Common name: Weeping Bottlebrush
Bloom time: Spring
Height: 0.5 m to 4 m
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Planting & Care
Bottlebrushes make excellent garden plants. Plants are all woody shrubs which range from 0.5 m to 4 m tall. The flowers can be spectacular and are irresistible to nectar-feeding birds and insects. Most species are frost tolerant. The popularity of bottlebrushes as garden plants commenced soon after European settlement and Crimson Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus ) was introduced to Britain by Joseph Banks in 1789.
Many species can tolerate (or thrive in) damp conditions, yet most are very hardy and will tolerate drought and limited maintenance. They grow well in a wide variety of soils, except those which are highly alkaline. Plants grown in full sun produce the best flowers. Plants can be lightly pruned after flowering to keep them in shape. A low-phosphorous fertiliser should be applied in spring and autumn. Mulching will help retain soil moisture and reduce weed growth.
Many cultivars have been selected from natural variants and hybrids between species. Some of these are very good garden plants.
Sunlight: Plant where it can receive full sun. While it will grow in areas with part shade, you run the risk of having less blossoms.
Soil: Bottlebrush does well on dry or wet soils.
Water: After planting, water them regularly, keeping the soil moist throughout the summer and early fall.
Fertilizer: Feed your Schizanthus about every two weeks with a balanced, 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer.
- Growing Butterfly Flowers from Seed - Schizanthus seeds tend to be very slow to germinate, so you may want to purchase bedding plants from your garden center.
- Butterfly Flower seeds can be started indoors twelve weeks before your last frost date.
- Do not cover the seeds with soil, but cover the tray with black plastic or keep it in a dark location until the seeds germinate in 20-25 days Keep the temperature within the growing medium at 60°-70°.
- Plant Butterfly Flowers in the garden, 12 inches apart in rich, well draining soil when all danger of frost has passed.
- Pruning Generally speaking, light pruning with the genus Callistemon refers to pruning into the new seasons wood , that is, not cutting back into the interior of the plant where there is little or no foliage.
- This can take the form of: Tip pruning undertaken as new growth appears (bearing in mind that the next lot of flowers are formed on the end of this growth after it has hardened and therefore you may be sacrificing some flowers if you do not do this early enough), or pruning just behind the flowers, as they are finishing, probably the preferred option unless prior to winter when subsequent new growth may be damaged by frost.
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