Pineapple Broom Cytisus battandieri

Description & features

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Product description

CYTISUS BATTANDIERI – Pineapple Broom

Characteristics

This Broom is from Morocco in the Atlas Mountains at 1,600m (5,000ft) and so despite its appearance as an exotic it is remarkably hardy in England.

In mild winters it is evergreen, holding onto its trifoliate, pubescent, silky grey-green foliage through the winter, though rather sparsely.  It can grow to 4m (12ft) though as it is of lax habit it can be better against a fence.

Its common name ‘Pineapple Tree’ comes from the pineapple scent of the large upright deep yellow pea-like flowers which appear in June, bearing a potent fragrance reminiscent of pineapples.

Where to grow

Best grown in well-drained soils in full sun and can be located in an open but not exposed situation.

Did you know?

Cytisus battandieri was named after the French pharmacist and botanist, Jules Aimé Battandier, an authority on Northwest African plants from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia
 


 

 

Features

Mature height
Very Small up to 5 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Open
Spreading
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Semi-Evergreen
Season of interest
Winter
Summer
Leaf
Silver/Blue
Foliage
Fine/Light leaf
Small leaves
Flower colour
Yellow
Flowering month
June
Scent
Scented Flowers
Other
Needs shelter
Uses
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
Suitable for Patio

Features

Mature height
Very Small up to 5 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Open
Spreading
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Semi-Evergreen
Season of interest
Winter
Summer
Leaf
Silver/Blue
Foliage
Fine/Light leaf
Small leaves
Flower colour
Yellow
Flowering month
June
Scent
Scented Flowers
Other
Needs shelter
Uses
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
Suitable for Patio

Aftercare

Pruning Cytisus battandieri

Cytisus battandieri does not respond well to hard pruning. It can be left to develop naturally, or alternatively, light annual pruning will keep this small tree in good shape.  The distinctive blooms are produced on new season’s growth, and so the shortening of flowering stems and the removal of old branches will increase space for growth of new shoots at the start of the next season.

What time of year should I prune? Prune in late summer, after flowering

 

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


Comments

By Roderick Tanguay on 12/04/2015

I was given this as a birthday present unfortunately I don’t have any room left in’t garden. I want to pot the plant, I have a large earthenware pot about three ft diameter to go on my patio. will i get away with it? and is there anything I have to look out for?

By Simon on 01/05/2015

Hello Roderick,

Cytisus can be grown in pots for a number of years, but ultimately would prefer to be in the ground. The main thing to be careful of is that they get enough water and feed once or twice a year.

By Catherine on 31/08/2015

My pineapple tree is thriving really well . Should it be pruned every year or just left alone? My son in law pruned it hard last year but although it is in full leaf there are no flowers.please settle the dispute between us as he says if he doesn’t prune it hard it will get out of hand!

By Simon on 02/09/2015

Dear Catherine,

The pineapple broom is fairly slow-growing, so there is no need to prune it every year apart from taking out old woody stems. If it is wall-trained, you can occasionally take out old branches and train young ones in their place. It flowers on the current season’s shoots, so prune it in summer, after flowering. Hope the flowers return next year!

By Heather Sales on 08/04/2016

My Cytisus battandieri has grown well and flowered every year for many years.
Recently it is looking very sorry for itself and I think it may have ‘silver leaf’ or a similar viral disease.
Is this likely and will it recover if I cut out any branches showing brown bits ?

By Simon on 18/05/2016

Hello Heather,

Sorry to hear your pineapple broom isn’t looking too good. They aren’t susceptible to silver leaf, but they can suffer from waterlogging. If you would like to email us a picture to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) we can take a look. I would cut out affected branches and perhaps give it a feed.

By Lorna on 30/05/2016

I have tried to take a cutting from my pineapple broom but have been unsuccessful. Have you any suggestion on how to do this? Would appreciate your help. Thank you.

By Elise Nash on 31/05/2016

I have a pineapple broom tree which has been a great success for about 15 years. Due to health issues I haven’t been so active in garden myself off and on last 3 years. Recently I noticed laburnum tree growing beside…..I thought….the Pineapple broom…..but in fact the growth is from the base of the trunk of the pineapple broom ! Is this possible? I googled your site to check species etc and look up other trees. But they don’t seem to be related ? I am assuming that if I let the laburnum grow it will take away from the pineapple , which I don’t wish to lose. At the moment the pineapple doesn’t look as if it will bloom as much this year as usual. Any ideas welcomed ! Thank you.

By Victoria on 31/05/2016

My wonderful Cytisus is approx 8 years old and flowers beautifully every year, however, it is growing at an angle - is there any way I can straighten it?

By Simon on 03/06/2016

Hello Elise,

This sounds quite strange! Laburnum and Pineapple broom leaves could be mistaken for each other, so I wonder whether this is what has happened? If you would like to send a photo to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) we can take a look.

By Trish on 08/07/2016

Hello, I have a pineapple broom, had it about 10 years, last year I noticed laburnum leaves and flowers coming off the back of the broom. Well this year the laburnum flowered again,  thought it might be to do with some grafting of the plant, I would have sent in a photo but the laburnum leaves and died back now.

Regards Trish

By Simon on 13/07/2016

Hello Trish,

Pineapple broom is sometimes grafted onto a Laburnum rootstock. You will probably want to cut out any Laburnum or it will overtake the Cytisus.

By Valerie on 10/09/2016

My Pineapple Broom is about 4/5 years old only one flower last year it is very healthy about   7feet high   I took about 18 inches of of the top of half the tree, new shoots are growing  on the pruned area I kept hoping they were flowers, but no flowers at all this year.

Its planted in the correct area , very lovey bush although it looks like a tree, it just keeps growing, should I leave it or cut it right back.

By Simon on 14/09/2016

Hello Valerie,

I would be patient with your pineapple broom and refrain from pruning until after flowering. Full sun and a nice sheltered spot are needed for flowers, but you do say it’s planted in the correct position. Beware of using high nitrogen feed near it, which could encourage leafy growth at the expense of flowers.

By Gillian Browne on 06/03/2017

I have a pineapple tree in a medium sized pot and have had for the last 3yrs..Last year I had bigger flowers which were nice.it is placed in full sun as I am south facing ..This year so far it’s not doing much at the moment despite all the rain we have had here.. do I start watering now for later or wait.thankyou.

By Simon on 08/03/2017

Hello Gillian,

It is very early in the year so I wouldn’t expect to see too much growth yet. Do check that the pot isn’t drying out, but you shouldn’t need to water too much just yet, maybe once a week depending on conditions.

By Anne on 30/03/2017

Hi,
I have three pineapple brooms, all have a lot of lower branches!
Can you please advise me when is the best time to cut off lower branches, in the hope they will grow taller.

By Simon on 31/03/2017

Hello Anne,

The best time to prune is after flowering, in late summer. Cytisus battandieri doesn’t like to be pruned hard, though, so be sparing with the cuts.  Removing old branches will make space for new flowering shoots in the following year, so concentrate on these.

By Jenny on 29/05/2017

My mum has an amazing pineapple tree covered in flowers. I would now like to get one, could you advise when is the best time of year to buy and plant out into the ground. Thank you.

By Simon on 02/06/2017

Hello Jenny,

You can plant container-grown trees at any time of year, but if you are planning on going away on holiday then it might be best to wait until you come back, as the tree will need watering a couple of times a week. If you are near the nursery, I’d recommend coming down to choose your own specimen.

By Diane Barlow on 30/05/2018

I acquired a pineapple tree approximately one year ago, it is presently just coming into flower and how beautiful it is too.
Coming off the main trunk, approximately 10 inches up from the ground are two branches coming off and they also have flowers coming through. Would I be safe to cut off these two lower branches to maintain the central trunk of the tree, this I would do after flowering if safe to do so?

By Simon on 21/06/2018

Hello Diane,

Yes you would be safe to remove the lower branches, and pruning in the summer after flowering is the best time to do it.

By Philip jones on 28/06/2018

Hi,I had a pineapple tree that is looking very sad it has gone very limp and all the leaves are turning brown is there anyway I can save it.

By Simon on 28/06/2018

Hello Philip,

Brown leaves could be a sign that your tree needs more water. Newly planted trees should typically be watered 2-3 days, but whilst temperatures remain high in the short term i would water it every day. You may find that it gets a little worse before it gets better, but will recover. If you would like to email us a picture to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) we can take a look.

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