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Feathery Cassia

Senna artemisioides

Don’t be fooled by appearances. Thanks to feathery cassia’s lacy needlelike foliage and branching structure, you may think this desert-friendly plant requires special care, but that’s hardly the case. It survives on just two deep irrigations or rains a year and thrives when watered about every other month. In fact, too much water is detrimental, changing the plant’s rounded, upright form to one that is floppy and lackluster. Plant this tough, deer-resistant shrub where the soil is dry and the plant receives full sun.

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Light:

Sun

Type:

Height:

3 to 8 feet

Width:

6 to 8 feet

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Problem Solvers:

Special Features:

Zones:

8-10

Propagation

Planting Feathery Cassia

Feathery cassia's peak bloom period is late winter through early spring when hundreds of tiny, fragrant blossoms add bright yellow color to the landscape. This Australian native looks particularly striking when planted in groups of three to five specimens. Use it as a foundation planting near a building where it will add color and interest throughout the year. Or call on it to anchor a wildlife habitat in a large planting of shrubs and perennials. Partner feathery cassia with other drought-resistant, heat-loving plants for a color- and texture-rich combination that welcomes wildlife. Great planting partners include woolly stemodia, sotol, prickly pear cactus, and gaura—a graceful plant loved by butterflies.

How to Care For Feathery Cassia

Feathery cassia grows best in full sun and fast-draining soil. Plant it in spring or fall, then water it well right away. Drought-tolerant once established, feathery cassia thrives when watered weekly during the summer, every two weeks in spring and fall, and monthly during winter. This shrub commonly turns yellow if overwatered. When in doubt, withhold water and allow the plant to be watered exclusively by rainfall.

Because this shrub bears thorns, it's not a good choice for landscapes that entertain active children. It also creates a lot of landscape litter when its papery seedpods fall, so plant it where they will not be a nuisance. Or plan on shearing the shrub when flowering is done to remove them. Avoid pruning in late summer, as flower buds begin forming in August.

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