A low-growing shrub, the Spanish broom produces spikes of bright yellow flowers atop mounds of sparse green foliage. It flowers in spring and early summer, though some varieties bloom all summer long. In autumn the plant produces seed pods covered in attractive silvery hairs. It's drought-tolerant, which makes it a suitable addition to desert gardens and other low-water garden designs. Spanish broom requires minimal maintenance to remain healthy and attractive, though some basic care keeps it in its top form.
Plant Spanish broom in slightly sandy or rocky soil in an area that receives full sun. Avoid overly moist soils or those amended with organic matter, as Spanish broom prefers poorer soils.
Water young plants at planting and again when the soil dries out completely. Mature plants rarely require irrigation.
Prune Spanish broom in late fall or winter once the plant has gone dormant. Remove up to one-third of the largest and oldest interior branches, cutting them out at the base of the plant. Trim the rest of the branches lightly to maintain the shape of the broom.
Cut off the seed pods once mature or collect them once they begin to fall and dispose of them. Spanish broom readily self seeds and can take over the garden if the pods aren't collected.
Spanish broom can also be grown as an outdoor container plant. In containers, it does require once weekly watering to thrive.
In some areas, Spanish broom is considered an invasive plant and should not be grown. Check with your county extension office to verify before planting.