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Battle of the Bottle Brush
Native to Australia the Bottle Brush makes a striking shrub/tree if cared for correctly. As soon as you mention Australia when talking about plant life you immediately put this one to the way side if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, but wait, this shrub works, I literally have the living proof.
The photo is from my very own Bottle Brush, the genus Callistemon which belongs to the family Myrtaceae and is grown throughout Australia.
They love water, again if you live in Texas or other dry locations it needs some TLC, but if you do the right thing you will be rewarded. I put mine in the ground in May, nothing happened until August when I added some peat moss and watered the hell out of it, now it is full of spectacular red blooms and shows no signs of letting up.
OK so it can take the heat, very drought tolerant, It has taken 10 days of temperatures over a 100 degrees and shows no sign of fatigue, so what about the winter? This will be my concern and where the battle lines will be drawn, but my fears were layed to rest a couple of months ago when I removed a palm from a pool area, what was sitting next to to it, yes a Bottle Brush, which the owner assured me had been there for 5-6 years….so as far as Im concerned – game on!
The blooms will fascinate you, it looks incredibly like one of those fiber optic Christmas trees, the blooms look exactly like fiber optics, I was looking at them recently expecting the tips to change color at any moment.
Its a woody shrub that can get to tree form and top out at 15 feet. I planted mine close to the house for protection from freeze, if we have a sustained freeze I will have to bring out the Burlap. Image Source: Red bottlebrush flower (Callistemon citrinus)
I have great hope for this one, a little difficult to find, if you do snap it up!
Bottle Brush Features
Common Names: Bottle Brush
Scientific Name: Callistemon
Hardiness Zone: 8-11
Disease: Root and crown fungal disease, Twig galls and witches broom (fungal diseases), Chlorosis
Plant Type: Tree – Evergreen
Flower Color: red to pink
Plant Color: Green and woody
Bloom Time: late spring, early summer, second around of blooming in the fall.
Insects/Pests: Mites, effects the leaves
Growth Rate: average growth rate, will take several years to look its best
Water needs: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Light Needs: Full sun
Height Mature: 6 to 8 ft but can grow to over 11 ft in ideal conditions
Width Mature: 4 to 6 ft