Callistemon / Bottlebrush Care.
Growing bottle brush plants in the UK Bottle brush (Callistemon) is a genus of shrubs and small trees in the family Myrtaceae, native to Australia. The common name comes from the brush–like flowers these plants produce. Although bottle brush plants are not native to the UK, they can be grown in the UK with some care. In order to grow bottle brush plants in the UK, they must be planted in a sheltered position in full sun to light shade. The soil should be well–draining and slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. As bottle brush plants are native to warmer climates, they require protection from cold winter temperatures and should be covered with a layer of fleece or straw when temperatures drop below 0°C. To promote flower production, bottle brush plants should be regularly pruned back after flowering. During the growing season, they should also be watered regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Bottle brush plants require regular feeding with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Finally, watch out for pests and diseases such as scale insects, powdery mildew, and leaf spot.
Plant bottle-brush shrubs in a sunny location. The plants aren’t picky about the soil type as long as it is well-drained. If the soil is very poor and wet then enrich it with garden compost or well-rotted farm yard manure. Once established, bottle-brush plants tolerate drought and moderate salt spray.
Callistemon bottle-brush care consists of regular watering while the tree is young and annual fertilization until it matures with a high potash feed such as liquid tomato food. Water young plants weekly in the absence of rain, applying the water slowly to saturate the soil as deeply as possible. A layer of mulch over the root zone will slow the evaporation of water and help prevent weeds. Use a 2-inch layer of shredded hardwood or bark or a 3- to 4-inch layer of light mulch such as pine straw, hay or shredded leaves.
Fertilize bottle-brush shrubs for the first time in their second spring. A 2-inch layer of compost over the root zone makes an excellent fertilizer for bottle-brush. Pull back the mulch before spreading the compost.
Callistemon is not fully hardy and in hard cold winters will need some protection from a layer of horticultural fleece. Normally in the UK, this is in January and February
For advice on Pruning bottle brush Click Here