The Q&A Archives: Sweet Broom Trauma

Question: I bought two sweet broom plants last year and have never been able to get them to flower again. Last year I noticed that catepillars were munching away on them and used an insectide to get rid of them. I sprayed them again a few weeks ago to get a jump start on the catepillars, but still no blooms. There are plenty of green leaves though. How can I make the plant bloom again?

Answer: Cytisus (sweet broom) requires full sunshine and dry soil to perform well. If your broom isn't getting adequate sunshine, or is getting too much water, bloom will be sparse. Move your plant to a sunnier spot and provide very little water this season. It should flower as soon as it adjusts to its new home.

Brooms are generally disease and insect pest free so I can't imagine what kind of caterpillars were feeding on the plant last year. It's usually not a good idea to spray insecticides on plants until you've positively identified the pest (caterpillars can be immature butterflies!).

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