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Care for callistemon grown as a standard

I rescued a half-dying callistemon standard from a garden centre earlier this year.  I brought it home, stuck it in a bucket of water and potted it on in a larger pot with ericaceous compost.  It is now thriving, has flowered, and has new shoots.  I really love it.  However, I cannot find any advice on the web on future care, when one has been cultivated/pruned as a standard.  I know they can grow to be quite big shrubs/trees, but I only have a patio, so no ground to transplant it to in the future.

How do I keep it as a standard please?  When and how should I prune it? Will it need a bigger pot in future?


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    It all depends on the size of your pot and the current growth. Generally, Callistemons will just keep growing longer and longer stems if you don't prune them, and each growth will be punctuated with the flowers that then age over a year to turn into hard capsules that are decorative and part of the look of the shrub.

    Eventually, your branches will start to have a weeping look. It all depends on the look you want and whether the top growth is able to remain stable depending on the pot size.

    You can prune back after flowering. If you want an informal look, don’t prune every single branch. Just select half to do and alternate next year the other half. That way you don’t lose flowering by accident, and the growth will look more naturalistic. Alternatively, you can prune back all but you will have a more shorter and lollipop look. Up to you.
  • mmsj496mmsj496 Posts: 70
    I potted it on into a tub approximately twice the size of the one it was in.  I think I will leave it a year to let it grow and 'bush out' and see what it looks like, before I do anything.  They are lovely shrubs and I am so pleased that I managed to rescue it.  Thanks for your advice Borderline.
  • I have been following the guidelines for this callistemon and it seems to be dying, the leaves are very dry but still green. It has quite a few flower buds on it still. What should I do. Help !!
  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,204
    Hi - I posted a query on this the 13th of May as I bought one as a shrub 18 months ago.  It's going well and I wanted to prune it into a standard.  I had a reply from @pansyface (thank you) and looking on google, it advises pruning the top if you don't want it go grow too high - after flowering.  I have now staked mine and tied two stems to it with the intent of cutting the other 2/3 stems  in Autumn.  Here is a photo.  Any "cutting" suggestions would be welcome.  There are 5 trunks.  I have tied the front two to a bamboo stake.  Thanks in advance.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

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