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Bottlebrush pruning?

I have 2 bottlebrush trees that were pruned back last summer after flowering. I did not prune them back the year before though and am left with hard grey round pods. I think they detract from the look of the tree and wonder if I should cut them off and be left with a small tree, or simply leave them and hope they just fall off?


  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    edited March 2019
    The pods take several years to fall off.
    You are (I think ) supposed to prune it after it finishes flowering, that way you remove the pods.
    I know you can prune them hard in spring to rejuvenate them. But not sure if you lose the flowers for that year or not.

    Other than that no idea.
    I quite like the look of the pods, but understand why you would think otherwise :)
    Perhaps do half now and the rest later once it has flowered?
  • I will wait the time it takes for them to drop off as I love the flowers and think it is the perfect size right now for my garden. Thank you Ruby.  :)
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,926
    I pruned mine about a month ago because it is in the conservatory and I could no longer get past it. It has started to regrow more flowerbuds already and looks set to flower in the early summer.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    Yours do look nice.
    Hope someone will be able to give you more advice. I never kept ours, it didn't do well in our shady garden, so I didn't get more of a handle on growing them. They are supposed to flower on new wood, but I think lack of sun made ours sulk.
  • Cheers for the tips Pansy and Ruby, patience is the key but I just want Summer to come now.
  • I also have two Bottle Brush trees/shrubs growing outdoors and never know when to prune them either, although I would imagine that pruning now will deter them from flowering this year. The branches get longer and longer and the flowers fewer and fewer each year. Although having read Pansyface's comments I wonder if it would be worth taking the risk with one of them?
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 3,754
    The correct way to deal with this  bush is to tip prune about 1/3rd only of the shrub immediately after flowering...leaving the rest to itself...  tip prune, which as it says just prune off the tips, which is where the spent flower is... you should not prune it more vigorously unless it's getting in your way, and you should leave on those nutty bits until they fall off themselves, which can take some years...   they are characteristic of the shrub, so it's best to try and appreciate them I think, if possible...
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