Bottlebrush provides a splash of colour and attracts a wide range of wildlife and Bees
If you don't already have a bottlebrush in your garden to attract bees and wildlife, plan to add one this winter.
Attracting Wildlife to your Garden
Attracting butterflies, bees and wildlife to a garden is what makes any garden more interesting and fulfilling. Added to that, most gardeners are always looking for a way to add a splash of colour and nothing beats a bottlebrush for a bold splash of magenta or deep red. You may even be surprised by the variety of birds that will visit your garden to sup the rich nectar of the bottlebrush flowers. Flowers are produced throughout spring and summer months, while further flowering can occur in warmer climates.
Also well known as Callistemon, the bottlebrush derives its name from the long flowers that resemble a bottlebrush. This plant is of the genus Callistemon, which closely related to melaleuca that has a similar flower shape.
For Small, Medium or Large Gardens
Bottlebrush - or Callistemon - are available in a variety of species, all of which grow well in our climate - providing a reasonably tall shrub, small tree, or large tree that can reach a growth of up to 4 to 5 metres under perfect conditions. Bottlebrushes are ideal for hedges or to grow a privacy screen, and they can also be used to hide an unsightly corner. What is of great interest to the gardener is that bottlebrush is extremely hard and frost tolerant. They also require minimal maintenance and can grow in a water-wise garden.
While magenta and red are the most popular colours for bottlebrushes, they do come in a variety of other colours ranging from mauve, burgundy, green and cream, and all attracting a range of wildlife including nectar-feeding birds as well as bees, butterflies and other insects.
Gardeners, both amateur and experienced, can appreciate that bottlebrush will grow well in almost all soil types, as long as there is good drainage. For bold flower colours, ensure the soil is non-alkaline. Bottlebrush prefers a warm, sunny spot in the garden, with either morning or afternoon sun.
To prevent straggly growth or retain the shape, a light pruning after flowering will keep the shrub neat and tidy.
Tip for Placing Bottlebrush
Due to the mass of flowers produced throughout spring and summer, make sure to plant your bottlebrush away from pools and ponds. When the flowering season comes to an end, the bristle-like blossoms can become a nuisance in swimming pools and ponds. Furthermore, it is also a good idea not to plant too close to your home, as the flowers can also quite easily block gutters.