General gardening topics

How to grow Laburnum trees

Last updated on May 17th, 2022

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Laburnum trees are known for their stunning yellow flowers and are also known as the ‘Golden Chain’ plant because of the draped flowers they produce, these look somewhat similar to Wisteria flowers. It’s no wonder that many people want to grow them. The two most popular types are Laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides) and the hybrid Laburnum x watereri ‘Vossii’, with the latter probably being the most popular of the two.

The good news is that while they flower for a very short period of time each year, they are very easy to grow and they propagate particularly quickly from seed. Although most people will probably prefer to buy an established tree from a nursery or garden centre that will likely flower the same year, or the following year depending on when you purchase one. Growing Laburnum from seeds takes around two and a half years before they can be planted outdoors, and even then, they will only be small whips when they are planted.

Important Note: The beautiful yellow flowers, seeds, pods, and all other parts of the tree are poisonous if ingested. It’s important that children do not eat any part of the Laburnum tree because it could result in a serious upset stomach.

Growing Laburnum trees

If you want to grow a Laburnum tree from seed it is best to start sowing the seeds between September and November. If you don’t want to wait this long you can always purchase a young Laburnum tree from a nursery or garden centre, as that will reach maturity much faster and will likely flower a lot sooner too.

Bare root trees can be cheaper to purchase, and potted trees can be planted any time of year

If you are planting a young tree or a sapling from a nursery it’s best to put them in their final growing position sometime between October and March. During this time you can also purchase a bare root tree when they are dormant for winter and often a little more affordable. You can also buy potted Laburnum trees in the summer and these can be planted at any time of the year.

They are not fussy about soil type

Regardless of the maturity level your Laburnum trees are when you plant them, they are not fussy about the soil in which they are grown. They can grow in light soil, well-drained soil, and even heavier clay soil as long as it doesn’t get waterlogged. They can also tolerate a range of pH levels, ranging from fairly acidic all the way down to alkaline. They will basically grow in any soil type as long as the soil is free-draining.

UK gardeners will benefit from the fact that most Laburnums are quite hardy so they will survive winter everywhere in the UK very well.

Plant in a sunny position with plenty of light

Laburnum anagyroides Medik

The only thing about which they are somewhat picky is sunlight. They need to receive lots of sun, and the more sun you give them, the better they will behave. Like most trees and shrubs if they don’t receive adequate sunlight they won’t necessarily die but you won’t be rewarded with the flowers for which they are admired, or it will likely reduce the number of flowers you will receive.

Learn how to plant a Laburnum tree in this guide where I have actually planted one in my own garden

Low maintenance once established but keep them well watered until they are established

If you plant them somewhere with full sunlight they won’t really require any attention once they are established. But early on, when they are young, you will need to give them extra water, especially during dry spells or when they are first planted. Other than this, they are a low-maintenance tree.

Nitrogen-fixing tree

No matter where you plant them, be advised that they are nitrogen fixers. This means they can actually take nitrogen from the air and leave it in the soil, something that can be very beneficial for any plants that you are choosing to grow nearby.

Training Laburnum Trees

Laburnum tree used to create and arch

Something interesting about Laburnum trees is that they can also be trained to grow into arches and tunnels, pleached arbours, or simply grown as a specimen trees, which is what most people choose to do in their garden.

They create dramatic displays with beautiful, yellow flowers. These flowers will appear between May and June contingent upon the variety you choose and they will draw to your garden many insects and pollinators too.

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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