How to Prune a Bottlebrush Plant


The bottlebrush (Callistemon) is an Australian evergreen flowering plant and a member of the myrtle family. Generally grown as a shrub, some varieties, especially the weeping form, can be grown as trees. The plant blooms in large, red flowers that resemble the brush one uses to clean a baby's bottle. It is a relatively carefree plant and thrives in the heat. Bottlebrush is hardy to USDA zones 8a to 11.

Step 1

Remove old flowers and seed pods and any wood that appears damaged. Make the cut just behind the flowers or pods.

Step 2

Slide underneath the weeping bottlebrush and remove bottom branches that are closest to the trunk. Make the cut just above a leaf node or seed pod. Do not cut interior branches if the bottlebrush is being grown as a shrub.

Step 3

Rejuvinate an old or overgrown bottlebrush by removing the top one-third.

Step 4

Water the bottlebrush well (allow the water to puddle at the base of the plant) after pruning.

Things You'll Need

  • Bypass clippers or loppers


  • University of Florida: Callistemon citrinus
  • University of Florida: A Primer on Pruning
  • Australian National Botanic Gardens: Callistemon (Bottlebrushes)
Keywords: prune a bottlebrush, prune callistemon, trim bottlebrush plants

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.