Pruning Scotch Broom plants

Asked March 20, 2013, 12:33 PM EDT

We have several 7 year old Scotch Broom plants, they are attractive in the winter and beautiful when they bloom but, they are taking over the garden! They are now covering over smaller plants and pushing into pine trees that we pain much more for than we did for the Broom plants. We were going to trim them way down and in (around), but there will be nothing but a trunk and some thick branches. We most likely should have thought of trimming them into a shape when they were much smaller. Is there a good or reasonable answer or should they ultimately be removed? Thank you. Lorraine Carter

El Paso County Colorado

1 Response

Hello Lorraine,

While Scotch Broom is a very attractive plant, especially in bloom, it actually poses a potential threat to agricultural and riparian areas in Colorado and other Western states. Below is a link to a Planttalk script discussing invasive woody plants. It mentions Scotch Broom.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/2041.html

It is also a plant listed with the state of Colorado as being on the noxious weed watch list. If you check the link below, you will find an explanation of the noxious weed A, B, C lists, as well as the watch list. Scroll down to the bottom of this page where you will find Scotch Broom pictured in the second from the last row:

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/ag_Conservation/CBON/1251618874438

My suggestion to you is that you consider digging up these plants and replacing them with a type of shrub that will do well in your area and not take over your garden.

Here is some suggested reading for you:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07422.html

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07415.html

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07414.html

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07229.html

I hope this was helpful to you. Please contact us with any questions you may have about possible replacement shrubs.

Good luck!