Broom or Genista: Cytisus x racemosus

This broom is native to the Mediterranean and a member of the papilionaceous family (Fabaceae). C. x racemosus is a densely branched, evergreen shrub that can grow up to 2 m (6 ft 6 in) high in a container. The clusters of bright yellow flowers appear early in spring and are deliciously fragrant. They are followed by the characteristic leguminous pods. C. canarensis, C. maderensisancl C. monspessuhnusare popular container-grown species. They need plenty of light and regular watering in summer. Excessively dry conditions will lead to leaf drop while being waterlogged will lead to root rot. In addition the plant needs weekly applications of fertilizer. In winter, it must be placed in a light room at a temperature of 5-10° C (41-50° F). In order to encourage growth, pruning the plant vigorously after flowering is recommended. Plants are easily propagated from green cuttings taken from the soft tip of a stem in early summer. Watch out for aphids and spider mites.

Dracaena palm

Dracaena draco

The dracaena palm (Dracaenaceae), previously included in the agave-family, is native to the Canary Islands and Madagascar where it grows to a densely-branched tree 20 m (100 ft) high. It has a decorative, sturdy trunk and an attractive head of long, grey-green, lanceolate leaves. The whitish flowers that appear in summer are borne in dense clusters. Container-grown plants grow more slowly and take a while before reaching an impressive height. These succulents thrive in a sunny, warm position. Nevertheless, they do need regular watering in summer but they hate being waterlogged, excessive moisture leading to root rot. During the growing season the plant needs weekly applications of fertilizer. In winter they must be placed in light room where the temperature does not go below 10° C (50° F). A plant that has grown too large can be cut back and it will break out again later. New plants can be raised from seed in spring in a heated frame at a temperature of 20-25° C (68-77° F).



Echium is a member of the Boraginaceae family and is native to the Canary Islands. The shrub can grow up to 2 m (6 ft 6 in) high and has striking, compact spires of small red flowers. It is grown as a biennial, means that it forms a rosette of leaves the year it is sown and flowers the following year. The plant dies after fruiting. But it produces a lot of seeds from which new plants can be raised. It needs a sunny position but should be slightly protected from the midday sun. In summer it needs plenty of water but only from the bottom and not in the leaf rosette, or the plant will rot. Do not forget to apply generous weekly applications of fertilizer. It should over-winter in frost-free conditions with a temperature of up to 10° C (50° F). If the temperature is not cool enough, the plant will not flower the following year. Water sparingly in winter.

08. July 2014 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Broom or Genista: Cytisus x racemosus


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