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Bottlebrush Tree Facts

A small, evergreen, shrubby tree native to Australia, the bottlebrush tree (Callistemon citrinus) is widely grown in Florida and Southern California. In spring, the tree is covered in red flowers that resemble—you guessed it—bottle brushes.


A multi-stemmed tree, the bottlebrush tree grows to a height of 10 to 15 feet, with a similar spread. The crown is rounded on upright stems.


Bottlebrush trees prefer well-drained, sandy soil, but they will grow in clay or loam. Once established, bottlebrush trees are drought and salt tolerant.


Bottlebrush trees grow best in full sun, but they will tolerate light shade.


Flowers appear in spring and repeat in summer. Hummingbirds are attracted to the red, showy flowers.


A bottlebrush tree can be grown from seed. Capture seeds in a shallow box and store them until spring. Sew directly on the soil and do not cover.


In Zones 9 through 11, the bottlebrush tree is a useful landscaping plant. It is adaptable, neat and does not produce disruptive roots.

Grow A Bottlebrush Tree From A Cutting?

Bottlebrush trees grow best from semi-hardwood cuttings, which are gathered in mid- to late summer after the current seasons' growth has ripened but not fully hardened. Before gathering the bottlebrush tree cutting, fill a 5-inch-deep plastic pot with a thoroughly moistened mixture of half perlite and half peat moss. Set the pot in a shaded location along with a clean utility knife and a packet of rooting hormone so it is accessible when preparing the cutting. The cutting can be grown in its original pot for another few weeks before transplanting it into a 1-gallon pot filled with sandy, fast-draining potting soil. Transplant it into a sunny bed in spring of the following year. Bottlebrush trees require little care once established, but benefit greatly from weekly watering during their first summer, as well as a layer of mulch over their roots.

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