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Callestemon or "bottle-brush": prune behind old flower-cones?

Skylark001Skylark001 Posts: 38
This callistemon bush looks as if it has never been pruned to maximise its bushiness (and its flowers).  I've taken the photo today. 

As soon as the flowers have dropped their red tassels I will be cutting behind them to maximise bushiness (and flowers next year).  But I am wondering if I should do the same behind the old flower-cones at the tips of many other branches which have not produced flowers this year. 

If I cut behind an old flower-cone will that cut cause 3 or 4 new shoots to sprout, as happens when you cut behind new flower-cones?



  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,910
    Go for it Skylark001
    If you prune back to the next node behind the old flower-cones , you shouldn't have any problems . Good idea to maximise the plants density as they have a habit of getting straggly .
    Good luck !!
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,201
    Agree with Paul B3. You can prune behind the previous year's seed-pods if you want. The issue is, if you don't do this the branches start to age and you end up with less branching with leaves and flowers just at the tips.

    If you want a more naturalistic look, you could prune back behind the woody seed pods for half of the stems and the remaining half only behind the new spent flowers. Then next year, prune the other remaining half back to the woody seed pods. That should create a more naturalistic shape. But, to create more of a bushy looking shrub, you should be pruning back straight after flowering.
  • Skylark001Skylark001 Posts: 38
    @Paul B3 and @Borderline, many thanks indeed for your assurances!  The bush really is a straggly mess at the moment.  I've seen callistemons of a different type which are naturally bushy and dense, but this one is really anarchic!  So I look forward to giving it a better shape and appearance.  Thanks.

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