Bring but­ter­flies, birds to your gar­den with sweet broom’s blooms

The Tribune (SLO) - - Home & Garden - BY AN­DREA PECK

Sweet broom Genista x spachi­anus Plant­ing ar­eas: USDA Har­di­ness Zones 8 to10

Size: 6 to 8 feet high, 5 to 6 feet wide Bloom sea­son: Spring Ex­po­sure: Full sun Prun­ing needs: Yearly, when flow­er­ing ceases in late spring. Wa­ter needs: Low wa­ter needs once es­tab­lished. Snap­shot: Sweet broom is a large, fast-grow­ing, and easy-to­like bush.

Cheer­ful yel­low blooms cas­cade like tow-headed curls dur­ing the spring, dec­o­rat­ing the bulk of the plant and adding a re­fresh­ing pop to your land­scape.

Not only will these showy flow­ers catch your at­ten­tion and brighten your day, but they are also fra­grant, at­tract­ing but­ter­flies, birds, and other pol­li­na­tors. When not bloom­ing, the shrub is at­trac­tive and easy to care for.

Sweet broom is a de­cid­u­ous bush with ever­green leaves and a gen­tle, arch­ing lean to the branches. When full size, it pro­vides a nice, yet not too over­whelm­ing screen.

Prune older wood, about one-third of the plant, dur­ing the late spring or sum­mer, af­ter the bloom. Prun­ing later in the year may in­ter­fere with bloom­ing and not prun­ing at all may lead to a per­ma­nently scrag­gly, un­kempt growth habit.

Ir­ri­gate con­sis­tently dur­ing the first year in or­der to es­tab­lish a deep root sys­tem. Sweet broom is known for its strong roots, which makes the plant ideal for hill­sides and to sta­bi­lize soil.

Fer­til­ize once a year be­fore bloom­ing oc­curs.

Once es­tab­lished, sweet broom is drought tol­er­ant, but, as is the case with most lowwa­ter plants, it ben­e­fits from ir­ri­ga­tion dur­ing ex­tended dry, hot pe­ri­ods.

Sweet broom thrives in al­most any land­scape en­vi­ron­ment, in­clud­ing wildlife gar­dens, rock gar­dens and pa­tio con­tain­ers.

AN­DREA PECK UCCE Mas­ter Gar­dener

Sweet broom, a de­cid­u­ous shrub, is large, fast-grow­ing and pro­duces cas­cades of bright, fra­grant yel­low flow­ers.

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