The laburnum enchants with lush, bright yellow flowers that are a real eye-catcher in the garden. In addition, the laburnum, as the shrubby plant is also called, makes very little demands. Great beauty, an attractive effect on butterflies and little effort make the laburnum an enrichment – even for gardeners without green fingers. However, the Laburnum cannot be enjoyed completely without caution.

Choose the right location

The laburnum is a frugal, undemanding plant. It is accordingly easy to find a suitable location.

This should be sunny and let in a lot of heat. It can also grow in the shade, but then thrives much less and the flowers are only very small.
In addition to being in the sun, the laburnum needs a warm soil that is well permeable to water and moderately rich in nutrients. Drought and waterlogging are not good for the laburnum, even if it can withstand them for a while.

Since the laburnum can reach heights of six meters and more, the location must also be selected with foresight. The diameter is about half the height, so enough space is required here as well.

The ideal substrate
The preferred substrate of the golden rain is calcareous and rich in nutrients, plus humic but air-permeable.

Ordinary garden soil, with a slight amount of compost and loosened up by sand, is ideal. Since the Laburnum is very adaptable and has only minimal requirements, it can also thrive in other soils.

Laburnum as a container plant

The bush with abundant flowering is suitable for planting in the garden, as a container plant and even as a bonsai.

While it is hardy as a plant freely planted in the garden and is largely self-sufficient, it can make a little more demands in the tub. Regular watering and occasional fertilization are therefore necessary here. Just like a scrap that brings the laburnum to the desired size. The location still has to be sunny.

In addition, additional protection or installation in frost-free rooms is necessary in the cold season.

When to plant
the Laburnum can be planted in the garden in the spring after the first ground frost. This time turns out to be the better choice in most cases. Because if the warm season is still ahead, the laburnum can form roots much faster and anchor and take care of itself in the ground.

Alternatively, the shrub can also be planted out in autumn, usually by October. In this case, however, it is better to give the plants additional winter protection.


Laburnum needs a minimum of care. If the right location has been chosen, watering and fertilizing is only necessary when necessary.


The laburnum does not usually require additional watering outdoors. As always, exceptions confirm the rule. In long dry periods or if the shrub receives little rainwater in its location, it should definitely be watered.
The substrate must neither get too wet nor too cold. Completely dried out soil should also be avoided.

The correct pouring behavior at a glance

  • Water only when necessary, i.e. when the substrate has dried on
  • Use rainwater if possible
  • Alternatively, use stale or filtered rainwater
Tip: If the substrate dries out very often and can therefore only hold moisture to a very limited extent, it should be protected against evaporation. For example with a thick layer of bark mulch. Alternatively, a circle of stone slabs can be dug in, which directs the additional water directly into the root ball. A distribution in the surrounding soil is prevented.

Fertilize the laburnum properly

As a rule, the laburnum does not need any fertilization, not even during the flowering period. However, it can happen that the location does not provide enough nutrients and the laburnum cannot thrive properly. Likewise, the shrub can be weakened by diseases and pests and then require an additional helping of nutrients.

The fertilizer chosen should be rich in phosphate and potassium. A special fertilizer is ideal for laburnum, wisteria and large flowering plants. First of all, very dilute solutions must be used, because the golden rain is sensitive to over-fertilization.


The laburnum generally gets by without waste and is lush and full even without correction and shaping.

However, if branches are kinked, attacked by diseases or afflicted by pests, the affected parts must be removed. The best time for this is spring. In the event of infestation, however, it makes more sense to cut off the plant pieces immediately in order to effectively prevent or at least limit it from spreading.

Stimulate flower formation

Normally, laburnum show a lush bloom, which consists of hanging flower clusters. However, these are only available in summer. If you want to lengthen the flowering period and increase the splendor a bit, you should remove the dried out grapes. But of course only when these have faded. This procedure saves the shrub some nutrients and energy, which in turn can be put into the development of new flowers. However, some flowers should be allowed to remain on the shrub so that the bean pods and thus seeds required for propagation can arise. Otherwise, the seed heads will also be removed in the bloom-stimulating clippings.


Laburnum can be propagated via seeds, cuttings and grafting. Since the bean tree, as the laburnum is also called, is very frugal, it often reproduces without human intervention. After the seeds have been shed, the following year often shows numerous small plants that can simply be dug up and moved to the desired location.

Tip: While the propagation by seeds and cuttings is quite easy, the refinement requires a certain tact. In the following, therefore, only the first two variants will be discussed.

Propagation by means of seeds
Targeted propagation by means of seeds is similarly simple. Once the pods have dried out, they can be removed and the seeds loosened from them.The individual seeds are placed on potting soil and lightly covered. The normal room climate is sufficient as the germination temperature. For faster germination, the seeds can also be covered with foil and aired for a few minutes every day. From a plant height of 10cm, the shoots may be pricked out, i.e. isolated.

Propagation by cuttings
For propagation by cuttings, green or already lignified shoots with a length of about 15 cm are cut off. These are put into potting soil or placed in water containers. If they are grown in soil, regular watering is recommended. Persistent wetness or even waterlogging should be avoided.

If roots or new leaves appear, the propagation was successful.
If the young plants were grown indoors, they should not be planted out abruptly. Here it makes sense to initially leave the young shoots in the house or winter garden and only take them outside in the following spring – after the ground frost has ceased.

Safe wintering in the garden

The Laburnum does not normally require any special winter protection. Additional protection against frost only makes sense if the shrub was planted shortly before winter dormancy.
Roots, trunk and branches should then be isolated equally. For example, through brushwood, grass clippings, straw, bamboo mats and garden fleece.

Winter protection for potted plants
The laburnum is more susceptible to frost, drought and possibly also to waterlogging in pots . Therefore, it not only needs a little more care, but also protection in winter.

The easiest way is to move the shrub to a frost-free room where the laburnum can overwinter brightly but cool, for example in a cellar with windows or another room that is unheated but not too cold. The garage or an unheated winter garden are recommended for this.

If the laburnum cannot be brought into the house or apartment because there is no suitable space available or the shrub is already too big, it should be prepared outside frost-proof for freezing temperatures.

These include:

  • Wrapping with garden fleece
  • A protection of the root ball with bark mulch, straw, clippings
  • An additional wrapping in bamboo mats
  • The insulating use of sticks
  • The use of foil, with ventilation holes to prevent rot

Diseases and pests

With an ideal location and adequate care, the laburnum is not susceptible to parasites and diseases. However, galena, aphids and mites can spread on it. In these cases, affected or even dead parts of the plant should be removed with sufficient space. Natural means, such as the use of beneficial insects, are usually sufficient against pests. If these do not improve, insecticides should be used.
A fungicide should be used for galena and other fungal diseases. If this does not help, the plant should be destroyed to prevent it from spreading to other plants.

Tip: Due to the natural defenses and resistance of the golden rain, the best prevention against parasites and diseases is optimal care and the choice of the right location.

Is laburnum poisonous?

Yes. The laburnum contains numerous toxins in the flowers, leaves and seeds. These are harmful in small doses, and even fatal in larger amounts. And on animals and people. Therefore, the acquisition and planting should be carefully considered. If there are often small children or animals in the garden who could accidentally ingest and swallow parts of the golden rain, the risk of poisoning is very high.

The same applies if the Laburnum is close to playgrounds. So caution should be exercised here.

Note: If symptoms of poisoning occur, for example nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or symptoms of paralysis, a doctor should be consulted immediately and he should be informed about the presence of the plant.

Laburnum and insects

The laburnum has an effect of attracting insects. And that doesn’t only apply to colorful and harmless butterflies. Wasps and bees also like to hang around the blooming grapes.

Because of this, planting such a shrub should be well thought out. Especially when there are frequent people in the garden or in the immediate vicinity who react sensitively or even life-threatening to the bites of the insects mentioned.

What to do when the laburnum withers away?
Even with the optimal location and the right care, the laburnum can wither after a few years and die for no apparent reason. In these cases, at least if neither diseases nor pests can be determined, the bean tree has simply exhausted itself and exhausted its lifespan.

Usually this occurs after about 20 years. The shrub will then slowly wither, no longer develop flowers and also no longer bear any seeds. The only thing left for the owners to do is to replace the laburnum.

The laburnum is a plant that requires little care to develop its full beauty. However, this only applies if it is in the right location. However, due to their high toxicity and attraction to insects, planting in your own garden should only be done with caution.

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