Real World Gardener Smaller Bottlebrushes are Plant of the Week

November 30th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with Editor Karen Smith

Bottlebrushes make excellent garden plants.

They vary in size from 0.5 m to 4 m tall. The flowers can be spectacular and are irresistible to nectar-feeding birds and insects and most species are frost tolerant.

Did you know that the popularity of bottlebrushes as garden plants stared soon after European settlement and that the Crimson Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus ) was introduced to Britain by Joseph Banks in 1789?

Some of these are very good garden plants. -

The ones mention are Callistemon 'Little John',

Callistemon "Better John "and Callistemon "Pink Champagne."

C Pink Champagne
Callistemon Better John


Many types of bottlebrush or Callistemon species can cope with (or thrive in) damp conditions, yet most are very hardy and will tolerate drought and limited maintenance.

They grow well in a wide variety of soils, except those which are very alkaline. Plants grown in full sun produce the best flowers.

Plants can be lightly pruned after flowering to keep them in shape or you can give them a hard prune and they’ll come back bushy and as good as new.

 A low-phosphorous fertiliser should be applied in spring and autumn. Mulching will help retain soil moisture and reduce weed growth.

Many cultivars have been selected from natural variants and hybrids between species.

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