Genista

Common name: Broom

This is a hardy deciduous flowering shrub grown for its profusion of scented yellow pea like flowers that appear in late spring.

The variety aetnensis can grow to a height of 5-6 metres (15-20ft) and cinerea about half that.

Genista is less invasive than its cousin Cytisus.

There are some low growing prostrate varieties available that grow in varying heights from a few inches to circa three feet high and make good ground cover plants.

After flowering the flowers form into pea like seed pods that attract many birds to feed, particularly the Tit family.

No pruning is generally required other than that required to keep the plant of a suitable size and shape, this should be done immediately after flowering.

If pruning is required do not remove any newly formed shoots.

Cultivation

Week 12: Sow seed in trays or pots of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 10°-12°C54°F).

Prick out seedlings when large enough to handle into individual 70mm (3") pots of potting compost and place in a cold frame, and grow on until planting out time the following year.

Week 18: Pot up rooted cuttings taken the previous year into 100mm (4") pots and grow on in a cold frame until planting out time.

Week 24: Collect ripe seed pods before they burst and store in a cool place until sowing time.

Week 32: Take heel cuttings from lateral shoots, and root them in a cold frame.

Week 40: Plant out any time from now until April, in a spot that preferably gets full sun, however, they will tolerate some shade.





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