Looking for a reliable, small, hardy tree or shrub with fragrant flowers? Then look no further than the Moroccan pineapple broom.
Pineapple Broom Tree Information
This tall shrub or small tree hails from Morocco. Moroccan pineapple broom plants (Cytisus battandieri syn. Argyrocytisus battandieri) were named after French pharmacist and botanist, Jules Aimé Battandier, who was an authority on North-West African plants. It was introduced to European horticulture in 1922.
For many years, the plant was grown in greenhouses, as it was thought to be less hardy than has been more recently shown. It is reliably hardy down to 0 degrees F. (-10° C.). It is best grown outdoors with shelter from cold winds and in full sun.
Pineapple broom makes an excellent wall shrub, with three parted silvery grey leaves producing yellow, erect, pea-shaped flowers in large upright cones having the scent of pineapple, hence the name. It has a rounded habit and can reach 15 feet (4 m.) in height and spread. This plant received its RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1984.
Pineapple Broom Plant Care
Moroccan pineapple broom plants are easily grown in light, sandy, or gritty, well-drained soils in full sun. As they originally come from the Atlas Mountains, they tolerate heat, drought, poor soil, and dry growing conditions. They prefer a south or west-facing aspect.
Cuttings can be taken in June or July but may prove difficult to grow. Propagation is best from seed, which is first soaked overnight and sown from September to May.
Pruning Moroccan Pineapple Trees
Renewal pruning helps maintain attractive form and vigorous growth. However, if Moroccan pineapple broom plants are pruned severely, they will develop straggly water sprouts. It is, therefore, best to plant it in a spot where you won’t need to control its height.
The tree’s natural habit is informal, and it may have multiple trunks. If you prefer a single trunk, train your plant from a young age, removing any suckers or sprouts that appear low on the main stem. If allowed to, the pineapple broom can have multiple, suckering stems and will start to resemble a large shrub instead of a small tree.
Note: Although broom plants produce attractive, sweet-pea like blooms, they have become highly invasive in many areas. It is important to check with your local extension office before adding the plant or its relatives to your landscape to see if allowable in your area.