells that describe them well. Loved you and Grannie’s video….tx. so much! ps….will be trying your way of transplanting it in the future.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 22, 2021 at 8:11 am

    I have a forsythia here that I planted and several transplants from it. I have transplanted them both as sprigs stuck in the ground and layered stems that rooted themselves from the parent plant. Some of the unrooted sprigs die, some survive. I stick them out in places where I’m not altogether sure it is a good idea long term whether they should be there or not. So I don’t worry too much if they don’t survive.

    I do not recall ever having heard them called “yellow bells” when I was growing up in KY. I don’t have distinct childhood memories of them. My Grandma did not have any and neither did we, at least not as I recall. The way Mom loved flowers I’m wondering why we didn’t have them. I do not recall seeing them around old houseplaces either.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 22, 2021 at 8:04 am

    Yellowbells are incredibly hardy. They’ll not only root about anywhere they touch the ground, and as you mention they hold on at old home places generations later.

    I can mention at least one “downside” and wonder if other readers experienced it as wayward youngsters. We had a prime, free-growing yellowbell handy against the west side of our home. Unpruned, it made long, slender, and limber limbs which were beautiful in bloom (and the foliage was pretty through the growing season after spring). However, there was a sinister side to this. The long, whippy limbs also offered a ready and reliable source of switches, and many more times than one Momma did some sudden pruning to acquire a switch. I was on the business end of those knobby, flexible swaths.
    Jim Casada
    P. S. Nice ending to the presentation and of course, like you, I’m a big fan of John Parris.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    March 22, 2021 at 8:02 am

    I really enjoyed your enthusiastic video this spring morning! Forsythia is what the yellow bell is called here. I did not know how to plant it, but now thanks to you and your sweet mother, I do. I always learn something from you, Tipper. Thank you for the insight. Also, I wish all the hillbillies out here a wonderful and happy spring day!!!

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