South Floridians who enjoy attracting birds, bees and butterflies to their gardens or those who appreciate a bright display of color year-round will find the bottlebrush to be a charming addition to their landscaping.
This hardy Australian native gets its name from its distinctive flowers – long yellow stamens surrounded by a cluster of fine red needles that resemble the bristles on a brush used to wash baby bottles. These nectar-rich blooms draw hummingbirds like moths to a flame.
Whether grown as a shrub or trained as a tree, the bottlebrush is evergreen, with long, narrow, pointed and glossy leaves. Drought resistant, sun and salt tolerant, the bottlebrush blooms on many stems simultaneously and has been known to flower several times a year in warm climates. It does well in moist but not overly wet well-drained soils and requires little upkeep.
Popular as a tall hedge to screen patios or fence lines, or as specimen trees in yards, the bottlebrush grows quickly and needs only a little pruning to retain its shape and encourage blooming. Tip prune to remove new growth or suckers and clip flowers once they’ve passed their prime.
This attractive and low-maintenance tree adds color to any garden. The birds will thank you!