Thursday, February 5, 2009

A "Broom" for the Garden

This is a new plant that I added to my garden last year. The plant is a Cytisus or "Broom". I had seen pictures of this plant at Master Gardener presentation, but had never seen one in the local nurseries. Last summer at a local box store, I found several for sale and I purchased one. It was just a one gallon size but it grew a foot the first year and bloomed. The flowers are very fragrant and look like the flowers of peas. The plant is a member of the legume family. A Broom can grow fairly large depending on the variety. It is hardy to zones 3 to 7. This shrub is not picky about where it is planted except for deep shade. It doesn't mind drought, pollution, seashores (salt), slopes, wind, dry soil, infertile soil or fertile soil. Rabbits and deers do not like this shrub. The "Broom" does like sandy soil and performs best in poor soil. It needs full sun. This is a plant that is grown for it's flowers not it's foliage. The leaves are very tiny with whippy stems. Brooms do need pruning to keep them blooming. Brooms produce seed that can be planted or you can take cutting to start additional plants. You might want to give this shrub a try in a mixed perennial and shrub border. It will give you lots of flower color.


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6 comments:

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Debbie -- broom is so beautiful! It reminds me of Provence, France where it grows wild through the hills of the Dentelles.

I had a few "baby" broom that got backed over when some soil was delivered. I need to replace them.

Cameron

Meems said...

Hi Debbie,
This broom plant sounds amazing. I kind of chuckled at "This is a plant that is grown for it's flowers not it's foliage." Who wouldn't like that? And then all the other traits make is sound like a wonderful addition. Too bad it isn't hardy in my zone. It's always fun to hear about plants other gardens grow.

Sounds exactly like something my friend Cameron needs to put in her deer resistant garden.
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

Nickie said...

Hi, brooms are very hardy....and difficult in some warmer parts of the country (like ca) where it is a very invasive weed~! I spent meny summers digging and burning it as a voleenteer trying to help the native habitat.

Alina said...

Hi Debbie, I'm a Midwest gardener too, same zone, and I love the look of the broom plants. Have you noticed that they're a big attractor of the japanese beetle? We get a ton of those nasty bugs (we live right in the middle of a corn field and I've heard they're attracted by the silks--also we have large stands of sassafras which are supposedly attractive to them as well). I'd hate to have one more plant get decimated. I try hand picking but they are honestly too overwhelming. I'd like to try to plant things that they don't particularly like from now on.

Thanks for your help!

queenofseaford said...

Here in Virginia they are along the roadside of the highway. It is so nice to see them all in bloom, brightens the scenery. There are also some pink varieties as well as white and I think a red.
Janet

Jan (ThanksFor2Day) said...

I just learned something new. Since you are a master gardener, you have some great info. I noticed Janet knows they're on the side of roads in VA. Hmm, now I'll have to keep my eyes open for them. Why have I missed them? I even lived down her way several yrs. ago. This blogging really does have benefits:) Better than taking a class, really! Have a great day:)