How to care for your Dwarf Bottlebrush, a few things to know.
So you want a nice shrub with red flowers to grace your entry or your backyard, I did too and although it is a little larger than where I put it, I decided to live with pruning so I could bring beautiful energy into my home. Using my Feng Shui knowledge I can tell you that having red at the entry to your home brings energy in, and since red is the color of reputation you will be amplifying your reputation and aiding your business.
Bottlebrush trees are a little much for me and most of my clients, they shed a lot, bring tons of bees (I love bees, don’t get me wrong just not an endless source) and they can get very shaggy looking if you don’t keep up on them regularly. I do however love the fact that they are bright and cheery, have that lovely pop of red, are evergreen, and best of all bring Hummingbirds (think more great energy) into a garden. The perfect solution – plant some Dwarf Bottlebrush Shrubs instead. Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’ is a wonderful addition to your plant palette, it is a native of Australia, so it does great here in Southern California. It doesn’t like long periods of extreme cold, but with protection or short bursts of cold it is fine. It loves the heat, and as you know we have plenty of it.
Little John is quite drought tolerant once established, and is a pretty slow grower so it is easy to maintain the size you want. With some wind and cold protection it should thrive in your garden. The literature says that it needs full sun, but I’m here to tell you that ½ a day is fine. I have mine in morning sun and it blooms like gangbusters.
Although it is a Dwarf variety, give it enough room to spread (3-5’) and it can grow to be about 3’ tall. If you need to keep it contained, prune on a regular basis so that you don’t shear off all the new buds (and hence blooms). You should pinch the tips from the stem to shape and be sure to clean out and thin the little branches near the trunk. (The little branches in this photo will be gone after I click “post”) Opening it up this way allows for air to circulate, and will keep the shrub happy. You can hedge the bottlebrush too – the foliage is pretty too, but remember the more you shear the fewer blooms you’ll have.
My Little John Bottlebrush has consistently bloomed twice a year since I’ve had it, once in the spring and then again in Autumn (although it is confusing August with Autumn this year). This shrub is a great mixed border plant, would look wonderful in a rock garden, great under your front windows (provided they are at least 3’ above the ground) and would make a great evergreen centerpiece for a container. The container would tend to keep it smaller than true size but I don’t think that is a bad thing at all.
There isn’t much you need to do, water it a few days a week, fertilize it every few months, trim it to shape and size and watch it bloom! Oh, and did I mention that Hummingbirds love it? (Yes, I know I did).
Let me help you create the garden paradise of your dreams, large or small, edible or ornamental – if you can dream it, we can create it. I love collaborating with my clients and I’d love to collaborate with you. You can call me at 661-917-3521 or visit my website and contact me there.