The bottlebrush (Callistemon spp.) is native to the open plains and woodlands of Australia, but it's also a landscape favorite in South Florida and other tropical climates. Like its relative the paperbark melaleuca, this shrub has flower spikes shaped like bottlebrushes in shades of red, purple, green, white or yellow. It's an evergreen shrub, and it prefers well-drained, neutral to acidic soil in full sun. The bottlebrush is drought tolerant and prefers to be dry during the winter.
Find out your USDA hardiness zone. The hardiness zones are based on the average coldest temperature of a region. If you live in zones 9 to 11, you can grow the bottlebrush shrub outdoors year-round. If you live in colder climates, you'll need to grow the bottlebrush shrub in a pot that can be moved inside before the first frost occurs.
Choose which bottlebrush you want. There are 34 species in the genus, including Callistemon brachyandrus (smaller, red-flowered spikes), Callistemon formosus (weeping branches with yellow spikes), Callistemon subulatus (dwarf with red spikes) and Callistemon salignus (white papery bark with white or greenish spikes).
Decide how many shrubs you want. If you buy more than one, they will need to be spaced at least 3 to 6 feet apart, depending on the variety.
Purchase your bottlebrush shrub from a tropical nursery, if you live in a temperate area, or purchase online from a reputable nursery.