Bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus

Callistemon citrinus (Myrtaceae), an evergreen shrub, is native to Australia. The shrub owes its common name to the striking flower spikes with long, red stamens that appear from spring until summer.

The adjective citrinus is a reference to the lemony smell of the leaves when crushed. It grows best in a warm, sunny position, sheltered from the wind. In summer it must be watered regularly. If the root ball is allowed to dry out, the plant can die. However, water-logging is equally damaging since it leads to the development of fungi in the soil. Water only with lime-free water and give the plant applications of an acidic rhodendron fertilizer every two weeks.

Older specimens can be cut to the desired shape or pruned vigorously to rejuvenate them. The most successful method of propagation is cuttings taken in late summer or spring. They should over-winter in cool, bright place at 5-10° C (41-50° F) and the soil must not be allowed to dry out.

15. May 2014 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit Trees | Comments Off on Bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus


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