Information On Broom Shrubs: Controlling Broom Shrubs In The Landscape
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What Is A Broom Bush?
A broom bush is a type of evergreen shrub native to tropical regions such as Africa, Asia and Australia. They are commonly known as “sweet” bushes because they produce flowers that taste like honey. There are many species of these plants, but most of them grow only in moist areas such as under rocks and logs. Some varieties even bloom underwater!
How Can I Control My Broom Bush?
There are several ways to control your broom bush: You can dig it up, cut it down or just leave it alone.
Which Type Of Broom Plant Should I Choose?
You will need to choose which kind of broom plant best suits your needs. Generally speaking, the smaller the bush, the less vigorous it is and therefore easier to keep in check. However, if you want a bush that produces large quantities of flowers year after year, then larger bushes may be better suited for you.
Why Do My Broom Shrubs Have Yellow Leaves?
If your broom shrubs have yellow leaves, they may be getting too much sun or not enough water. Brooms are picky about where you put them. They don’t do well in hot, dry areas. If they are not getting enough water, the leaves will turn yellow and fall off.
How Do I Prune A Broom Bush?
Properly pruning a broom bush can be tricky since most of the time you want to leave the shrub alone. If you prune it at all, you should only do so right after flowering or in the springtime. You can prune it back hard since brooms grow back quickly.
What Are The Benefits Of Growing A Broom Plant?
Brooms are good shrubs for small gardens or even in large ones. They provide a lot of color and their flowers are highly attractive to bees and other types of pollinating insects. They tend to grow rather quickly, so they can be a great way to add privacy to your yard.
Information On Broom Shrubs: Controlling Broom Shrubs In The Landscape
Brooms are a type of shrub that can be found on every continent except Antarctica. There are several types of broom including the Spanish Broom, the French Broom and the Wire Vine.
The Spanish Broom is also known as a Genista which is a legume from the Fabaceae family. The legume contains an explosive puff ball of flowers that can be used as a type of firework when dry.
The Spanish Broom thrives most in semi-arid regions found in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It can grow to a maximum height of 3 meters with leaves that contain a glossy look to them.
The shrub flowers most in the month of February and will flower for about 1-2 months. The plant contains yellow flowers that have red filaments on the inside. The flowers are used as a food that is mixed with cereals and can also be dried and used as fire tinder. The Spanish Broom is also a good source of nutrition for grazing animals such as goats and cattle.
The broom shrub is a herbaceous evergreen plant that flowers several times during the year. The leaves are made up of small leaflets that are attached to a slender yellowish green stem.
The plant flowers in clusters and the petals can be any shade of yellow, red or pink. Broom plants are common in Africa, the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia. They are hardy and drought tolerant plants that grow to about 3 feet and thrive in dry and sandy conditions.
Broom plants can be propagated from seed or by cuttings. They grow quickly and spread rapidly so they should be planted at least three feet apart.
The shrubs have many uses aside from being an ornamental plant. The flowers produce a sweet nectar that can be collected and make a nice honey like substance. The flowers and stems contain a toxin that can be used as pest control and the leaves can be used as a fodder crop. The shrubs can also be used for erosion control and can help stabilize sand dunes.
On a more negative note, the broom plant can become an invasive species in some areas. In South Africa it has become a problem and needs to be controlled in certain areas to prevent it from taking over.
The shrub can spread quickly and take over fields and grazing land. The shrub can grow back even if it is cut down or burned so the only way to really get rid of it is to dig up the roots.
You can propagate broom plants from seed, root division or cuttings. Growing broom plants from seed is perhaps the most popular way to grow them.
Broom plants flower and go to seed quickly so you can get a new plant started in as little as two years. The seeds of the broom plant can be dried and stored for about five years before they lose their germination ability. Sow broom plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in a sandy soil that is kept evenly moist but not overly wet. Broom plants can grow in poor quality soils so they make a good choice for a wasteland reclamation project.
Broom plants also root well from cuttings which makes them easy to clone. Place cuttings in a rooting medium that is 50% peat moss and 50% sand.
Keep the cuttings damp but not saturated and place them in a shady area. Rooting should occur in about two to six weeks.
Broom plants grow readily from root division. Locate a healthy mother plant and carefully dig around it to expose the roots.
Use a garden spade or shovel to separate the roots and remove them from the parent plant. Replant the roots immediately, covering them with several inches of soil.
Broom plants can also be propagated by taking softwood cuttings in the springtime. Take 4 to 6 inch cuttings and plant them in sand.
Keep the cuttings damp and place them in a shady area. Once the cuttings develop a little root development, they can be transplanted.
Broom plants can also be propagated by tissue culture. This is a good method for propagating commercial crops of broom plants.
The plants are grown hydroponically and highly controlled environments.
Broom plants have a wide range of uses. The plants are grown commercially on a large scale in some areas but it is not common in America.
Broom plant extracts are used in medicines and ointments to treat things like skin wounds and other ailments. The flowers can be used in making wine and as a dye. Broom plant extract is also commonly used in the manufacturing of certain types of paint.
Broom Plant Growing Information
Broom plant is a much misunderstood and under appreciated plant. However, it is one of the most useful plants that you can have in your garden.
There are several different varieties of broom plants but they are all similar in their basic needs and care.
Broom plants like a sandy soil that drains well. They need full sun and cannot tolerate any shade.
Broom plants are fast growers and can reach up to 15 feet tall. They can grow much taller in optimum conditions. They produce thousands of small flowers that can range in color from a light green to purple. The flowers develop into a seedpod that looks similar to a miniature whisk broom which is where the common name for the plant comes from. Broom plants bloom only once and then die. They do re-seed readily and can become a bit of a thug if not kept in check.
Broom plants are very hardy and require virtually no care at all. If you are growing it for its practical uses then you need to harvest the plant regularly to ensure that it doesn’t go to seed.
You can cut the plant down to 6 inches above ground and it will resprout providing you do this when it isn’t blooming. The flowers and the seedpod are both useful and if you want the plant to re-seed just leave the seedpods on the plant when you harvest it.
Broom plants can also be grown for decorative purposes. In this case just let it go to seed and enjoy the blooms, seeds and plant itself.
It is a fast grower and will provide lots of foliage as well as some spectacular blooms if given adequate sunlight.
Broom Plant Uses
Broom plant is a very useful plant. The flowers, seedpods and even the foliage have many practical uses around the home, farm and garden.
The flowers can be used to make dyes for yarn and other fabrics. They can also be used to make ink or tonics.
The seedpods, which look like little brushes, can be used for cleaning and dusting delicate items. The stems, leaves and seedpods can all be used to make a whisk broom.
The flower petals can also be used in salads and other foods as a flavoring.
Broom Plant Toxicities
There are no known toxicities with broom plants or its uses.
Sources & references used in this article:
Getting a handle on broom by JW LeBlanc – University of California Agriculture and Natural …, 2001 – anrcatalog.ucanr.edu
Population structure of Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) and its invasion impacts on the resident plant community in the grasslands of Nilgiris, India by MP Srinivasan, K Shenoy, SK Gleeson – Current Science, 2007 – JSTOR
Scotch broom facilitates indigenous tree and shrub germination and establishment in dryland New Zealand by L Burrows, E Cieraad, N Head – New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 2015 – JSTOR
Sustainable, efficient livestock production with high biodiversity and good welfare for animals by DM Broom, FA Galindo… – Proceedings of the …, 2013 – royalsocietypublishing.org