broom plant

Dying Broom Plant? (Troubleshoot 7 Common Problems!)

Broom plants mainly die due to root rot. Broom plants may also die if they get more fertilizer than required. Transplant shock also could Broom plant. Slugs and Snails eat the leaves of the Broom plant. Genista caterpillars also feed on Broom plant foliage.

Broom plants are biologically known as Cytisus. Scotch broom and Sweet broom are the two main types of this plant.

Many gardeners grow broom plants dearly. There are two varieties of this plant, one gives out red flowers and the other one yellow.

The main factors that influence the health of the broom plant are water and light. The plant also faces some problems when repotting isn’t done right.

When a shrub dies it is most probably caused by a root problem. Root problems may arise due to various reasons.

Symptoms of a Dying Broom PlantReason behind the Dying Broom Plant
Roots get rotten and Branch Dieback is seenRoot rot due to Overwatering.
Leaves turn yellow and wilt.
Browning is seen in leaf margins and tips.
In severe cases leaves drop off the plant.
Excess Fertilizer
Leaves drop or wilt. Sometimes yellowing of the leaves occurs. The plant becomes stunted.Transplant Shock
Broom Plant not floweringWhen the plant is pruned just before the flowering season. Broom plants fail to flower in dry, sandy soils.

Irregular holes in leavesCaterpillars eat a lot of leaves, damaging the host plant.
Holes in leaves and slimy trails on the plantSlugs and Snails feed on Broom plant leaves at night.

Root Rot in Broom Plant

Roots get rotten when the plant sits in waterlogged conditions for too long. Such a Broom plant experiences dieback, and in severe cases, the plant dies.

When there is too much water in the soil, roots can’t absorb sufficient oxygen. Waterlogged conditions pave an easy way for fungi to infect the plants easily.

How to Revive Rotten Roots in Broom Plant

  • Stop watering the plant for a while. It is advised to replant the plant in fresh soil with good drainage.
  • You need to water the affected roots. Cut off the brown, affected parts using sterilized scissors.


Overfeeding your plant with fertilizer can cause a lot of issues. Sometimes if you feed neighboring plants, the weed & feed mix may flow to the other plants. This may happen due to rain or uneven watering.

Do you feed your plants often? If yes, you may need to reduce feeding the plant.

When this happens a lot of fertilizer just sits near the plant. This is not good for the health of the plant.

Signs of Overfeeding

  • When a plant is overfed, the leaves will become yellow and wilt.
  • Browning is seen in leaf margins and tips.
  • Black, Brown, or rotting roots are seen.
  • The growth of the plant is deterred.
  • In severe cases leaves drop off the plant.

How to fix: The only thing you can do to an overfertilized plant is flush its soil with as much water as you can. This should help flush any excess fertilizer.


Broom plant shows dying signs when it doesn’t receive sufficient sunlight. Make sure your plant is not shaded by another garden tree/shrub.

Sunlight is essential for the growth of plants. Broom plants love sunlight. They ideally want a good amount of sunlight, be it morning or afternoon.

Do Brooms grow in shade?

Yes, broom plants can grow in partial shade. The plant prefers full sun but partial shade won’t harm the plant much.


Overwatering can cause Root rot in Broom plants. Underwatering can create drought conditions which can weaken the Broom plant too.

Water is the lifeline of living organisms. It impacts the growth and health of plants. You need to be very careful when watering your plants.

If the plant doesn’t get enough water, it’ll run into a lot of issues too. You can identify such issues early and if you act quickly you can prevent considerable damage.

I water my broom plant once a week with 2 inches of water. If the weather is cold, you can water the plant a little less.

Make a small pit around the broom plant and you’ll be able to know when you need to water the plant, based on soil moisture.

You can check the soil for moisture with your fingers. Water the plant only when the top inch of the soil is dry.


Transplant Shock can kill Broom plants. Broom plants might experience transplant shock when they fail to adjust to new conditions.

When the plant is planted first in the garden and then shifted to a pot, the roots take time to adjust. Sometimes they don’t get adjusted to the pot.

Such plants get pot-bound. The roots get the shape of the pot.

Signs: Plants that experience repotting shock may drop leaves or wilt. Sometimes yellowing of the leaves occurs. As the roots can’t absorb water and minerals efficiently the growth stops.

To prevent: You need to tease the roots before repotting. Cytisus likes to spread its roots. So, when repotting make sure to tease the roots and give them breathing room.

Why is my Broom not flowering?

Broom plant fails to flower when it’s pruned just before the flowering season. Broom plants fail to flower in dry, sandy soils.

Established plants bloom from March through June. Broom plant blossoms throughout the growing season.

Check the potting mix around the Broom plant. Is it dry and sandy? Broom plant needs moisture in the potting mix. Add cocopeat to the potting mix to make it suitable for the broom plant.

Broom plant needs plenty of sun to produce abundant blossoms. Move the plant to a bright location if it’s currently in the shade.


Slugs, Snails, and Caterpillars can infest Broom plants.

Slugs & Snails

Slugs and Snails can prove harmful to the broom plants. They eat away the leaves and multiply rapidly.

I had snails once. They were crawling everywhere in the branches. I took ’em out by hand and crushed them under my foot. It’s quite satisfying!

You need to get rid of snails/slugs as soon as possible because they stunt the plant’s growth.

How to fix: Throw some slug pellets in the soil where the affected plant stands.


Broom plants are quite often affected by Genista caterpillars. These pests are attracted by the aroma of the plant.

These caterpillars search for food and a place where they can develop further. In this process they have to eat a lot of leaves, damaging the host plant.

Caterpillars can be located easily upon inspection. You can spray insecticides if you want to.

If you want to get rid of them naturally, pick them up by hand, and then throw them away in a bucket of soap water.

Key Takeaways

You need to take good care of the plant and try to prevent most of these disorders/diseases.

Causes of Broom Plant Death: Broom plants commonly die due to root rot, overfeeding with fertilizer, transplant shock, and pest infestations by slugs, snails, and Genista caterpillars.

  1. Root Rot in Broom Plants: Root rot occurs when your Broom plant sits in waterlogged conditions for too long, leading to dieback and potential plant death. To fix this, stop watering for a while and replant in well-draining soil.
  2. Overfeeding: Excessive fertilizer can lead to issues like yellowing leaves, browning leaf margins, and root problems. Flushing the soil with water can help remedy overfeeding.
  3. Sunlight: Broom plants thrive in sunlight and can tolerate partial shade but should not be heavily shaded by other plants or trees.
  4. Watering: Overwatering and underwatering can both harm the plant. Watering should be done based on soil moisture, typically once a week with 2 inches of water.
  5. Transplant Shock: Broom plants may experience transplant shock when moving from the garden to a pot. Teasing the roots before repotting can help prevent this.
  6. Pest Infestations:
    • Slugs and Snails: These pests can eat the leaves and stunt the plant’s growth. Slug pellets can be used to control them.
    • Genista Caterpillars: These caterpillars are attracted to the plant’s aroma and can eat a lot of leaves. They can be removed by hand or with insecticides.