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Help with bottlebrush cuttings..

I took 2 cuttings from my Callistemon plant after flowering in June of this year. I potted them both and covered them with plastic bottle tops, one of which I put in my greenhouse and the other I left outside to see if it would fare any differently. The one I placed outside died within a week but the one in my greenhouse is still alive but remains unchanged, I.e. no new growth. Periodically I give the cutting a pull to see if it has rooted but have so far resisted the temptation to remove it from the soil for visual confirmation of root growth to avoid trauma to the plant, but I honestly can't tell either way whether it has rooted or not. I am still keeping the soil moist but not wet.

Am I wasting my time with this cutting? Should I check to see whether it has produced roots? Should I move it to an indoor windowsill before any inclement weather or frost? 

I also harvested some seed pods when I pruned it recently and will plant these out in the spring. I'd love for the cutting to survive and flourish if only as a matter of pride.

Any advice would be appreciated.




  • LynLyn Posts: 22,015
    I would keep it warm in the winter, you’ve got nothing to lose, it’s only a small pot. If it’s going to take you’ll see new growth in the Spring. As they are not always hardy I would keep it indoors.

    My daughter’s got a beauty in her garden but she’s much warmer in Cornwall than I am here. I know I couldn’t grow one here so have never tried the cuttings or seeds. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • So I brought it inside and kept the soil moist. As of last week it has new growth. I don't know if it's unusual for new growth to appear in November on such a fragile cutting but maybe it took that long for the roots to establish. Very happy.
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