Callistemon or “bottle brush” is a shrub that is native to Australia. Callistemon plants produce the characteristic bottle brush flowers from early spring until late summer. There are many forms of Callistemon suitable for growing in UK gardens.

What is a Callistemon?

Callistemon are evergreen shrubs with aromatic narrow silvery green leaves that come in a range of sizes. The smallest will be around 1m tall and can be grown in patio pots while larger forms can grow to over 4m tall when mature. The bottle brush flowers range in colour from creamy white through yellow to pinks and most often reds.

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Where to plant Callistemon

Callistemon need a sunny spot with moist but well drained soil. Most forms will tolerate light frosts but avoid planting situations where they may be exposed to cold winds. In colder parts of the UK consider planting in a large pot that can be moved to a sheltered frost free spot over winter.

How to care for Callistemon?

Although Callistemon are drought tolerant when mature young plants and pot grown plants will need watering in dry spells. Pruning to shape plants is best carried out after flowering has finished. Adding Root Grow to the soil when planting will help get your Callistemon plants off to a good start.