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Scotch or Common Broom, Cytisus scoparius, is native, bushy shrub that thrives in very poor soils. It is a useful hedging plant for a mixed hedge with other, sturdier plants like Hawthorn.
Broom will reach 2-3 metres tall.
Broom plants are only delivered pot-grown, year round.
Choosing a size:
When you are ordering Broom plants for a hedge, we generally recommend that you use plants that are graded at 40/60cms tall. They are cheaper than large plants, easier to handle and they will establish well in poor conditions.
Use the larger, 80/100cms high plants if you want a taller hedge quickly or for instant impact as a specimen shrub.
All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the pots aren't measured).
Spacing a Broom hedge:
Plant Broom hedging at 3 plants per metre, 33cms apart, or, if you are buying the large sizes, at 2 plants per metre, 50cms apart.
Because broom fixes nitrogen into the soil, it is an excellent choice for a mixed hedge where the soil quality is poor. By putting in a broom plant every 3-4 plants, you will make a significant improvement to the soil for all the others.
General description of Broom plants:
This is a nitrogen fixing plant, which will grow well in the worst soil while improving it for other plants.
Broom has thin, ridged green stems and excellent yellow flowers, similar to those of peas, in May to June. These ripen into dark seed pods. If the summer is hot and dry, you can hear them cracking open.
Cytisus scoparius is a decent plant for adding some colour to a mixed hedge or general planting in poor soils.:
History & uses of Cytisus scoparius:
Old & Local Names for Broom: Spartium scoparium. Genista scoparius. Sarothamnus scoparius. Broom Tops. Irish Tops. Basam. Bisom. Bizzom. Browme. Brum. Breeam. Green Broom.
Broom's thin leaves and whippy stems make it ideal for using as a broom and it was also common in thatching. It was used in some old medicines, but we don't recommend trying it today.
In the late 1800's, it was sold for gardens in California. Today, it is an invasive nuisance in many areas of Western America.