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The genuine broom (Genista), also called Brambusch, is a plant genus within the legume family (Fabaceae). It is divided into about 90 subspecies and occurs throughout Europe, in North Africa and Western and Central Asia. But many species of gorse have already spread to other parts of the world as neophytes. In addition to the real broom, some other genera carry the trivial name "broom", such as the broom (Cytisus), the Spanish broom (Spartium junceum), the thorn gorse (Calicotome) and the gorse (Osmanthus). They are only very distantly related to the real broom.

Appearance and growth

Barks are mostly (semi) shrubs with deep taproots. Their rod-shaped, often spines or thorns bearing branches reach stature heights between half a and two meters. The Etna gorse (Genista aetnensis) is the only gorse species up to five meters high. Broom throws off their foliage early in the year. The leaves are undivided or dreizählig and sit alternately on the branch. The mostly yellow Ginsterblüten stand mostly on the branching grape together and show the typical butterfly bloom. They contain no nectar, but pollen that attracts bees and bumblebees. In autumn, elongated legumes form, which can contain up to 30 tiny seeds. These are widely used by a sling mechanism. Brooms are basically poisonous in all parts of plants.


Broom carries a great abundance of yellow butterfly flowers

Location and ground

As Mediterranean heather plants, brooms are frugal growths and thrive well in nutrient-poor, sunny and warm locations. The soil should be sandy and well drained. The sunnier the location, the richer the flowering abundance. In the shade, broom blooms little to no. Avoid waterlogging, because moist soil does not tolerate the plants.


When buying broom, it is recommended to buy potted plants. The bale protects the sensitive taproot until it is planted. Pick a planting hole that is deep enough for the entire tap root to fit in without kinking. A drainage of sand or grit ensures a good drainage. Heavy soils should be sprinkled with sand before planting. Use the plant as deep as it has been in the pot. The planting distance should be as large as half of the expected final height of the plants. After planting, the broom is well-infused, after which it needs no further watering. Once grown broom should not be transplanted.

care Tips

Ginster is an extremely undemanding plant that needs no fertilizer or extra watering. On the contrary: Fertilization stimulates leaf growth and has a negative effect on the flower abundance of the genuine broom. When planting gorse in the tub, make sure it is deep enough for the tap root and fill in drainage at the bottom for good drainage. In the pot, the broom must be watered regularly little.

Gull (Genista sagittalis)

Gull (Genista sagittalis)

To cut

Broom should only be cut when the branches are disturbed, frozen or spread too far. If the plant needs to be kept small, the broom should be carefully cut back about one-third after flowering. Avoid doing a cut in the old wood.

winter protection

Planted real broom is fully hardy and needs no separate protection. Container plants should, however, be packed and moved to the wall of the house, so that the potted bale does not freeze during severe frosts. Do not let the plant dry out completely even in winter.


Due to its drought tolerance, Ginster is wonderfully suited for greening gravel and rock gardens. Upright species are used for the planting of embankments and for the design of Mediterranean beds. Greater broom species such as the Dyer's Broom (Genista tinctoria) add color to the heather bed. The yellow dye of the Dyer Ginsters and the German Ginsters (Genista germanica) were formerly used for dyeing textiles. Also for perfumery and as herbs various gorse species are used.


Stone broom graces dry stone walls in sunny locations

Important species and varieties

Of the many gorse species, some find use as ornamental plants in our gardens. They are popular groundcover or small hedgerows. Groundcovering such as Stone-broom (Genista lydia) or Sand-broom (Genista pilosa) spreads quickly over dry-stone walls and rockeries. With up to 60 centimeters growth height rather low, upright growing species are, for example, wing gorse (Genista sagittalis) and German broom (Genista germanica). The distinctive globular gorse (Genista radiata) grows up to a meter higher and blooms from May to August.


Broom is propagated over its small seeds.Collect the ripe seed pods in August and either sow directly into the bed or store in a dry place and apply the next spring. Cuttings can also be cut in early autumn. However, the propagation of cuttings does not always succeed. To do this, remove at least 15 centimeters long, uncrushed twigs from the mother plant and put them in a mixture of sand and potting soil. Keep the substrate moist and cover the plants with a hood until they beat roots. Once the cuttings have rooted, they are transplanted directly into the bed. In soil-covering gorse species, the shoots lying on the ground root themselves.

Diseases and pests

Ginster is a very robust genus of plants. Their species are hardly affected by pests or diseases.

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