Callistemon are commonly called ‘Bottlebrush Plants’. They make an excellent garden plant, with species ranging from 1/2m to 4m. Hardy and drought tolerant with flowers that attract birds.
The name “Bottlebrush” comes from the shape of the flowers (see picture right) which appear from late spring through to summer.
Available in a wide range of colours from white through to mauve and purple, including green flowering forms. Cultivation is easy in a sunny position with a well mulched soil.
These are a plant that work well in the garden border as a background plant. They can be planted as an informal hedge or used as feature plant. You can grow them in containers, especially the smaller growing types such as C. pinifolius and C.subulatus. The cultivar ‘Little John’ is one worth looking for.
Growing Conditions and Care
Callistomon will tolerate just about any condition except for shade. They do require good drainage but keep watered when establishing. Prune each year just below the old flowers to keep in shape.
In general callistemons do not require much fertilizer at all, in fact to much can inhibit flowering and just promote leaf growth. However in very poor soils use a low phosphorous fertiliser or specialist Australian native plant food, apply sparingly in spring and again in autumn. Mulch to prevent moisture loss, as the mulch breaks down it will provide sufficient nutrientsin most cases.
Cultivars and species
Callistemen viminalis is the ‘weeping bottlebrush’ and is perhaps one of the most widely grown species.
While others such as Callistemon citrinis and Callistemon salignus are also widely used. Callistemon citrinis ‘Kings Park Special’ is a cultivar that originated in Perth’s Kings Park a very vigorous Callistemon covered with lovely crimson brushes in spring and Callistemon ‘Little John’ being just some of hundreds of cultivars
You may also be interested in
- native ground cover plants
- australian native plants guide
Callistemon Plants are available for sale online from the following growers and nurseries
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."
Native grasses, sedges, rushes, lilies, wetland plants, ornamental grasses and grass trees. Contract growing. Cells, tubes and pots. Contemporary water wise garden solutions and revegetation specialists. Unique garden decor, pots and original sculptures. Delivery available. www.plantsandlandscapes.com.au
55 McDougal Rd Neerim South Victoria 3831 PH: (03) 56281507
Advanced ornamental trees and garden designs and concept plans. Direct to your property combined with specialist knowledge and outstanding service.
6 Cobrawonga Rd Cobram East VIC 3644
Plants propagated on site. Selling natives, popular non natives, roses & fruit trees. Seedlings, pots and advanced. Wholesale, retail & online. Monthly wholesale runs.