HOW TO GROW CYTISUS (broom)

7 deg C/45 deg F

Of the many brooms grown in gardens and conservatories, only one is sufficiently compact to make a neat pot plant for the home. This is the hybrid C. x ramnosus, a tender evergreen with rich golden-yellow flowers borne freely from winter to early summer. Even this species will grow to over 1.5m (5ft) if given a large pot or planted in a conservatory. but it can be kept compact by pinching back the shoots after flowering.

The greyish-green foliage is very attractive. The sweetly-fragrant flowers are borne as racemes, arching gracefully on well-grown plants. It should be bought when the buds are just beginning to show colour. Give this species a position in as much light as possible, but shade slightly from direct sun in summer. Large plants can stand outdoors in a sheltered spot during the summer if the space is wanted indoors, hut watering must not be neglected and the foliage can be sprayed when the weather is warm. The best time for potting is during May and June. The flowers often form seeds, but it is unwise to try growing plants from these, as they may not produce identical specimens. As with most plants of the pea family, feeding should be moderate – otherwise they may become lush and too leafy, and flower poorly.

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