Brooms are shrubs grown for their small, pea-like flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer.
Broom flowers come in the most familiar shade of yellow but can also be white, pink, orange and red.
Some cultivars of brooms are low growing, while others have a graceful arching shape.
Two species share this common name; Cytisus and Genista, broadly similar, although Genista does better on alkaline soils.
Most are compact and suitable for small gardens, although the Mount Etna broom can reach over 4m x 4m.
Plant in the spring or autumn, when the soil is warm and moist, planting at the same depth of the rootball.
Position in any well drained soil, in a sunny spot. Broom does well on poor, stony or sandy soils and can also be planted on a slope.
Water newly planted plants in their first year, until established, after that it should get all the moisture it needs from any rainfall or dew. Wind tolerant, a good plant for exposed or coastal gardens.
Maintenance is easy as there’s no need to feed a broom plant; to encourage a bushy shape pinch out the shoots of young plants.
Cytisus should be pruned after flowering to ensure a good display of flowers the following year. Cut off the parts of stems that have flowered, taking care not to cut into old wood. There is no need to prune Genista.
It’s thought that broom is so called, because its long stems were used to make brushes.