How to make a bottle brush tree?

Make These Adorable DIY Bottlebrush Trees

We love finding fun uses for everyday objects almost as much as we love Christmas. This DIY project, for example, transforms a utilitarian dryer vent brush into multiple mini trees.

To make a set of trees, all you need is the brush, some basic crafting tools, and tiny beads to serve as ornaments. Since there’s a good chance you already have most of the supplies on hand, this project is also affordable. Get started by gathering up the materials, queuing up some Christmas tunes, and getting in the holiday spirit!

10 Ways to Repurpose Christmas Gifts

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What You Need

  • Dryer vent brush
  • Tin snips
  • Scissors
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • Doll heads in various sizes
  • Clamp
  • Drill and drill bit
  • Tweezers
  • Rubber cement
  • Beads
  • Glitter

Step 1: Cut Brush to Size

Use tin snips to cut the dryer vent brush into 3-4 sections. The size of your sections depends on how big you want your finished trees to be. The smaller your trees, the more you can make from a single dryer vent brush.

More Easy Homemade Christmas Decor

Step 2: Shape Brush Sections

Trim the bristles on each cut section of the brush with scissors. Cut closely around the wire at one end to create the trunk. Then trim the bristles of of the remaining section to form a cone shape—wide at the bottom and narrow at the top.

Step 3: Create Top and Base

Heat up your hot glue gun. Place a small dab of glue on the top and base of the tree to prevent the bristles from falling out. As it dries, place a wood doll head in a clamp. Drill a hole the size of the tree’s wire trunk into the wood doll head. Hot glue the tree trunk into the hole.

Editor’s Tip: If you can’t find wood doll heads, you can also use wood beads as the base. However, you will need to saw off a portion to make one side flat. Wood cubes would also work as a base.

Step 4: Decorate the Tree

Use tweezers and rubber cement to attach small beads as ornaments to the tree. Let the glue dry, then brush the surface of the tree lightly with rubber cement. Sprinkle glitter over each tree.

More Cute Tabletop Trees

  • By Katie Bandurski

DIY: Paper Bottle Brush Trees (Yes! Made from Paper!)

This post is brought to you by Cricut Explore Air™ 2.

I’m a huge fan of the snowy, wintery setups I see this time of year. A little village on the entry table, or a happy tiny forest on a cake platter. Of course, they always feature bottle brush trees, and I got to thinking: could I make a bottle-brush style tree out of paper? So that I can choose the size, the color, and the shape? And I can make as many as I need? Well after some experimenting, the answer is: yes! We can all totally make Paper Bottle Brush Trees! And they are adorable!!

I’m so excited about this project! I’ve been working with Amy Christie on this for a few weeks. We tried circle shapes and square shapes. We messed with proportions and materials. We tried different colors and color palettes. And we LOVE where we landed. This project is perfect for your Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine. Each tree uses approximately 100 pieces of stacked paper in descending sizes — and your Cricut can cut those pieces so quickly and easily, you’ll whip these trees up in a snap!

Ready to make your own wintery centerpiece?

Before we jump into the how-to, I’m going to share a few photos to get your inspired, so you can think about colors that might work well for you, and consider how many you might want to make. At our Treehouse, traditional greens and snowy whites work best. But I’m also digging the vintage look of the faded pinks and creams. You could even make a rainbow assortment for a modern holiday look!

Can’t you just picture the collection of paper bottle brush trees you’ll make? You’ll add them to village scenes, railroad tables, and centerpieces — or even make them into ornaments.

And because of the Cricut, it’s so easy to make them, you can create dozens! And here’s where I should tell you how much I adore my new Cricut Explore Air 2. Five reasons I’m in love: 1) The color, the shape, the size. It’s a gorgeous machine. Every detail has been attended to. 2) You know it can cut, but it can also write. And score. (The scoring is a big feature. Scoring makes folding approximately one million times easier and is a huge help if you like crafting.) 3) And it does all of this twice as fast as the older machines! It’s a speedy tool. 4) The machines can cut over 100 materials! Chipboard, cork, vellum, leather, and on and on. 5) You can create and upload your own designs, or use the massive Cricut library of designs. The sky is the limit!

Let’s get cutting. Or at least, click buttons so the Cricut Explore Air™ 2 does the cutting for us. : )


– Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine
– Cricut cutting mat
– Cricut scraper tool (not essential but SUPER helpful)
– gradient star shapes*
– colored cardstock
– toothpicks or wooden skewers
– hot glue
– scissors

*We feel like the star shape we used (seen below) ended up making the most authentic looking trees. However, they can be made with simple circles or scalloped circles as well. It’s fun to try lots of options!

Working in the Cricut Design Space™, find a star shape and create gradient sizes. We made 11 sizes. The largest size is 1 5/8″. We decreased the size by 1/8″ for each shape, finishing with 3/8″.

To make the hole in the center, find a plain circle, make it 3/8″ in size and layer it atop the star shape. With both the star layer and circle layer highlighted, click slice and a center should be punched out.

To make the trees pictured, we cut 14 pieces of each size.

Press cut and watch it work! We found it extra efficient to use two cutting mats, that way, while you scrape shapes off one, the other can be in the machine.

While the Cricut Explore is cutting, snag a small square of paper, a tooth pick or skewer and the hot glue. Place a small dot of glue in the center of the small square of paper — 1″ x 1″ is plenty big — and swirl the toothpick in it before setting it perpendicular in the center. Hold it until the glue solidifies. This will be the base of the tree.

As the shapes get cut, organize them by size and then start stacking, biggest to smallest. For shorter trees, either use less of each size or leave off the larger sizes altogether. For larger trees, you can cut incrementally larger sizes and use them as the base.

The tree is fully stacked!

To finish it, press the paper stack down the toothpick and add a drop of hot glue to the top. Slowly release the paper stack into the glue. The drop shouldn’t be too big but it needs to be big enough to fill the hole in the paper so when it dries, the paper can’t go anywhere.

We added another tiny drop of glue and topped the tree with one of the circles leftover from the cutting mat. This is mentioned above but worth repeating. To get varying sizes:

– use less of each size of paper ring. Less will create a shorter, stubbier tree.

– leave off some of the larger paper rings. This will create a short, tinier tree.

– cut more of each paper ring size to make a taller tree.

– create additional paper ring sizes (step up by 1/8″) for an even taller tree.

And that’s it! Now I’d love to hear what you think. Do you love the look of the paper bottle brush trees as much as I do? How have you used them in your holiday decorating? If you make these, what sort of color palette will you choose? (Also, send photos if you make some!)

Interested in getting a Cricut for yourself? I recommend the Cricut Explore Air™ Machine + EVERYTHING Starter Set. You get the gorgeous machine, plus all the tools and materials that will be most helpful. And it makes a really good gift!

Happy holiday decorating!

P.S. — Another holiday Cricut project.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Credits: Images and styling by Amy Christie.

How to Dye Bottlebrush Trees

What’s not to love about Bottlebrush trees? They are sweet, come in all sorts of colors and sizes, and look great in just about every setting! The downside is, they tend to be a little pricey and you can’t always find the exact palette you want. So of course, the only option we were left with was to dye our own! And you know what? It’s incredibly easy! We are already making plans for more. All you need are some natural sisal trees, which we found online, and basic liquid or powder dyes. We chose a jewel tone palette for this round, but I’m already dreaming up a pastel wonderland to try next. I love how these look sitting atop a mantel or in big glass cloches to look like oversized snowglobes.

Take a look at how to dye your own Bottlebrush Trees


  • We used this pack of Natural Sisal Trees which is a great buy! Check out 6-inch trees for slightly larger versions.
  • Wide mouth glass jars
  • Fabric Dyes, we used RIY Liquid Dyes
  • Plastic gloves or metal tongs
  • Paper Towels


  • To create an ombre-look, dip into one color until desired shade is reached, then dip halfway into another color for a few minutes.
  • To create custom colors, mix dyes together. We mixed yellow and green to create a chartreuse.


  1. Fill each glass with enough hot water to cover your trees when immersed.
  2. Then pour your dye into the glass and stir until incorporated. We used about 1 Tablespoon liquid dye in each jar. Leave one jar with clean water.
  3. Dip each tree into your desired color with tongs, or put on plastic gloves and use your hands. Place the tree upside down, so the wooden base is at the top of the water.
  4. The amount of time you leave the tree in the dye will affect the intensity of the color. Some we kept in for 2 minutes, others for 10. Just take out each tree to check on the progress, and resubmerge if you think it needs more time.
  5. Take out each tree just before they’re the desired shade, as they’ll get slightly darker after you take them out.
  6. Once you remove from the dye, place in the jar of plain water for about a minute.
  7. Remove from the water and let dry on a paper towel, or use a hairdryer for a quicker process.

Photography by Jane Merritt

Growing Bottlebrush Plants – Learn About Callistemon Bottlebrush Care

Bottlebrush plants (Callistemon spp.) get their name from the spikes of flowers that bloom at the ends of the stems, bearing a strong resemblance to a bottle brush. Grow them as shrubs or small trees that grow up to 15 feet. Most bottlebrush varieties bloom over a long summer season in shades of red or crimson. One exception is C. sieberi, which has light yellow flower spikes.

Bottlebrush plants need a very mild climate. If you live in an area cooler than USDA plant hardiness zones 8b through 11, grow bottlebrush in pots that you can move to a protected area for winter. Use a rich, peaty potting soil with a few handfuls of sand added to improve the drainage. If pruned hard every year, the plants will grow in pots as small as 6 to 8 inches in diameter. If you plan to let the shrub grow, you’ll need a large tub.

How to Grow a Bottlebrush

Outdoors, plant bottlebrush 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, enrich with compost at planting time. Once established, bottlebrush plants tolerate drought and moderate salt spray.

Callistemon bottlebrush care consists of regular watering while the tree is young and annual fertilization until it matures. Water young trees 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 bottlebrush shrubs for the first time in their second spring. A 2-inch layer of compost over the root zone makes an excellent fertilizer for bottlebrush. Pull back the mulch before spreading the compost. If you prefer to use a chemical fertilizer, follow the instructions on the label.

Bottlebrush plant pruning is minimal. You can grow it as a shrub with several trunks or prune it back to a single trunk to grow it as a small tree. If you grow it as a tree, the drooping lower branches may need cutting back to allow for pedestrian traffic and lawn maintenance. The plant produces suckers that should be removed as soon as possible.

The bottlebrush tree, despite its name, is actually a shrub. It is most often grown as a large shrub or shaped into a small tree with particular pruning. The common name of bottlebrush refers to the plant’s blooms, which are a spiked flower sitting at the very end of a stem, looking remarkably like a brush used to clean bottles or jars. They can be quite large, reaching up to 12 inches long in some species. Made up of many individual blossoms, these flowers are typically produced in various shades of red, and are a good way to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other wildlife.

Bottlebrush Tree Overview

Quick Facts

Origin Australia
Scientific Name Callistemon
Family Myrtaceae
Type Evergreen shrub
Common Names Bottlebrush tree, crimson bottlebrush, red bottlebrush, green bottlebrush, yellow bottlebrush, bottlebrush plant, bottlebrush shrub, weeping bottlebrush
Ideal Temperature 50- 90° F
Light Full sun
Watering Moderate
Humidity Moderate

Caring for Your Bottlebrush Tree


This plant should be moderately watered when it is young, though it will become drought-tolerant once it is established (Australian National Botanic Gardens). In spring and summer, you should water the plant once a week if it hasn’t recently rained, showering the plant slowly to give the water a chance to be full absorbed deep into the soil.

Layering mulch over the soil will help with water-retention, reducing the amount of water that evaporates, leaving the soil in a more moist condition. As with any plant, be careful not to over water in order to prevent root rot. Root rot is usually fatal for bottlebrush trees and cannot be remedied. Your best protection against root rot is prevention, ensuring you don’t provide the plant with more water than it needs. This is especially important if you grow your bottlebrush tree in a container, as the soil will hold onto the water due to it having less opportunity to drain than ground soil.

This plant is not especially fussy when it comes to soil and will happily grow in any type of well-draining soil. You can always add builders sand to your soil mix to help it drain better and reduce the chances of root rot occurring.


As a native of Australia, this plant likes to be kept warm. In mild climates, it can live all year round, though if you live in an environment where winters are cold, then you will need to grow the bottlebrush tree in a container so that it can be moved inside during chilly months.


The bottlebrush tree thrives in full sun and needs plenty of direct sunlight to produce the striking brush-like flowers

The bottlebrush tree thrives in full sun and needs plenty of direct sunlight to produce the striking brush-like flowers. If you are planting this tree directly into the ground in your garden, ensure it is in an area that will get at least six hours of sun a day. Watch out for neighboring plants which might grow bigger than the bottlebrush tree, resulting in it being put in the shade by the bigger plant.

For encroaching plants, cut them back to enable the bottlebrush tree to have full access to daylight, or dig up your bottlebrush tree and replant it in a more suitable location. Bottlebrush trees in containers will need to be positioned in a sunny spot and can be moved around if necessary to give them the best chance of good health and flower production.


The bottlebrush tree only requires a light pruning. The time of year you prune this plant will directly affect its ability to flower, with continual pruning often leading to a lack of blooms the following year. The basic rules are that pruning for size or shape should be done in early spring while pruning for health and maintenance should be done in both early spring and late summer.

Bottlebrush trees can typically grow to around 15 feet in height, but if this isn’t ideal for your space, then you can trim it back each year and maintain an appropriate height. If aggressively pruned each year, you can keep the bottlebrush tree at a very compact size in an 8-inch sized pot. Although the plant is actually a shrub, some people like to prune it into the style of a tree, with long stems in place of the trunk, and an umbrella-shaped upper section forming the leafy part of the tree. This sort of pruning should take place annually in early spring before any flower buds form, as this will prevent interference with flower production.

To prune back the plant, whether it be to shape it specifically or to cut back its size, you should make your cuts on each branch just above a node. Bottlebrush trees, when done correctly, respond well to pruning. As with most shrubs, a light pruning of the stems diverts the plant’s energy into flower production, so cutting your plant back will be beneficial if you enjoy the bottlebrush tree in bloom.

Pruning for the plant’s health should be addressed twice a year, both in early spring and late summer. If flowers are still in bloom, you should delay pruning the plant, only going ahead once flowers have faded to prevent problems with growth in the future. Cut back any dead or damaged stems, and look for any inner stems which have gone brown. Brown stems on the interior of the plant are a result of lack of sunlight. To resolve this problem, you should lightly thin out the plant to enable the sun to reach more of the inner branches.


This plant will benefit from a monthly feeding during warmer months of a fertilizer high in phosphorus. This will help the plant to produce an abundance of flowers. If you find your bottlebrush tree is struggling with flower production despite you getting all of the caring conditions seemingly just right, it could be down to using the wrong fertilizer.

Different nutrients in fertilizer have different uses. Phosphorus aids in flower development, while nitrogen encourages foliage growth. If you use a fertilizer that has a high percentage of nitrogen, then your plant will become very leafy, and this is often at the detriment to flower production. Ensure your fertilizer is either a general-purpose fertilizer with equal parts of the three main plant nutrients or one that has a higher proportion of phosphorus.

The method you use to fertilize the bottlebrush tree is personal preference and will not affect the health of the plant, providing you follow the instructions on the packaging. Many people opt for granular fertilizers for outdoor plants growing directly in the soil, while liquid fertilizer is better suited to container plants.

The bottlebrush tree is susceptible to fertilizer burn, which can cause leaf discoloration, so if you are new to using fertilizer or are unsure of the amounts to use, err on the side of caution and use less than you think necessary. A lack of fertilizer will cause less damage than using too much.

Do not fertilize this plant in the colder months as it will not be growing and therefore not need the extra nutrients.


If you want to propagate your bottlebrush tree, you can do so from seeds or from stem cuttings (Royal Horticultural Society). Both options are easy and very rewarding to do.

To collect seeds from your bottlebrush, you will need to locate the woody fruit produced by each blossom on the plant. You will be able to find these small fruits growing along the flower stems in clusters. Remove them from your plant, unopened, and store them in a cool, dry place inside a paper bag. Then, wait for the fruits to open, revealing hundreds of tiny seeds from each fruit. Sow the seeds during spring in moist soil and wait for seedlings to appear, transferring them to slightly larger pots when mature enough and continuing care as usual for young shrubs.

Due to the common cross-pollination of bottlebrush trees, growing the plant from seed does not guarantee that the new plant will be the same variety as the mother plant. If you are keen to ensure your new plants are a direct copy of the parent plant, you will need to propagate using stem cuttings instead of seeds.

Propagation by stem cuttings can be done during summer with semi-mature woody stems. Make your cut with clean shears at a 45-degree angle to create the most surface area from which roots can form. Your cutting will need to be around six inches in length, with all of the lower leaves removed. Any flowers or flower buds will also need to be snipped from the cutting. You can dip the raw end of the cutting in rooting hormone to encourage roots to form and increase your chances of successful propagation, but it isn’t entirely essential and can be skipped if you wish.

Stand the cutting in either a jar half filled with water or in a small pot filled with soil, ensuring that the soil is packed tightly enough around the stem to prevent it from falling over. If you are using soil to propagate your stem, keep it moist but not wet, and, ideally, cover it with a plastic bag to help increase humidity.

If you are using water to propagate your stem, change it at least every other day to keep it fresh. Place the stem cuttings in a warm place, ideally with bottom heat, and no direct sunlight. In eight to twelve weeks, your stems should have rooted. If you are propagating in water, then the development of stems is easy to witness.

If the stems are in the soil, you can check to see if roots have formed by gently tugging on the stem and seeing if it offers any resistance. Stems which will easily be pulled from the soil do not have any roots, while those that hold onto the soil are showing evidence of root development. Once roots are present, you can remove the plastic covering and move the pot outside to a warm and sunny spot. Ensure the young plant is well-protected from strong winds and continue care as normal, either planting directly into the ground or into a bigger pot when the plant is strong enough.


The bottlebrush tree, in general, is quite a robust and healthy shrub, but there are some diseases that can strike the plant and cause lasting damage if not correctly treated. The most common diseases affecting the bottlebrush tree are listed below.

Powdery Mildew

This is a disease that commonly occurs in moist or damp conditions. It presents itself as a powdery white or gray covering on the plant and can appear anywhere from leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits. In severe cases, it will turn the leaves brown or yellow.

If your bottlebrush tree suffers from powdery mildew, you will need to treat it with a fungicide. The best defense against powdery mildew is prevention. Try to plant your bottlebrush tree in a bright and sunny spot away from dark and damp corners where mildew thrives. Moisture on the surface of the leaves will help mildew to develop, so try to keep the foliage dry by watering the plant from underneath. If you use sprinklers to water your plants, do so during the morning so that the sun has a chance to dry the leaves off during the day, instead of using sprinklers in the late evening.

Twig Gall

This plant problem is a direct result of overly wet soil. If you notice that your bottlebrush tree has branches and stems which are bloated in appearance, and your soil is constantly wet, then your plant is most likely suffering from twig gall. This is a fungal disease that can be fatal if left untreated but is easy to treat with high levels of recovery when spotted in good time. Simply remove any diseased branches from your bottlebrush tree and dispose of them. Sort out your wet soil problem by correcting your watering schedule, watering the plant with less frequency and with less water. Consider adding sand to the soil and mixing it in to aid with better drainage.

Verticillium Wilt

This difficult-to-diagnose disease is caused by a fungus that lives in the soil. It enters the plant from the roots and travels up the plant’s vascular system, leaving a trail of curled and yellow or brown leaves as it goes. Plants suffering from verticillium wilt also experience leaf loss and branches which die back.

Due to the fact that many other diseases or pest infestations can present in similar ways, it’s hard to diagnose verticillium wilt. One way to identify it is to slice through a stem or branch on your suspected plant. If you see dark rings of color on the cross-section, then this is a good indication that your plant has verticillium wilt. The dark circles are made by the fungal disease as it travels throughout the plant.

If your bottlebrush tree is suffering from verticillium wilt, then you have two options. You can remove and dispose of the plant, or you can try to build up the plants resistance against the disease. The fungus will remain in the soil and is hard to get rid of. If you choose to dispose of your plant, be sure not to replant anything that is susceptible to verticillium wilt in the same area. If you want to try to save the plant, prune off any infected branches and try to improve the health of the plant so that it is strong enough to fight off the disease. Use monthly fertilizer and ensure the plant has adequate water and sunlight.

Root Rot

This disease is more common in houseplants, but it can affect plants living outside as well. It is directly caused by the soil being too wet, in which a fungus develops. The fungus attacks the roots and leaves the roots unable to absorb moisture or nutrients that the plant needs, which will result in a plant that looks as though it has been suffering from drought, even though the opposite is actually the case. Plants suffering from root rot will have yellow or browning foliage, stunted growth, leaf loss, and branches that die back.

Root rot is one of the most common problems affecting plants and trees, and it is also one of the most fatal. If your bottlebrush tree has root rot, it will be difficult to save it unless you have noticed it in the very early stages. For root rot, prevention is much better than a cure. You should ensure your soil drains well, adding sand or organic matter to your soil to improve any drainage issues. Take note of your plant’s watering requirements and don’t water too frequently or too heavily. Your bottlebrush plant will much prefer to live through occasional periods of drought than continuously wet soil.

Bottle Brush Tree Stock Photos and Images

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  • Bottle brush tree in Mauritius
  • Bottle-brush tree in flower. Callistemon sp. Good for bees. In garden, Spain.
  • Blooming Bottle Brush Tree native to Australia with exotic purple flowers as a natural background
  • A close up to (Callistemon).A red flower bottle brush tree the name derives from the plant’s flowers which look like brushes for cleaning bottles.
  • Bottle-brush tree in flower. Callistemon sp. Good for bees. In garden, Spain.
  • House Sparrow; Passer domesticus Single on Bottle Brush Tree Cornwall; UK
  • Red bottle-brush tree Callistemon flower
  • Australian bottle brush tree Callistemon rigidus flowers
  • House Sparrow; Passer domesticus Single Male on Bottle Brush Tree Cornwall; UK
  • Bottle brush tree in Mauritius
  • Flowers of the bottle brush tree, Limpias Cantabria, Spain
  • Chamarel Mauritius Bottle Brush Tree
  • Bottle brush tree in Mauritius
  • Australian flowering bottle brush tree (Callistemon Shrub)
  • Cornwall. Roseland Peninsular. Bottle brush tree – red flowers seen against the sky.
  • Spring scene in Pokhara. Flower of a red bottle brush tree.
  • Australian flowering bottle brush tree (Callistemon Shrub)
  • photo of a bottle brush tree in bloom
  • An Australian, Queensland Male Brown Honeyeater, Lichmera indistincta resting on a Bottle brush tree branch
  • Bottle Brush Tree
  • Bottle brush tree with red flowers
  • An Australian, Queensland Male Brown Honeyeater, Lichmera indistincta resting on a Bottle brush tree branch
  • A blossom on a bottle brush tree.
  • Flower of a red bottle brush tree seen in Pokara, Nepal.
  • An Australian, Queensland Male Brown Honeyeater, Lichmera indistincta resting on a Bottle brush tree branch
  • New leaves on Myrtaceae Callistemon coccineus or Australian Bottle Brush tree
  • Red flower of bottle brush tree isolated on white background
  • An Australian, Queensland Male Brown Honeyeater, Lichmera indistincta resting on a Bottle brush tree branch
  • Orange bottle brush tree – Callistemon citrinus.
  • Flowers of the Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) a native tree of New Zealand
  • Red bottle-brush tree (Callistemon) flower
  • Flowering Bottle Brush Tree
  • Red bottle brush tree
  • Callistemon citrinus red bottle brush tree blossom
  • Stulmann’s blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni) drinking from the water collected overnight in the flowers of a Bottle Brush tree. Kakamega Forest South, Western Province, Kenya.
  • Red bottle brush tree flower branch isolate
  • Callistemon citrinus red bottle brush tree blossom
  • Red bottle-brush tree (Callistemon) flower. Australia
  • bottle brush tree red flower
  • Callistemon citrinus red bottle brush tree blossom
  • Red bottle-brush tree (Callistemon) flower. Australia
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus Single on Bottle Brush Tree Cornwall; UK
  • Bottle brush (callistemon citrinus) plant and flower
  • Australian red bottle brush tree
  • Close up of a single bottle brush flower on a bottle brush tree in a New Zealand garden.
  • Flowers of a bottle brush tree with red stamens yellow pollen and seed capsules Arcos de le Frontera Spain
  • Australian red bottle brush tree
  • Bottle Brush tree, Callistemon,
  • Bright fire red bottle brush flower blossom close up. Bird and bee attracting tree with interesting structure.
  • Australian red bottle brush tree
  • Blooming Bottle Brush Tree
  • The spiky Red flowerhead of Greyia sutherlandii – Natal Bottlebrush flower
  • Close up of wood texture bark of Bottle Brush tree
  • House finch perched on blooming bottle brush tree branch. Marina Del Rey, California, USA
  • A Rainbow Lorikeet perched on a bottlebrush tree on a bright, sunny day on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, Australia.
  • Close up of wood texture bark of Bottle Brush tree
  • Bottle brush flowers on a bottle brush tree in a New Zealand garden.
  • Europe, Portugal, Madeira, Funchal, bottles brushes tree, Bottle Brush Tree, Callistemom lanceolatus, trees, plants
  • Close up of wood texture bark of Bottle Brush tree
  • House finch perched on blooming bottle brush tree branch. Marina Del Rey, California, USA
  • Europe, Portugal, Madeira, Funchal, bottles brushes tree, Bottle Brush Tree, Callistemom lanceolatus, bumblebee, trees, plants,
  • Bottle brush tree red fur pollen green leaf in garden
  • House finch perched on blooming bottle brush tree branch. Marina Del Rey, California, USA
  • Red bottle-brush tree (Callistemon) flower
  • Flower of Australian Weeping Bottle Brush tree. This is a very impressive flowering tree, and rare in Europe.
  • Female house sparrow perched in bottle brush tree
  • Ecuadorian white bottle brush tree detail
  • Flower of an Australian Weeping Bottle Brush tree. This is a very impressive flowering tree, and rare in Europe.
  • Black-and-white casqued hornbill (Ceratogymna subcylindricus subquadratus) male sitting in a Bottle Brush tree. Kakamega Forest South, Western Province, Kenya.
  • Bottle brush tree bush shrub, Callistemon Viminalis, Myrtaceae family, all of which are endemic to Australia.
  • little manly point manly sydney new south wales australia
  • Image of bottlebrush tree on Saiq Plateau in Oman
  • Bottle brush tree bush shrub, Callistemon Viminalis, Myrtaceae family, all of which are endemic to Australia.
  • Red Bottle Brush Tree Flower
  • Red bottle-brush tree (Callistemon) flower
  • Bottle brush tree bush shrub, Callistemon Viminalis, Myrtaceae family, all of which are endemic to Australia.
  • Red Bottle Brush Tree Flower
  • Red flowers of bottle brush tree (Callistemon)
  • Red flowers of bottle brush tree Callistemon
  • A macro shot of a bottle brush tree bloom.
  • Bottle brush tree fruit with seeds close up
  • Red flowers of bottle brush tree Callistemon
  • closeup of blossom of crimson bottle brush tree white background with skylights
  • Red bottle brush flowering tree
  • Close up of bottle brush flower showing abstract pattern with stamen in focus
  • red bottle brush
  • Melaleuca citrina. A close up to (Callistemon).A red flower bottle brush tree the name derives from the plant’s flowers which look like brushes for cl
  • Royal Horticultural Society annual show at Chelsea, London England:
  • red bottle brush
  • Melaleuca citrina. A close up to (Callistemon).A red flower bottle brush tree the name derives from the plant’s flowers which look like brushes for cl
  • Bottle brush, red bottle brush, red, flower, Callistemon Citrinus, green leaves, green leaf, white background, red
  • Tiny Christmas tree in a bottle ornament
  • Melaleuca citrina. A close up to (Callistemon).A red flower bottle brush tree the name derives from the plant’s flowers which look like brushes for cl
  • Bottle Brush flowers, N. Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia
  • Bright red flowers of bottle brush tree in full bloom on sunny day.
  • Bottle-brush Tree in full bloom. Springtime in the Mojave Desert near Palm Springs, California.
  • Bottlebrush Tree in Florida USA
  • Red Flower of the Australian Bottle Brush Tree (Callistemon spp.) The name derives from the plant’s flowers.
  • Lemon bottle brush (Callistemon citrinus) tree in bloom

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Lemon Bottlebrush Tree

Callistemon citrunus

The Lemon Bottlebrush, botanical name Callistemon citrinus, is an attractive and versatile bottle brush plant that can be used as a shrub or as a medium sized tree. From southeastern Australia, this beautiful plant features striking red flowers that resemble the look of a bottle brush. Though the flowers are bright red, the flowers have a lemony scent, hence the common name. Pollinators, butterflies, and especially hummingbirds are attracted to the fragrant flowers of this fast growing evergreen.

Homeowners will often use this plant as an effective and beautiful privacy screen hedge to block out unwanted views or for use as a border. It loves the heat, is cold hardy, and tolerates poor soil, making it a great choice for a variety of landscapes. The Lemon Bottlebrush will require low to moderate water use and loves full sun. Feel free to speak with a Moon Valley Nurseries professional for placement ideas.

Homeowners looking for an evergreen with year-round interest will admire the nice contrast provided by the red flowers and green foliage. Some utilize the pretty flowers and woody capsule seeds in floral arrangements. In fact, the Lemon Bottlebrush will bloom in winter in warmer climates, just in time for holiday floral arrangements! This plant retains its good looks all year long as the bright red flowers appear in waves throughout the year and the red new growth matures to green.

Moon Valley Nurseries offers thriving Lemon Bottlebrush plants as shrub or tree forms. It can also be pruned to form a single trunk or into a multi-trunked small tree. We grow and nurture the finest evergreen trees ready to be planted into your landscape. Homeowners can count on us for free professional planting on all box sized trees and the best warranty in the industry. Be sure to plant with our line of Moon Valley Nurseries fertilizers for spectacular results!

How to grow Bottlebrush – Callistemon sp.

An icon of the Australian garden, all species of Callistemons are true show stoppers when in bloom and if you happen to stand in a close proximity to one, no doubt it will be simply buzzing with the activity of bees!

Planting Callistemons

Depending on the cultivar and your location, Callistemons can be in flower from mid-winter right through until mid-summer. They range in size from tall shrubs to ground covers. They make attractive screening plants in their own right and some even as feature trees. Callistemons tolerate a range of soils from moist clay to sand and can be an excellent option where the soil is too clayey for other natives like grevilleas, banksias or waratahs. Callistemons are fully adaptable to drought conditions once fully established. For best flowering results, plant in full sun, but they can also perform well in part shade. They enjoy any climate from cool temperate to tropical as well as second line coastal conditions and medium level frosts. They are extremely hardy and given the right growing conditions can delight you with flowers for up to 40 years. When digging a hole for planting, mix in some Searles Native Specialty Mix.

Honey bees in particular enjoy continuously foraging in amongst the fine bristles of the flowers and can often be witnessed doing so from first light until late dusk. Having one of the larger specimens such as ‘Dawson River Weeper’ grown as a central feature to the garden will encourage bees to forage through many species of fruit trees around the perimeter of your garden.

Fertilising Callistemons

To encourage flowering, use only a low phosphorus fertiliser that is specifically designed for Australian natives such as Searles Kickalong Native Plant Food. Callistemons do not require a lot of fertiliser. Apply an application in spring and another in autumn.

Pruning Callistemons

Keep callistemons well pruned after spring flowering and most will flower well the following autumn. Each time callistemons are pruned or the spent flowers are trimmed off, it encourages even better flowering next season, whether in spring or autumn. So the moral is, prune! Most callistemons will flower from spring to summer but with regular pruning can flower at any other time throughout the year.

Bottlebrush Tree Names and Types of Callistemon Species

Bottlebrush (Callistemon) Cultivars;

  • ‘Bob Bailey’ – Seedling of Callistemon viminalis
  • ‘Burgundy’ – Seedling of Callistemon ‘Reeves Pink’
  • ‘Candle Glow’ – Seedling of Callistemon pallidus, also known as ‘Austraflora Candle Glow’
  • ‘Cane’s Hybrid’
  • ‘Captain Cook’
  • ‘Cinderella’ – Garden origin
  • ‘Country Sprite’ – Seedling of ‘Glasshouse Country’
  • ‘Dawson River Weeper’ – Form of Callistemon viminalis from Dawson River area, Queensland, Australia.
  • ‘Demesne Rowena’ – Cross of two Callistemon citrinus cultivars ‘Splendens’ and ‘White Anzac’
  • ‘Endeavour’ see ‘Splendens’
  • ‘Eureka’
  • ‘Firebrand’ – Originally registered as ‘Austraflora Firebrand’, seedling of unknown origin first planted in 1973
  • ‘Glasshouse Country’ – Cross between Callistemon recurvus (Synonym: Tinaroo) and Callistemon salignus
  • ‘Glasshouse Gem’ – Cross between Callistemon recurvus (Synonym: Tinaroo) and Callistemon salignus, originated mid 1960s
  • ‘Hannah Ray’
  • ‘Hannah’s Child’ – Cross between ‘Hannah Ray’ and ‘Kings Park Special’ selected in 1987
  • ‘Harkness’ – Also known as ‘Gawler’ or ‘Gawler Hybrid’. Seedling of Callistemon citrinus obtained in 1937
  • ‘Jeffersii’
  • ‘Kempsey’ – Seedling of ‘Maffra Pastel Pink’
  • ‘Kings Park Special’ – Seedling of unknown origin raised in Kings Park, Perth, Australia
  • ‘Lilacinus’
  • ‘Little John’ Dwarf shrub selected by Ken Dunstan of Alstonville, New South Wales Australia
  • ‘Mary MacKillop’ ‘Hannah Ray’ x ‘Splendens’. Released by Austraflora in 2001
  • ‘Matthew Flinders’
  • ‘Mauve Mist’ – Seedling of ‘Reeves Pink’
  • ‘Moonbeam’ see ‘White Anzac’
  • ‘Ngungun Red’ – Also known as ‘Ngun Ngun’, seedling of Callistemon recurvus x Callistemon salignus first planted in 1981
  • ‘Packers Selection’- Seedling from Callistemon subulatus
  • ‘Perth Pink’ – Seedling selection of Callistemon salignus
  • ‘Pink Sensation’ – Seedling of ‘Glasshouse Gem’
  • ‘Prolific’ – Form of Callistemon viminalis from Dalby, Queensland, Australia
  • ‘Red Reika’ – Seedling selection from ‘Harkness’
  • ‘Reeves Pink’ – Seedling of unknown parentage from Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia. It does however share characteristics with Callistemon citrinus
  • ‘Rose Opal’ – Selected form of Callistemon viminalis from Wappa Falls on the Maroochy River, Queensland, Australia
  • ‘Sallyann’ – Selected pink flowered form of Callistemon paludosus
  • ‘Smoke Salmon’ – Selected pink flowering form of Callistemon pachyphyllus from Runaway Bay, Queensland, Australia, first cultivated in 1976
  • ‘Splendens’ – A form of Callistemon citrinus of unknown origin, promoted in 1970 under the name ‘Endeavour’ by the Australian nursery industry
  • ‘Tin-Sal Glow’ – Thought to be a hybrid of ‘Glasshouse Country’ and Callistemon recurvus (Synonym: Tinaroo).
  • ‘Western Glory’ – Seedling of Callistemon citrinus selected in Wanneroo, Western Australia
  • ‘White Anzac’ – White flowering form selected from a naturally occurring population in New South Wales, Australia. The cultivar ‘Moonbeam’ registered in 1964 is regarded as a synonym.
  • ‘Wilderness White’ – White flowering naturally occurring form from Copper Load Falls Dam, north Queensland, Australia.
  • ‘Wollumbin’ – Salmon flowering form of Callistemon viminalis raised in Wollumbin, New South Wales, Australia.
  • ‘Woolomin Sparkler’ – Hybrid of a pink flowering form of Callistemon salignus and ‘Harkness’ or Callistemon citrinus selected in 1987.


Fast-growing plants with colorful flowers carried in dense spikes or round clusters that consist mainly of long, bristlelike stamenshence the common name bottlebrush. Attractive to hummingbirds. Flowers are followed by woody capsules that can last for years and may resemble rows of beads pressed into bark.

Some bottlebrushes are naturally dense and compact (making good informal hedges); others are sparse and open (can be pruned up to become small trees). Those with pliant branches can be grown as informal espaliers. Very little routine pruning is neededjust remove any weak or dead branches after bloom or before spring growth. Don’t cut into bare wood beyond leaves; if you do, plant may not send out new growth. Generally found in moist ground in their native Australia, bottlebrushes can withstand waterlogged soil. Normally tolerant of saline or alkaline soils but sometimes suffer from chlorosis (yellow leaves with green veins). Often severely damaged at 20F.

lemon bottlebrush

callistemon citrinus

  • Shrub or tree.
  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Most commonly grown bottlebrush; most tolerant of heat, cold, and poor soils.
  • Massive shrub to 1015 feet tall and wide, but with staking and pruning in youth easily trained into narrowish, round-headed, 20- to 25 feet tree.
  • Nurseries offer it as a shrub, espalier, or tree.
  • Narrow, 3 inches-long leaves are coppery when new, maturing to vivid green.
  • Bruised leaves smell lemony.
  • Bright red, 6 inches-long brushes appear in waves throughout the year.

Variable plant when grown from seed; look for cutting-grown selections with good flower size and color, such as ‘Splendens’. Compared to the species, ‘Violaceus’ (‘Jeffersii’), about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, has stiffer branches; narrower, shorter leaves; and reddish purple flowers fading to lavender. ‘Mauve Mist’ is the same but can reach 10 feet.

stiff bottlebrush

callistemon ‘Perth Pink

  • Shrub.
  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Dense, full growth to 610 feet tall and wide, with weeping branches and deep pink flowers to 6 inches long in spring and early summer.
  • New growth is pink.

callistemon rigidus

  • Rigid, sparse shrub or small tree to 20 feet with 10 feet spread.
  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Sharp-pointed, gray-green (sometimes purplish) leaves to 6 inches long.
  • Spring and summer red flower brushes are 212412 inches long.
  • Produces prominent seed capsules.
  • Least graceful of the bottlebrushes.
  • Clemson Hardy is a compact form (23 feet tall and wide) with bright red flowers; it succeeds in Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS and has withstood 8F.
  • Bred in Georgia, ‘Scarlet Torch’ has a compact form, growing 9 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

white bottlebrush

callistemon salignus

  • Shrub or tree to 2025 feet tall, 1015 feet wide.
  • Zones TS; USDA 10-11.
  • Dense crown of foliage.
  • Bright pink to copper new growth.
  • Willowlike leaves 23 inches long.
  • Pale yellow to cream- colored flowers appear in 112- to 3 inches clusters in spring, early summer.
  • Train as small shade tree or plant 45 feet apart as hedge.

alpine bottlebrush

callistemon sieberi

  • Zones MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 7-11.
  • Shrub.
  • To 36 feet tall and wide, with a somewhat upright habit.
  • Small (to 112 inches-long), dark green leaves densely cover the branches.
  • Cream to yellow flowers in 112- to 6 inches-long brushes bloom from late spring to midsummer.

weeping bottlebrush

callistemon viminalis

  • Shrub or small tree with pendulous branches.
  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Fast growing to 2030 feet tall, with 15 feet spread.
  • Narrow, light green, 6 inches-long leaves.
  • Bright red, 4- to 8 inches-long brushes from late spring into summer; scattered bloom rest of year.
  • Not for windy, dry areas.
  • As a tree, needs staking, thinning to prevent tangled, top-heavy growth.
  • Leaves tend to grow toward ends of long, hanging branches.

Little John

  • is a superior dwarf form to 3 feet tall and wide, with dense growth and blood-red flowers in fall, winter, and spring.
  • Captain Cook is dense, rounded, to 6 feet tall and wide; good for border, hedge, or screen.
  • ‘McCaskillii’ has denser habit than others, is more vigorous (to 20ft.
  • tall), and has better flower color and form.

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