All about the bottlebrush
The bottlebrush (Callistemon) is an aptly named Australian native that is closely related to the paperbark or melaleuca, which we talked about back in December. It famously has a dense cylindrical flower spike that resembles a bottlebrush. Each flower produces a small woody fruit containing hundreds of tiny seeds that cluster along the stem. These seeds don’t necessarily release every year, and some species are stimulated to release them by fire.
Around forty species of this glorious native are found from the tropical north to the temperate south of the continental seaboard – plus there are two species to be found in New Caledonia. They tend to favour creek beds and flood plains for the damp conditions to be found in those environments.
Bottlebrushes for your garden
The bottlebrush makes an excellent addition to any garden. The beautiful flowers will attract nectar-feeding birds to your garden like bees to honey.
Shrubs grow from 0.5 to about 4 metres in height, a suitable size for many backyards, and many cultivars are available on the market.
This hardy native is easy to maintain, and it is almost impossible to go wrong with them. Although they like damp conditions they tolerate drought very well and are very low-maintenance. They will grow in almost any soil type except highly alkaline ones. Grow them in shade if you have no choice, but if you can plant them in full sun you will be rewarded with more copious flowers. Apply a low-phosphorous fertiliser in spring and autumn and mulch around the base to retain moisture reduce the growth of weeds.
Pruning your bottlebrush
For expert pruning services for your bottlebrush, contact us today.
A few pointers in the meantime: These shrubs benefit most from light pruning. That can be either pruning of new growth as it appears (although this might involve sacrificing flowers) or pruning just behind the flowers as they finish. Sometimes you can rejuvenate an older plant via basal pruning, that is, by removing all branches from ground level.
For expert arboricultural advice and all your tree and shrub pruning needs, contact the friendly team at AllRound Tree Services today.