How to grow laburnum

How to grow laburnum

Find out all you need to know about growing laburnum, in our detailed Grow guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December


Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December


Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do not Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do Prune in July

Do Prune in August

Do Prune in September

Do Prune in October

Do Prune in November

Do Prune in December

A laburnum tree in full flower is a rare sight these days, but the burst of golden yellow flowers in late spring and early summer is truly glorious. It looks its best trained over a pergola or archway, to show off its pendulous pea-like flower clusters. It does, however, have a dark side, as the seeds that follow the blooms are highly toxic (it’s recommended not to plant laburnum near children’s play areas). Traditionally laburnums were planted in larger gardens, but there are newer varieties that will suit smaller gardens and containers.


Where to grow laburnums

How to grow laburnum - where to grow laburnums
How to grow laburnum – where to grow laburnums

In its natural habitat, Laburnum grows on scrubland and hillsides, so it prefers well-drained soil and full sun in the garden.

How to plant laburnums

As with most trees, plant Laburnum in autumn. After planting, mulch the soil well-rotted manure or garden compost, to aid fertility, and stake firmly.

How to plant trees

How to propagate laburnums

How to grow laburnum - sowing laburnum seed
How to grow laburnum – sowing laburnum seed

Laburnums can be propagated by taking hardwood cuttings in late autumn and winter. You can also sow the seed in autumn.


Laburnums are relatively trouble-free, although can be prone to honey fungus. They may also suffer from black fly, leaf miners and powdery mildew.

How to care for laburnums

Laburnums flower on the new season’s growth, so prune between late summer and mid-winter. Free standing laburnums don’t need much pruning, other than standard maintenance for size, shape and health – remove any dead, diseased or crossing branches. However if you’re training your laburnum over an arch or pergola, you will need to trim and tie in the stems.


Great laburnum varieties to try

  • Laburnum anagyroides ‘Yellow Rocket’ – a new introduction with a narrow, upright habit which makes it ideal for smaller gardens.
  • Laburnum x watereri ‘Sunspire’ – a new variety, with medium height and a narrow habit, that would suit smaller gardens.
  • Laburnum x watereri ‘Vossii’ – this is the best known variety, a cross between the two species laburnums. It’s a fast-growing tree with dark green leaves, and very long flower racemes. It has been given the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit.
  • Laburnum alpinum ‘Pendulum’ – this is a weeping cultivar of the Scotch Laburnum. A smaller tree, it looks great as a stand-alone feature tree, and is a good choice for smaller gardens and containers.