Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bottle Brush
Callistemon laevis

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Callistemon (kal-lis-STEE-mon) (Info)
Species: laevis (LEE-viss) (Info)

13 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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12 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive kayceehoag On Mar 15, 2012, kayceehoag from Covington, LA wrote:

This plant grows well in Southeast Louisiana. Zone 8b

Positive hishelpmate On Jul 2, 2010, hishelpmate from Perry, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:


I purchased this plant for a botanical loving friend of mine last spring at about 4' tall. She has mostly shade but placed it at a fence that receives some light. It blooms sparsely from April-May but has not grown much taller.

I loved the blooms so much that I purchased one for myself shortly after and planted it in my garden bed along our fence in mostly sun. It has grown to over 6' tall in just one year and blooms July-August but in patches.
I moved it just 2' in distance in the fall and it dropped a good portion of its leaves. I was afraid that I had killed it. I was pleasantly surprised to see soft,new,light green growth this spring off old growth. The fallen leaves have yet to replace themselves though. I have seen a few branches with blooms but just 1-4 flowers per stem instead of the "loaded bottle brush" appearance. I believe that as time goes on it will get back to its old self.
My neighbor across the street has had one for 20 years and it is 12' tall and about 5' wide and is LOADED with blooms, bees, butterflies, and hbirds in early spring. I have to guard against jealousy!! But I am patient and know that my little tree will reward me given time.

Positive aisleigh On Jun 13, 2010, aisleigh from White Oak, GA wrote:

My first bottle brush is a tree about 15 feet tall, beautiful blooms every year. I purchased another one that I am not seeing the same result. They are only about 10 feet apart. I hear there are trees and bushes. How do I know the difference? I prefer trees but am not sure the nurseries I buy them from know the difference. Any info would be appreciated.

Positive Vinite On May 31, 2010, Vinite from Grapevine, TX wrote:

I fell in love with these on a trip to San Francisco, knowing full well that they wouldn't do well in Texas. Of the 5 I had, 3 died in last year's record cold. The ones which came back are dwarf variety and I was able to mulch and placed lightweight foam pots over them when temps went below freezing. I was surprised and pleased since they can be expensive here. They don't bloom as well as the regular ones, but that may be more about location. I have had the taller ones survive milder winters by covering with blankets. They grow and bloom better in the ground than in a pot.

Neutral sprigsntwigs On Feb 22, 2010, sprigsntwigs from Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have 2 healthy bottle brush plants ( 2ft. and 6ft) in a sunny area, good soil. No problems with any plants/shrubs in yard. BUT, my bottle brushes don't bloom. Any advice/hints as to what could be wrong? Also, I'm in SC - nice weather.

Thanks for any help!

Positive jimlouisiana On Feb 18, 2010, jimlouisiana from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

I have a bottle brush tree that was just planted in the fall of 2009. It is about 6 ft.
I live in Baton Rouge Louisiana and we have had an unusually cold winter here. The leaves on one side of the tree have turned brown and are dropping. the tree appears to still be alive. Does anyone know if the leaves will come back after they have dropped and if so, should I expect blooms this year?
Thanks from the deep cold south!

Positive elano On Jan 21, 2010, elano from Manchester
United Kingdom wrote:

I purchased a Bottle Brush plant 3 years ago, about 12" tall and put it in a pot on the patio, it has tripled in size but we have just had the worst cold weather for 30years and it looks a little poorly now. Hoping it will survive. Has beautiful blooms quite breathtaking. I will be transplanting it in the ground this summer - if it has not died.

Positive nettie8514 On Jul 13, 2009, nettie8514 from Schertz, TX wrote:

We bought this tree on a whim 7 years ago it is now about 6 feet tall and in our heat we see blooms practically all year long all the birds, butterfly and bees love this tree and it beautiful to look at. I would love to plant more around our house but I am unable to locate in the nurseries

Positive diedrika On May 26, 2009, diedrika from curacao
Netherlands Antilles wrote:

We have two Bottle Brushes, Curacao, Dutch West Indies,

temp. average 30 degr.C./much wind/little rain, very arid.

Positive phizz On May 25, 2009, phizz from Albany, OR wrote:

Assured plant would thrive here. We had a long very cold spell last winter, thought sure I had lost my bottle brush. It looks a little sad, but has new growth at the base and maybe on the tops of branches. I will leave it to see what happens with it for the summer.

Neutral olachica On May 3, 2009, olachica from essex
United Kingdom wrote:

help my 4ft bottle brush plant has turned copper and brown its 5 years old is it dead

Positive Gardenia731 On Apr 30, 2008, Gardenia731 from (Arlene) Lakeland, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Inherit this tree when I purchased my home. It is breathtaking once it blooms. Absolutely love it!

Positive birdznbeez On Apr 19, 2008, birdznbeez from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA wrote:

I love this "tree", purchased as a shrub, we trim up from the base so that it will become a "tree". We've had it 2 years, (its about 4 /12 feet tall) The hummingbirds just love it and the hooded orioles too!. It blooms all summer and stays green during our mild winter in Southern Ca. It's planted against a wall with an eastern exposure, & seems to tolerate heat , drought and our clay soil.

Positive wallaby1 On Nov 24, 2005, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant was grown from a plug plant obtained from Mair & Thompsom circa 1999. Now quite tall, it is a robust grower not yet tried outside but is comfortable in a cold greenhouse zone 8a UK. Lare leaves, new leaves light maroon and a little furry. Stamens get covered in large globules of nectar, a rich scarlet bottle brush quite large flower.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Yuma, Arizona
Chico, California
Northridge, California
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Beverly Hills, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Perry, Florida
Savannah, Georgia
White Oak, Georgia
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana
Hammond, Louisiana
Mesquite, Nevada
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Cayce, South Carolina
Goose Creek, South Carolina
Ladys Island, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Anderson, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Grapevine, Texas
Houston, Texas
Livingston, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
San Marcos, Texas
Schertz, Texas
Spring, Texas

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