Plant of the Week: Bottlebrush

The bottlebrush plant is a must for gardeners looking to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

The botanical name is Callistemon Citrinus for the more popular Red Bottlebrush. Named for its distinctive flowers, this evergreen has bright red flower spikes that are reminiscent of a bottle washer. The multi trunk (or bush form) of bottlebrush is often sold as a shrub, but can grow as a tree up to 25 feet in height. With patience, it can even be trained as an espalier. The standard or tree form also can grow to 25 feet in height, however can be trimmed as need.

There is an upright species called “slim” bottlebrush and also another one that has a weeping form. The upright type can also make a nice screen or unclipped hedge. It doesn’t grow quite as large- more in the 6-8 foot height range. Finally there is also a dwarf form called “Little John” bottlebrush that grows to about 3-5’and makes a good foundation plant due to its slow growth nature.

Bottlebrush will thrive in full sun and can adapt to a variety of soils. It’s a very drought- and salt-tolerant plant.