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Can I hard prune a callistemon / bottlebrush plant?

I have recently moved to a new house which has a very large, overhanging callistemon bottlebrush plant in the garden. It overhangs so much that it probably takes up a 3mx3m area of garden and shades all the area underneath. It's clearly not been regularly pruned before following flowering as you can see lots of old seed heads. 

I would like to be able to hard prune it back to the trunk for it to grow back from there. I have never done this and was looking for some advice or experience in this? Will it survive? When is the best time of year to try?

Thank you!


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,889
    Can't advise you personally @gardeningalice, as it's a shrub I've never grown [many of them would struggle here]  but most shrubs can be cut back in their dormant season without too much problem. For evergreens, that's usually spring, or after flowering.  :)

     Here's a link which might give you more info

    I'm sure someone who grows them will also see this and be able to advise better than me  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    My daughter did this to one - cut it right back to a few inches on the two chances basis. It romped away. I can't remember what time of year she did it, I'm afraid.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,021
    I certainly wouldn't do it till the worst of the winter and early spring are over as any new growth will just get frazzled and the plant may die.    When it's done, make sure all the cuts/wounds are neat and clean and give it a good feed of rose or tomato feed to encourage strong new growth.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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