How to Grow Caragana — Peashrub

Caragana yellow flowers in spring

Caragana — Peashrub–is grown for its bright green leaves and peas-like usually yellow but sometimes white or pink flowers. The flowers are followed by slender brown pods in autumn.

Caragana is a good choice for shrub borders and windbreaks. It tolerates cold, heat, wind, bright sun and is nearly indestructible in most situations. It grows best in humus-rich, well-drained soils but can thrive in poor, dry soils.

Caragana is a genus of 80 species of deciduous, often spiny shrubs or small trees native dry soils in exposed sites in Eastern Europe and China.


Get to Know Caragana 

  • Plant type: Deciduous shrubs or small trees 
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 2 to 8 depending on the variety
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 2
  • Height and width: 5 to 20 feet (1.5-4.6m) with a 6 to 12 foot (1.8-6.1m) spread 
  • Growth rate: Medium
  • Form and habit: Upright and upright
  • Foliage: Dense growth of stiff branches; bright green 1.5-3 inch (3.8-7.6cm) leaves that are divided into 8 to 12 leaflets that resemble feathers; the young twigs are yellow-green 
  • Flowers: Small clusters of fragrant, .8 inch (2cm) yellow pea-shaped flowers line the branches, to be followed in summer by small and slender pods 
  • Fruits: Slender brown pods to 2 inches (5cm) long in autumn
  • Bloom time: Late spring 
  • Uses: Hedges, cover for wildlife, and serves as an excellent windbreak; useful where choice is limited by cold, heat, wind, and bright sun 
  • Common name: Peashrub, Siberian pea tree 
  • Botanical name: Caragana 
  • Family name: Fabaceae 
  • Origin: Northern Asia 

Where to Plant Caragana 

  • Plant Caragana in full sun. 
  • Plant Caragana in almost any well-drained soil, but it does best in sandy soil.   
Foliage of Caragana arborescens
Foliage of Caragana arborescens

When to Plant Caragana 

  • Set container-grown Caragana in the garden in spring or autumn.
  • Sow seeds in spring or autumn.

Planting and Spacing Caragana 

  • For a Caragana hedge, plant 2- and 3-foot plants about 1.5-2 feet (.3-.6m) apart.  

How to Water and Feed Caragana 

  • Give Caragana moderate to little water. 
  • Feed Caragana with an all-purpose organic fertilizer in spring. 

How to Care for Caragana 

  • Prune Caragana’s previous season growth back about one third immediately after flowering.  
  • To produce dense growth, cut Caragana all the way down to the ground in early spring.  

Caragana Pests and Diseases 

  • Caragana is infrequently bothered by pests or diseases.
 Pea Shrub flowers, Caragana
Pea Shrub flowers, Caragana

Caragana Propagation 

  • Propagate Caragana from softwood cuttings of young growth taken in late spring or early summer, from semihard cuttings of more mature growth taken in mid- or late summer, or from hardwood cuttings of dormant leafless growth taken in late fall or winter.  
  • New Caragana plants can also be propagated from root cuttings.  
  • Sow seeds in container when they are ripe in autumn or in spring. 

Caragana Varieties to Grow 

  • Caragana arborescens, Siberian peashrub, fast-growing to 20 feet (6.1m), with 15 feet (4.6m) spread. Leaves to 3 inches (7.6cm) long, each with four to six pairs of leaflets.  
  • C. arborescens lorbergii, Lorberg’s pea tree, has threadlike leaflets that give it a misty appearance. Its flowers are larger than but not as abundant as those of the ordinary species.  
  • C. frutex, Russian peashrub, to 10 feet (3.1m); leaves have one or two pairs of 1 inch (2.5cm) leaflets.  

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