How to Prune a Bottle Brush


Bottle brush, or bottlebrush, is a shrub from Australia that produces red blooms. The shrub gets its name from the cylindrical bloom that resembles a brush used for cleaning narrowed-necked bottles, like baby bottles. Bottle brush grows best in damp locations, but some varieties have shown to be drought-tolerant. The shrub, which can reach a height of 12 feet, prefers full sun. Bottle brush can be grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cold hardiness zones 9 to 11. Most pruning can be done after the shrub stops producing flowers for the season.

Step 1

Cut spent blooms close to the bloom.

Step 2

Cut branches deep inside the shrub, close to the trunk, to open it up. Make the cuts on an angle above a leaf node. Cut off varying amounts of each branch; for example, cut 1/3 off the top of one branch and 2/3 off the next branch for a more natural appearance. Cut the lower branch when you come to a fork.

Step 3

Cut stray branches that project out the sides or top of the shrub.

Step 4

Cut off broken branches as they occur. Make the cut 3 to 6 inches from the break and above a leaf node.

Step 5

Prune an overgrown bottle brush to the ground using loppers. This aggressive pruning can be completed anytime during the year.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruners
  • Loppers


  • Australian National Botanic Gardens: Callistemon (Bottlebrushes)
  • The Berkeley Daily Planet: The Bottlebrush Tree: Cheerful Aussie Ragamuffin
Keywords: bottle brush, prune shrubs, prune bottlebrush

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.