Bottlebrush are evergreen flowering shrubs from Australia and consist of about 34 species of shrubs known as Callistemon. The name comes from cylindrical, brush-like flowers that actually resemble a bottlebrush.
Callistemon is available commercially in many colors. Most of the species are low growing shrubs that grow fast and attain a height of 4 to 4.5 meters. With regular pruning Callistemon can be used as dense hedges or screens in landscapes, gardens and lawns. Normally, Callistemon grow vigorously and should be pruned after flowering to encourage dense and bush growth.
Callistemon prefer well-drained and moderately rich soil in sunny locations. Generally, they would tolerate drought and flower profusely with just small quantity of annual feed. Protect it from cold spells (below 7° F). When grown indoors, Callistemon requires a sunny spot, regular fertilizer (good dose of potassium) and moderate water.
Flowering varies according to the species – white, green, cream, pink and most popularly red. If you are looking for a low maintenance flowering shrub for your garden, Callistemon could be the best choice for a nice flowery show throughout the spring and summer. Flowering is followed by seed capsules.
Callistemon/Bottlebrush can be grown from seeds as well as cuttings sown in spring. It can be a good candidate for a bonsai experiment too.