Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sweet Broom Plant

Sweet Broom
Cytisus spachianus

The Sweet Broom plant has very fragrant, bright yellow flower spikes that bloom in early spring and again in the fall. Their fragrance is a very strong sweet citrus scent, most pronounced on bright, sunny, cool days. Here in zone 5 and 6, they have to be brought in to overwinter. They keep nicely when treated as an indoor houseplant in winter, then set flower buds if kept cool in late Jan., early Feb. Pruning of these woody plants is best done immediately after blooming.
After blooming in spring, these plants can be used as wispy green tall plants in summer planters, with summer annuals planted beneath them, then as the weather cools again in the fall, you will be rewarded once again with another set of colorful, fragrant yellow flowers.
Plant care requirements include full sun, general purpose potting soil, and fertilization with a general purpose type every other week during the growing season. Water when dry, being sure to water thoroughly when you do water, then wait until they are pretty dry before watering again. Here at the greenhouse, we plant them outdoors in early spring with pansies and English daisies, since they are frost tolerant to 15F.
As an unusual cool weather annual, these easy care plants will bring many weeks of colorful, fragrant enjoyment in your pansy display, then serve as the pillar in your summer container when joined with your filler and spiller plants.

By: Sandy Weinkam
A.J. Rahn Greenhouses