The bright yellow butterfly flowers of the pea bush are arranged in umbellate inflorescences and sit on long stalks. They appear from May to July. These flowers then develop into initially green and later reddish, narrow pods with a length of about 5 cm. The seeds, which look like peas and give the plant its name, ripen in the pods. When touched, the pods burst open with an audible cracking sound and eject the seeds.

location and soil

The pea bush usually makes no special demands on its care. It prefers a sunny to semi-shady location. Too shady locations impair flowering.

As far as the soil is concerned, this plant is very tolerant, it even tolerates salt very well. As a rule, any normal to slightly loamy garden soil is suitable. Above all, it should be permeable. In addition, it can be dry to fresh as well as acidic to alkaline and should not tend to waterlogging, because the pea bush may react to waterlogging with root rot. Light, sandy and calcareous soils are also tolerated.

watering and fertilizing

Adequate water supply is particularly important in sunny locations. Watering is done during the growing season, but only when the top layer of soil has dried well. However, the pea bush also tolerates longer periods of drought very well. Potted plants should be watered regularly.

  • fertilize only moderately
  • Always use natural fertilizers and no artificial fertilizers for fertilizing
  • In most cases, artificial fertilizers contain salts and chlorine.
  • Many plants do not tolerate this.
  • In the case of specimens cultivated in a bucket, the gift of a slow-release fertilizer is a good idea.


The pea bush is an interesting plant that is particularly suitable as a hedge plant, screen and windbreak, but also for a single position and can be propagated both by seed and by cuttings.

By sowing

This plant can be sown in spring. Before sowing, pour hot water over the seeds and after a minute cool the water down to a lukewarm temperature. Now soak the seeds in the water for 24 hours and let them swell. This measure is necessary to crack the hard seed coat and speed up germination.

After they have swelled, they are sown about 1 cm deep in appropriate seed containers or pots. A mineral-sandy substrate is suitable for this, as well as a mixture of perlite or sand and seed soil, but also commercial coconut potting soil.

The seed pots are then placed in a warm and bright place at temperatures not below 25 degrees and the substrate is kept constantly moist. It is beneficial for germination to provide additional soil warmth.

When the first 2-4 leaves have developed, the seedlings can be transplanted into small pots. You should be very careful not to damage the fine roots. It is advisable to continue cultivating the plants in pots until next year, as this makes them much easier to care for.

If the pots are well rooted, the young plants are transplanted into larger pots. The pea bush can then be planted outdoors next spring from March to April or in autumn from September to November.

Through cuttings

A good time to take cuttings from the pea bush is summer around the end of June. Half-lignified cuttings are best suited. These should be about 10-12 cm long and cut with a sharp knife. To minimize evaporation, you should then remove both the leaves and flowers from the cutting. Since not every cutting forms roots, it makes sense to always use several cuttings for the propagation of cuttings.

These are then placed in small pots in an appropriate substrate, which can consist of commercial potting soil or a mixture of commercial potting soil and gravel in equal parts. No matter what substrate you use, it should definitely be low in nutrients and well drained.

The substrate is then cast on well. For optimal temperature and humidity, it makes sense to cover the whole thing with foil. For example, depending on the size of the planter, you can bend one or two wires accordingly, place them over the cuttings or stick them in the ground or attach them to the side of the pot. The foil is then stretched over it and closed at the bottom of the pot, for example with a conventional rubber band.

The optimal ambient temperature is now between 20 and 30 degrees. The cuttings should not be placed in direct sunlight. From time to time the film has to be removed for a short time and the whole thing ventilated to avoid mold growth. If the roots grow out of the bottom of the pot, this shows that the cuttings have formed sufficient roots and they can be planted out.

To cut

The pea bush does not necessarily have to be cut. However, it can easily be pruned back for a more compact growth or to rejuvenate it.
Young shrubs can be pruned back in winter for bushier growth and better branching. Plants that have grown too large can be severely cut back in early spring or March to a height of around 50 cm. It is important to ensure that you always cut above the branches and not below.
Rejuvenation pruning is also possible for older trees between October and March. The pea bush should be cut back by a third three years in a row. It is important to cut evenly over the entire shrub and never just around the outside. The branches of the pea bush can be pruned back to an outward-facing bud.


  • The pea bush is very frost tolerant.
  • It can also spend the winter outdoors without hesitation.
  • Assuming he’s not in the bucket.
  • Winter protection is not required.
  • In contrast to specimens planted in the garden, potted plants should overwinter frost-free.
  • Cool temperatures between 0 and 5 degrees are required.
  • Due to the fact that this plant is deciduous, the winter quarters should be dark.
  • In winter, only water enough to ensure that the root ball does not dry out completely.


As a rule, the pea bush is not very susceptible to diseases and pests. Despite everything, under certain circumstances an infestation with the red pustule disease can occur. Red pustule disease is caused by the fungus of the same name that decomposes wood. The fruiting bodies can form on injured, dead and frost-damaged branches, with injuries or cuts in the wood serving as entry points. Accordingly, hedge plants are particularly at risk. Here it occurs mainly in spring or summer when the hedge is trimmed with hedge trimmers. Because of this, you should always use sharp cutting tools.

To combat infested plant material should be removed and disposed of. In order to prevent this fungus, it makes sense to use wound sealants, especially in the case of larger cuts and injuries to the plant. In addition, dry, diseased, frost-damaged and broken branches should always be cut back into healthy wood.


The pea bush is one of the plants that can also be cultivated as a bonsai. For this he needs a full sun location. It can also be left outside during the summer. In winter it should be bright at temperatures between 12 and 20 degrees.

In terms of design, almost all steep types are possible with the exception of a strictly upright form. During growth, it should always be watered when the substrate has dried well. In winter it is better to keep it dry.

The plant is fertilized during growth about every 2-3 weeks with a special bonsai fertilizer, whereby the fertilizer should not be applied to the dry substrate. In winter, young trees are pruned back and superfluous branches are removed. In summer, new shoots are regularly shortened.

With young trees, so-called wiring is not a problem, with older ones it is relatively difficult. Wiring is the technique used to shape a bonsai. The bonsai should be repotted about every 2-3 years in February/March.


The pea bush is slightly poisonous in all parts of the plant, but especially the narrow pods and the seeds, which are therefore not suitable for human consumption.


  • Caragana aborescens – common pea bush – The common pea bush reaches stature heights between 3 and 5 m and grows upright like a bush. The light yellow flowers of this deciduous shrub appear from May to June.
  • Caragana aborescens ‘Pendula’ – Hanging pea bush – The growth height of this variety, which is usually grafted on a standard tree, depends on the respective grafting height and is usually between 1 and 3 m. The loose clusters of pale yellow flowers appear in May.
  • Caragana aborescens ‘Walker’ – Hanging pea bush – This strongly overhanging variety also reaches heights of growth between 1 and 3 m and the yellow flowers also appear from May to June.

The deciduous pea bush is an interesting wild tree that impresses with its beautiful yellow butterfly flowers and, depending on the species, with its hanging growth habit. It hardly makes any demands on its care and is very well suited as a visual and wind protection and hedge planting as well as a slope reinforcement and for cultivation in tubs.

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