Callistemon Species, Crimson Bottlebrush, Lemon Bottlebrush

Callistemon citrinus

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Callistemon (kal-lis-STEE-mon) (Info)
Species: citrinus (sit-REE-nus) (Info)
Synonym:Callistemon citrinus var. splendens
Synonym:Callistemon laevis



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:



Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Île de Sein,

Mobile, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Queen Creek, Arizona

Chowchilla, California

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

Long Beach, California

Manteca, California

Mission Viejo, California

North Auburn, California

Oxnard, California

Redondo Beach, California

Sacramento, California

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Willits, California

Deltona, Florida

Homosassa, Florida(2 reports)

Keystone Heights, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Punta Gorda, Florida

Ruskin, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Venice, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Hazlehurst, Georgia

Winterville, Georgia

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Monroe, Louisiana

Pahrump, Nevada

Dallas, Oregon

Caguas, Puerto Rico

Beaufort, South Carolina

Bluffton, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina(2 reports)

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Simpsonville, South Carolina

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

El Paso, Texas(2 reports)

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Liberty Hill, Texas

Nome, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Spring, Texas

Timpson, Texas

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Seattle, Washington

White Center, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 10, 2021, Dalessss from Virginia Beach, VA wrote:

This has been a very interesting and enjoyable plant to grow for me. I read it grows in swamps, bogs and desert regions.
The winter of 2019 the temperature dropped to 8 degrees F one night and stayed below 15 degrees F for a day or so in Virginia Beach, VA (zone 8). The two bottle brush trees lost some leaves but came back in the spring with no problem. I believe, only speculation on my behalf, the trees get hardier with age. Make sure you plant them in full sun.
The trees are beautiful in bloom and almost look unworldly in appearance with their old individual ball shaped seeds still clinging to larger older branches stems with new blooms showing bright red at the tips. The branches are curiously straggly looking. If you are a person that must have manicured bush, you m... read more


On Jul 10, 2020, Sown_ja from Willits, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

SEED PROPAGATION--that's how I'm adding more bottlebrush to my yard. HOW MANY YEARS WILL IT TAKE BEFORE THE NEW PLANTS ARE OLD ENOUGH TO BLOOM? I've tried many internet Searches, but can't find this info! Please help. I'm in USDA zone 9 (Willits, CA). Although the parent shrub is in partial shade, it produces enough flowers to attract every passing hummingbird.


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

This plant grows well in Southeast Louisiana. Zone 8b


On Mar 2, 2012, cinemike from CREZIERES,
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

This very attractive shrub is surprisingly hardy.
It (with some damage) survived the winter of 2010/11 in Belfast Northern Ireland which was the coldest on record with temperatures plummeting to -16 C and staying firmly below zero for about two weeks. Tolerates poor (acid) soil as well.


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 t... read more


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.


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.


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.


On Oct 30, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

The only BB cold hardy in zone 8a is Woodlander's Red. Citrinus will die all the way to the roots if exposed to temps below 15f. Pay no attention to the plant tag info - it's not accurate. I've lost much money on BB that Dave's Garden says is cold hardy in zone 8a.


On Oct 30, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC wrote:

The only BB cold hardy in zone 8a is Woodlander's Red. Citrinus will die all the way to the roots if exposed to temps below 15f. Pay no attention to the plant tag info - it's not accurate. I've lost much money on BB that Dave's Garden says is cold hardy in zone 8a.


On Oct 30, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC wrote:

The only BB cold hardy in zone 8a is Woodlander's Red. Citrinus will die all the way to the roots if exposed to temps below 15f. Pay no attention to the plant tag info - it's not accurate. I've lost much money on BB that Dave's Garden says is cold hardy in zone 8a.


On Oct 30, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC wrote:

The only BB cold hardy in zone 8a is Woodlander's Red. Citrinus will die all the way to the roots if exposed to temps below 15f. Pay no attention to the plant tag info - it's not accurate. I've lost much money on BB that Dave's Garden says is cold hardy in zone 8a.


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


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.


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.


On Jun 6, 2008, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Beautiful plant, grows especially well here in western UK where it is very hardy. It loves our high humidity as long as it is given good sandy drainage.

I can only say good things about this plant, it is my favourite shrub by a long way.

Edit: following the past above (which is correct), the hardiness issue needs clearing up.

Callistemon citrinus is hardy in leaf to -6C, it will lose its leaves with lower temperatures but come back up to about -9C

It is only hardy to zone 9a. If anyones survived lower than -10C then it is most likely a different type like C. pallidus, C. rigidus, or C.sibieri.

The plants in the photos on tthe right here are C. rigidus!


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.


On Mar 29, 2008, QCHammy from San Tan Valley, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

Grows like crazy here in Arizona with only twice weekly irrigation in the hottest part of summer. Other times requires very little supplemental irrigation. Extremely drought tolerant.


On Mar 6, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Lemon Bottlebrush, Crimson Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus) is an introduced plant that has naturalized in Louisiana and Puerto Rico.


On Oct 26, 2006, dstrick7 from Winterville, GA wrote:

I have one (maybe never was labeled) of these - nice shrub!...especially since we can't seem to grow azaleas with any success (though I'm told some of the evergreen varieties are heat-tolerant).


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.


On Oct 27, 2003, mungoj from Murfreesboro, TN wrote:

Grows well in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with protection and a lot of mulch.


On Aug 28, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is virtually pest-free and grows with no special care. It can flower off and on throughout the year.


On Sep 2, 2001, eltel from Macclesfield, CHESHIRE (Zone 8a) wrote:

Native to Australia and New Zealand, there are about 25 species of Callistemon, which are closely related to the Melaleucas from the same part of the world. The young shoots of C. citrinus are pink or red and silky. The flower spike (the so-called bottle brush) is like a giant pipe cleaner and bright crimson.

Listed as Zone 9, C. citrinus (aka "Crimson Bottlebrush") will tolerate short periods of down to 10C. C. sieberi is the hardiest of all the species; having been recorded as surviving occasional lows of 17 C.


On Aug 31, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Raising from seed will yield variable results; some will be scented, others will not.

The foliage smells lemony when crushed or bruised. Bright red flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.