Creeping Broom

By: C. Colston Burrell
Low-growing creeping broom can survive in poor soil, but needs full sun.

Creeping broom is a low-growing plant with bright yellow blooms from midspring to early summer. It makes an excellent ground cover in sunny spots.

Description of creeping broom: The rather sparse leaves of creeping broom are rounded and measure about 1/2 inch long. They are borne on intricately twisted grey-green branches. The yellow pealike flowers are quite long-lasting. Although the shrub rarely reaches more than 1 foot in height, it can spread up to 7 feet. Ease of care: Easy.


Growing creeping broom: This plant does perfectly well in poor, even sandy, soil and hot, dry conditions. It requires full sun. Since it dislikes transplanting, set it in its permanent home immediately after purchase.

Propagating creeping broom: By cuttings and layering.

Uses for creeping broom: This low-growing shrub makes a fine ground cover for drier parts of the rock garden. It also grows well near the seashore since it isn't bothered by salt spray and sandy conditions.

Creeping broom related species: There are several other species of broom well suited to the rock garden. Spanish broom (Genista hispanica) is taller-growing (up to 2 feet) and produces golden yellow flowers in late spring. In winter, although the leaves drop, its branches and heavy spines remain bright green. German broom (G. germanica) is similar to Spanish broom, but it has hairier stems and smaller, later-blooming flowers. Most other brooms are too tall for rock gardens.

Scientific name of creeping broom: Genista pilosa (Vancouver Gold)

Want more information? Visit the following articles:

  • Rock Garden Plants: Learn which flowers and plans work best in rock gardens.
  • Gardening: Want gardening basics – start here with our guide to gardening.
  • Rock Gardens: We answer all your questions about rock gardens.