Growing Red BottleBrush.

Latest Update 15th November 2016.

Red Bottlebrush.
  • A small tree, it has elongated pale green leaves.  Its abundant flowering clusters are deep red.
  • The flowers bring large numbers of bees foraging for pollen and nectar in early spring.
  • I prune the foliage hard after flowering to encourage new growth and plenty of flowers in the following year.
  • It is extremely hardy and tolerates our cool winter weather as well as our extreme summer heat and dry conditions. 
Details.
 
 










  • Binomial Name:                                       Callistemon Viminalis
  • Family:                                                     Myrtaceae
  • Garden bed type:                                      Drip line irrigated. 
  • Recommended soil pH:                             6.5 - 7.5.  
  • Plant Spacings (centres):                          3000mm. 
  • Climate:                                                   Warm Temperate.
  • Geography:                                              Southern Hemisphere. 
Growing Conditions:
  • My Red Bottlebrush needs plenty of sunshine.It is very drought and heat tolerant. 
  • It survive in poor soil, but benefit greatly when fed with compost once a year, and is grown in moist soil.
  • Always minimise soil disturbances to maintain a natural soil structure.  
Soil Preparation.    
  • Prepare a new bed for a new plant in spring by removing old mulch, fallen leaves and other decaying organic material and disposing of them in the compost heap. 
  • Apply a 60mm thick top dressing of home made compost, and add a handful of blood and bone fertiliser per square metre and cover with fresh straw mulch. 
  • Do not dig the soil.
  • Leave for 4 weeks so worm and microbe activity can build up in the soil.
Growing Instructions.
  • Lightly prune the plant after flowering, and again in August to maintain the tree's shape and contain unwanted growth.
  • In winter clear the ground of waste organic material and spent straw mulch beneath the plant and dispose of it in the compost heap.
  • Feed the soil surrounding the plant in late winter by applying a dressing of about 60mm deep homemade compost and cover it with about 50mm of fresh straw mulch. 
  • Spray the foliage of the plant with aerated compost tea every month at the same time as the rest of the ornamental plants are sprayed.
Organic Pest Control.  
  • General.
    • I have not been aware of any pest problems with my Bottlebrush since I bought it about 20 years ago.
    • However sensible preventive measures like regularly spraying the plant with aerated compost tea boosts its natural defences by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.  These microbes defend plants against airborne pests and diseases. 
    • Similarly regular applications of home made compost grow the soil's community of beneficial microbes which defend roots against plant pathogens.

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