This a versatile plant that will produce dark red bottle brush-like blooms during the spring and into early summer.  It is a drought-tolerant

The Bottlebrush Plant – Great Colorful Spring Brush

Last Updated on

Bottle Brush Plant (Callistemon spp.) This a versatile plant that will produce dark red bottle brush-like blooms during the spring and into early summer.  It is a drought-tolerant plant once it becomes established usually after its third season in the ground.  In colder regions, it will lose its foliage but will bounce back nicely once the weather heats up again.  In warmer climates, it is an evergreen.

A slow grower but will respond quickly if watered more often.  If you live in a region where below-freezing temperatures are common the leaves will tend to turn brown or a whitish color…sort of like what Oleanders do.  Temperatures that are consistently below 15° degrees Fahrenheit during the winter seasons are not recommended for the Bottlebrush Plant.

There are many species of this plant the one pictured here is the Lemon Bottlebrush.   Can be grown as a large shrub and if trimmed correctly can become a small tree.  Place it in a desert landscape scene or in more traditional landscapes.

The leaves will give off a citrus smell when crushed up.  The flower itself has no scent.

The Bottlebrush plant
The Lemon Bottlebrush Plant – Image by Marisa04 from Pixabay


Bottle Brush Plant
The Bottle Brush Plant in a pot. Click photo for larger image.


Bottle Brush as a Small Tree Below
Ashton 29 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Bottlebrush plant as a small tree
Ashton 29 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

Trimming the bottom springs and stems and it can become a small to medium-sized tree, especially in places where it rarely freezes. See photo above.

Little John Dwarf Bottlebrush

Red bottlebrush-like flowering spikes cover this dwarf evergreen shrub.  It will also bloom from mid-spring until early summer.  In warmer climates, it will bloom off and on throughout the year.  The foliage has thick blue-green leaves that produce a citrus scent when crushed.  Height size is about 3-4 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 – 11

Where to place this plant?

Plant it in full sun or in Xeriscape gardens as it is considered a water-wise plant.  Fertilize once in spring, summer and one more time during the fall season.


Problems with the Bottlebrush plant

These plants in the southwest are hardy but they are susceptible to twig gall and powdery mildew.  Both problems can be avoided by planting them in full sun and avoiding overspray from sprinkler watering systems.  Be sure your soil drains well.

Powdery mildew can be removed by spraying with a good fungicide at the first signs of any fungus.  Twig fall can be removed by trimming the infected twigs with pruning shears.  Yes, your Bottlebrush may look a little bare but it will regrow new stems and foliage.  Make sure to clean all pruning tools before re-using your tools on other plants.

The Chilean Mesquite tree is a good companion tree.
Shrubs for the Southwest. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tags: , , , , ,
Previous Post
Firecracker plant
Guzman's Greenhouse Posts Organic Gardening Outdoor Plants Perennials Xeriscaping

The Firecracker Plant – Care and planting

Next Post
Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito... from Pixabay
Guzman's Greenhouse Posts

The Wisteria Vine – Learn about this vine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.