How to Trim a Bottlebrush


If you have ever cleaned a baby’s bottle you will understand how aptly the bottlebrush (Callistemon) plant was named. With elongated, red, bristly flowers, the bottlebrush is a low-maintenance plant that loves hot weather. A native of Australia, bottlebrush, which can grow to a height of 15 feet, can be grown as a shrub or a tree in USDA zones 8a to 11. Trim your bottlebrush in the winter.

Step 1

Cut off old flowers and seed pods. Make the cut immediately behind them, according to the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Step 2

Prune away any wood that appears damaged.

Step 3

Take off all bottom branches that are growing closest to the trunk on the interior of the plant. Depending upon the size of the bottlebrush, you may have to go under the plant to get to this growth.

Step 4

Prune the bottlebrush into the desired shape, if growing it as a hedge.

Step 5

Remove the top one-third of overgrown bottlebrush plants. This will prompt the plant to grow bushier and produce more flowers next growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Bypass pruners or loppers


  • University of Florida: Callistemon Citrinus
  • Australian National Botanic Gardens: Callistemon (Bottlebrushes)

Who Can Help

  • Floridata: A Primer on Pruning
Keywords: trim a bottlebrush, trim bottlebrush plant, prune a bottlebrush

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.