The Bottlebrush gets its name from the plant’s bright red flower spikes, which are loved by hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators. The dense, evergreen foliage also provides shelter for birds. This large shrub can be trained as a tree and makes a nice screen or specimen plant. Although hardier than most Bottlebrushes, this species can be damaged in zone 8b during cold winters when temperatures dip into the teens, depending on placement in the landscape.
Mature Size: 10 – 15 feet tall and wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Plant Habit: Upright/Rounded
Ornamental Characteristics & Uses:
Foliage Color: Green
Flower Color: Red
Bloom Time: Spring – Fall (year-round in mild winter areas)
Attracts Wildlife: Flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees & other pollinators; dense foliage attracts birds for nesting
Uses: Hedge, Screen, Specimen, Espalier
Cold Hardiness Zone(s): 8b – 11
Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Needs: Low
Soil Tolerances: Very drought tolerant once established; requires well-drained soils
Soil pH: Slightly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline
General Care & Growing Tips:
Avoid planting in areas with high alkalinity or poorly-drained soils. Yellowing of the new leaves indicates an iron deficiency and can be corrected using iron sulfate or iron chelate. Otherwise, apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer each spring to maintain dark green foliage. Prune to shape as needed.
Root and crown rot diseases can be a problem if soil stays too moist. A twig gall caused by a fungus can disfigure the tree.
Gilman, E. F. and Watson, D. G. (1993). Callistemon citrinus: Red Bottlebrush. University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st110
Wichman, T., Knox, G., Gilman, E., Sandrock, D., Schutzman, B., Alvarez, E., Schoellhorn, R., and Larson, B. (2006). Florida-Friendly Plant List. Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Handbook. University of Florida.