Callistemon - sow, plant, cuttings, care ...

Callistemon - sow, plant, cuttings, care ...

Callistemon: shrub and original flowering!

From a young clump bearing flowers in the shape of a bottle brush, callistemon becomes the known shrub also called bottle rinser. Planted in the right climate and in the right conditions, it could well grow into a majestic tree ten meters high and take the place of the "centerpiece" of your garden.

Usually cultivated in the cool soils of Australian wetlands, the shrub is very resistant, its foliage is persistent and it produces flowers of a scarlet red most often but sometimes yellow or even white of about fifteen centimeters, throughout the summer period.

In cold regions we prefer to grow it in a pot where it acclimatizes very well, and can adorn balconies and terraces to the delight of the eyes!

Either way, it's a tree that needs attention, you need to add well-decomposed compost 3 or 4 times a year, especially during the periods when it is flowering. In addition, it needs to be trimmed to find "pep". Otherwise, it is not uncommon for the shrub to slow down its flower production.

Botanical name:

Callistemon spp.

Type of plant

• Cycle: Perennial
• Foliage: Persistent
• Hardiness: low
• Family: Myrtaceae, Myrtaceae
• Harbor : Tuft, bushy, shrubby
• Exhibition: Sun
• Ground : Rich, fresh and drained
• Sowing:
• Plantation: Spring
• Cutting: In summer
• Flowering: June until frost
• Rooting: Roots
• Culture Zone: 10 (see hardiness maps France and Quebec)
• Origin: Australia
• Honey plant: -
• Toxicity: -


• Cold resistance: no
Flowering : Abundant, and fast growing
Interview : protect winter in cold regions plant in partial shade in mild / warm regions, prune every other year and bring compost to scrape off to mix into the soil.

Description of callistemon:

Callistemon has an aesthetic and balanced habit, when it has grown well, it resembles a weeping willow, or becomes more anarchic. The species determine the habit of the shrub as well as the color of its flowers.
The bottle rinser can also be used in the garden as a background for a bed, plant it in the company of other flowering plants such as coreopsis, rudbeckias which will highlight its magnificent.

What exhibition?

• Sun and partial shade

What soil?

• Fresh and drained

Method of multiplication of callistemon?

Cuttings give good results, this is arguably the best method for multiplying Callistemon.
Sowing is possible, in spring, but more difficult and uncertain success.

When to cut?

• Summer, around August, on August wood.

How to make a cutting?

• Take a semi-woody cutting in summer
• Place it to root in a glass of water or in a light mixture of potting soil and sand in the same proportions
• Always keep moist.
• When the roots have set (glass of water)
• Place in a sandy soil pot and place in the garden, in a shelter.
• Before the first frosts…
• Bring the cuttings under shelter
• And slow down the watering.
• You can transplant the following spring.

When to sow

• In late winter and early spring.

How to sow callistemon?

• Sow under cover and in a nursery or directly in pots.
• Prepare the soil and enrich it with seed soil, for seedlings in pots, use seed soil.
• Water to moisten the substrate.
• Sow clear or sow a few seeds per cup (2 or 3).
• Cover the seeds with a very thin layer of potting soil (1 mm)
• Keep the substrate moist.
• When the seedlings bear 3 or 4 leaves…
• Transplant in a bucket or if sowing in a bucket, demarcate, and keep only the most powerful plant.
• Plant in the garden the following spring or keep it in a pot.

When to plant penstemon?

Plant in spring, but in areas where it does not freeze, a fall planting may be suitable.

Gardener's Info:

Prefer a group planting with 30 cm of distance between the plants, ideally, 10 to 15 plants in a container will give a nice effect of density.

How to plant?

In the ground:

Prepare the soil:
• Work the soil to a depth of half a spade without turning over.
• Add potting soil.

Prepare the callistemon plants:
• define the positioning of the varieties with 60 cm of space or more, if you grow it as a shrub.
• Remove it from the pot, break up the root ball and scratch the soil to free the roots.
• Quickly soak in water.
• Set up.
• Fill in the spaces with the mixture of soil and soil from the garden.
• Tamp well.
• Do not bury the snare.
• Water to establish the shrub properly
• Keep the soil cool.

Do not forget the very relative hardiness of the shrub, which it will be better to grow in a pot in regions with winters marked by very cold.

In pot (50 cm in diameter):

• At the bottom of the pot, plank a bed of gravel.
• Prepare a mixture of potting soil, compost, garden soil and sand.
• Scratch the root ball of the callistemons to be transplanted.
• Place the plants (4 or 5).
• Tamp, water.
• Keep cool.
• In winter, take the pot to shelter.


• From May to the first frosts

Care of the callistemon:

Callistemon is considered to be a tree free from disease and no need for maintenance. But a light and annual pruning allows it to retain a greater flowering capacity. Some homeowners worry about their shrub "drying out". Even light pruning seems to benefit the shrub.

Some species:

Cal. citrinus: the best known of the species. It is also the most cultivated. The inflorescence is red, purple or pink;
Cal. citrinus "Splendens": Perfect for container culture
Cal. laevis: Long flowering
Cal. “Captain Cook” viminalis: variety with long leaves, its port is drooping, weeping. It is a not very hardy variety that offers red, purple, mauve or yellow blooms.

Callistemon goes well in the garden with

• Lady's mantles, geraniums, euphorbias ...

With or without a garden ...

In the garden : in massif, in rockery, on the edge, only in hot areas
Without garden: In a pot on the terrace or on the balconies, in a large pot.

Illsutration image: "Callistemon Splendens" by

Quick sheet:

Gardening, the practical guide

Gardening is one of the favorite pastimes of the French, combining nature, useful activity and mental relaxation. Gardening is a complete pleasure. However, it is essential to know the basics to get started and be successful in your garden.

This site will help you, independently and with simple words, to better understand in order to make the right choice.

9 points to understand before starting

Sow, plantВ: do it yourself

Looking for a specific plant

No plant idea? Need some inspiration?

Gardening, the essential in one page

All rights reserved FT Media

The page below gives you an overview of the main chapters and messages covered in our guide, to find out more click on the links of your choice.

Planting is done in spring or fall, depending on the climate.
The soil in your garden should be rich, drained, cool or moist, and neutral or acidic.
The exposure should be sunny or partially shaded. For better flowering, choose a very sunny location.
There is little maintenance to be expected. The bottle-rinser is not very rustic and tolerates winter temperatures of the order of -5 ° C. It withstands wind, spray and, once properly installed, drought.
Perform a shaping pruning after flowering, preferably in summer. Regularly remove faded flowers to promote later blooms.

Flowering appears in abundance from autumn to spring (spring to summer in cold regions). It consists of red cylindrical inflorescences, in the shape of sprinkles. These flowers are lightly scented (lemon) and nectar-bearing.

© peter a. mansfeld

© peter a. mansfeld

Other species of Callistemon present on the site:

How to maintain cistus?

The cistus n / A no need for a lot of maintenance. Water it a little the first year, then only in case of severe drought. You can bring in compost from time to time, but it will know how to do without it.

This plant does not tolerate freezing combined with humidity in regions with a continental climate, you can mitigate the effects of vigorous cold by protecting the cistus with a wintering veil.

Other maintenance work

Other maintenance work to be carried out in January

Put in place birdhouses. you can offer them cups of water, bread crumbs, peelings ... You can also offer them leftover meals that will delight certain species of birds.Check and consolidate your structures.

Pay attention to the basins, put down bundles of branches to stir the water and prevent it from freezing.

Control diseases and parasites throughout your garden.

Pick up dead leaves and broken branches.

Continue to maintain your garden tools.

In February, you can move your perennials.


With what types of products can pots and stakes be disinfected?
In any case, thank you for these good advice, strongly that the good weather returns to return to the garden.

You will use, after removing the excess soil, bleach diluted in water, in addition, on the wooden stake, you can apply Bordeaux mixture to prevent the development of fungi.

3) The cuttings of succulents

General technique

  1. Start by preparing your cuttings using a very sharp and disinfected blade (with methylated spirits, for example). Cut clean at its base.
  2. You can coat the cut with charcoal to prevent fungus from appearing.
  3. Let your cuttings dry for a few days (at least three) until they heal.
  4. Prepare a pot with a draining substrate made of sand, as succulents fear excess humidity. The ideal substrate consists of ¾ sand for ¼ potting soil. Also add a few spoons of charcoal powder.

Leaf cuttings

Leaf cuttings are the easiest to do. Take a leaf of your succulent (echeveria, cotyledon, sedum, graptopetalum, etc.) at its base, let it dry as explained above and plant the base of the leaf in the substrate. Place your cutting in full light. You will quickly see new leaves and roots appear at the end of the cutting.

Credit: undefined undefined / iStock

The cuttings of the segments

Pachycereus, Cleistocactus, Senecios or even Crassulas are plants in the form of columns. The cuttings are therefore made on their segments. With a sharp blade, cut a segment of the stem including its end. Remember to wear gloves so you don't get stung with the cactus stings. Leave to dry for a few days then plant about 2 cm of the stem, taking care not to exceed this length at the risk of seeing the cutting rot.

Cacti require a lot of heat. To help the cutting, place half a bottle or sachet on top to recreate a greenhouse effect.

Credit: msscacti / flickr

Cuttings in special cases

For suckers that are on ball cacti or for stems divided into sections, the method is slightly different. Indeed, we do not take directly from the mother plant, but we cut between two articles. This is the case with schlumbergeras or epiphyllum.

Another special case, the Kalanchoe daigremontiana. This plant produces seedlings on the edge of its leaves. They must then be picked meticulously and planted directly in the substrate mentioned above. In a few days, you will already see the first shoots!

Video: How to grow jasmine plant from cuttings