A genus of 25-30 deciduous shrubs, which can reach up to 3 metres, depending on the species; they come from Europe, Asia Minor and Africa. The broom of the charcoal burners or Cytisus scoparius, can be found in many areas of Italy and is a species from the very large area, because it can be found both at sea and in the mountains even if they are often different varieties of the same species.
Easy to grow, in nature it is a plant that loves the sunny areas of the calcareous soil and that grows well even where the water does not abound. In the garden and for the ornamental green, particular varieties of brooms are utilized, selected mostly for their appearance and for the colour of their flowers. The ornamental green brooms, in fact, can have flowers of different colours, such as red, orange, yellow or pink.
The habit of the brooms can also change a lot from species to species and it goes from the low and balloon habit of the citisus from nursery to the bush habit, erect and from the development up to 3 meters of the wild brooms. One of the most frequent uses of brooms is in rock gardens, where in addition to resisting without problems, they are also able to give a little substance and a little color with their bearing.
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The Cytisus scoparius is an easy plant to grow. They are planted in March – April, or October, using plants grown in pots, because if the roots are not wrapped by the bread of the ground the cytist can’t stand a transplant. The soil must be well drained, fertile and in full sun. The calcareous soils are ideal for brooms, but they are also well found in richer soils, the important thing is not to water excessively these plants because in the long run they can suffer from water stagnation.
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The species of cytist spread easily, sowing in pots or bowls during the period of April. The seedlings are repicked, one by one, in pots of about 10 cm which are buried in the open air. They are finally planted in October. If, however, we do not have time and desire to multiply the plants by seed, we can use other methods of multiplication using the agamic multiplication of the plants, for example by cutting.
The ideal time to do this is in May and June when we have to cut one or more branches from a broom plant, remove most of the leaves to leave only a few and then put the cuttings with the part of the branch inside a mixture of peat and sand. Every 3-4 days, when the soil is dry we should remember to water it and after a while of days the cuttings of coalmen’s broom will begin to emit its first roots.
Most species of Cytisus scoparius do not require regular pruning. When this is necessary it is advisable to do it after flowering, removing most of the branches of the previous year. The pruning of the broom must be done in a decisive manner and must be cut leaving approximately a quarter of the length of the branches that are present on the plant.
Pruning of the coalmen’s broom should be decided because they are plants that react very well to the cut and that if they are not pruned every year, end up over the years to no longer produce many flowers. For this reason it is good to remember every year, after the flowering and before the winter arrives, to prune the brooms of the garden.
Most common problems
Cytosus suffers from chlorosis which is manifested by the yellowing of the leaves.
Most common species
Also known as Cytisus multifloris, it grows wild in Spain, Portugal and North West Africa. It is a bushy species with a diameter and a height of about 2.5 meters. The leaves are of
grey-green colour, smaller the upper ones, large and trifoliate the lower ones. The flowers are white, about 2 cm long and bloom in
April or May.
Citiso, Ginestra dei carboneai – Cytisus scoparius: C. battandieri
Very common species in Morocco. High up to 5 meters, it is an impressive species with
large, silvery, clovered leaves. The flowers, golden yellow in colour, bloom in May or June and are grouped in erect or curved racemes.
It is one of the most sensitive species to the cold so we do not recommend growing in areas where the winter reaches particularly low temperatures.