How to grow Laburnum alpinum in the garden

We have before us a marvelous tree of the Fabacea  family  (legumes). Laburnum alpinum is a tree with a spectacular fall flowering, perfect to cover any corner of your garden.

In this guide we will teach you the main characteristics, cultivation and recommendations to keep it in perfect condition.

A highly resistant tree that allows it to adapt to all kinds of conditions and weather, as we will see in the recommendations and care.


Laburnum alpinum , commonly called alpine laburnum,  is not a well-known tree. In fact, you will not find much information on the net and only small references in encyclopedias and botanical books.

This deciduous tree (leaves fall off in winter) is striking due to the yellow cluster bloom that falls from its branches, much like wisteria that also bloom in spring.

Regarding sizes, some references classify  Laburnum alpinum  as a tree and others as a shrub, since it does not acquire a very large size and covers more surface in width than in length.

Its leaves are also characteristic, since they have a clover shape , with a dark green color. Its origin is dated from the Baltic countries, the Southern Alps, the Czech Republic and Yugoslavia, although today it can be found widely in countries such as Scotland.


  • Scientific name:  Laburnum alpinum
  • Common name:  alpine codex
  • Family:  Fabaceae
  • Origin:  Central and Southern Europe
  • Height:  3 to 6 meters
  • Suggested use: garden corner, tree or hedge by pruning

[alert style = »yellow»] Laburnum alpinum  is toxic in practically all parts of the tree. For this reason, it is recommended not to grow it if we have small children or pets. [/ alert]


We turn to the agronomic characteristics, an important reading to make the decision if it can be adapted to our garden.


When choosing the place, we have to have a soil that has good drainage characteristics , not being excessively clayey.

Those that have more than 1% organic matter are those that show greater root development and growth.

However, it is used, given its rusticity, to soils poor in humus and even stony soils.

It is important to maintain a constant, but light humidity. This, in terms of flow, we would speak of 3 weekly irrigations of 1 hour duration (and 2 drippers of 4 L / h) in the hottest months, and 1 weekly irrigation of 30 minutes or nothing (depending on rainfall) in winter.

Be very careful with excess irrigation or drainage problems, since  Laburnum alpinum  does not tolerate puddles.

It is important to guarantee a balance of humidity in the soil, something that is often offered by a silty or slightly clayey soil.

On sandy soils we will have to increase the frequency of irrigation and contribute less to each of them. In this way, we will guarantee constancy in the water supply and it is something that our L aburnum will thank us for.


The climatic conditions of the areas where Laburnum alpinum  grows  are complicated in winter, being a tree very resistant to cold when it does not have fresh parts (leaves, fruits, flowers or stems).

The area where it most develops is the one that has both summers and moderate winters, without excessive temperature variation.

It is moderately demanding to light conditions . Due to its size, it is possible that both palm trees and pine trees can shade it in the garden. This is possible only if that shade is during the middle of the day.

There will be no problem if we plant our  Laburnum alpinum  in an area of ​​our garden with full sun exposure.

Under these criteria, in a short time it will reach a size of several meters in height, since it is considered a fast growing species .


In spring, the flowering time of  Laburnum alpinum,  we can create a mulching of leaves and manure that guarantees to improve soil conditions and, in turn, homogenize the soil moisture.

It is not necessary to add inorganic fertilizers, but a 20-10-10 type mixture in spring, at a rate of 150-200 grams per tree, is advisable to promote flowering and growth.


Both for the size and for the characteristics of its flowering,  Laburnum alpinum  is indicated to grow it only in some of the edges of the garden or outside the house.

As we have said, its location can be in full sun or semi-shade.


Although it is not very characteristic and there is no accurate information on the pests and diseases that affect Laburnum , some references have been found.

In spring and, depending on the weather conditions, it can be affected by the fungus  Diplodia natalensis , known as  branch blight.

The chancre is a common disease, which can be corrected with input copper wounds or pruning cuts.

Among pests , it is common to see some aphids or mealybugs located between the leaves and young branches. They can be eliminated without major problems with broad-spectrum insecticides or ecological treatments based on oils or soaps.


Although it is not very common, from the pods (beware that they are poisonous!) The seeds can be extracted and the multiplication of  Laburnum alpinum can be carried out. 

It is not a complicated species to germinate through its seed and you will achieve it quickly and with a good% germination.

Follow the advice on the germination of plants that we give, as well as its subsequent transplant once it has acquired at least 15 cm in height.

In many cases, it is recommended to wait at least 1 until finally planting it in the garden.

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