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Bottle Brush Shurbs


We purchased 3 - 3 foot high Bottle Brush plants from a garden centre in Febuary to use as a hedge,  

They did explain they were last years stock and they had been out side all over the winter but said they would be OK, they were in pots but we planted them out in a clay soil straight away as they were very pot bound.

The problem is that they don't seem to have grown at all, the top leaves are still reddish in colour and the bottom leaves are brown with some green leaves between,

They are alongside a south facing wall which gets full Sun, ?when we get any Sun all of the day.

We fed them with Growmore when we planted them out.

My question is should they have started to do something by now

Any advice would be welcome

The Actual name of the plants are - Callistemon Citrinus "Splendens"




  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    Hi Brian 6,

     Bottlebrush plants are not that hardy although I see from your coastal location the garden centre may have assumed they would fare better.

    My Callistemon is two years old now and got left outside in the border with a label that told me it was fully hardly. It then got snowed on and was left for dead until I dug it up and discovered it was still alive below ground, so I potted it up and it grew back that summer although not enough to flower. Leaving it in the pot for a second winter, it again looks dead possible due to me leaving it in a spare room for protection where it promptly dropped all its leaves again.

    So..there is hope yet for yours.It does take a bit of time for them to start showing new life although I'm not sure about the winters outside. My Dad had a lovely one in his garden for a number of years that wasn't too effected by winters but I don't know if some varieties are better than others or if we just have harsher winters now.

    I'm going to be overwintering mine in my unheated greenhouse next winter (when I buy one) in the hope that I might eventually see some top growth get further than new shoots.


    Be patient and good luck

  • XX Posts: 707

    HI Brian 6

    i live right on the north west coast of england and had a callistemon outside in a south facing border for about 8 years and it flowered its socks off every summer until we had a winter where temp went down to -17c which did kill it off.  It did tend to lose some of its leaves but always recovered.  I'd give it some time, we need some warmer weather.

  • Brian 6Brian 6 Posts: 2

    Hi, Thanks to both of you for your advice and suggestions, I will leave it for another couple of months to see what it does



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