If you’ve come across the crimson bottle brush plant, you’ve surely been mesmerized by its captivating beauty and scent.
The crimson bottle brush plant has a majestic look, with upward-growing leaves and beautiful bottle brush flowers. Its signature, 4-inch flowers have crimson stamens with yellow tips in lieu of the usual petals. These flowers often attract birds and butterflies.
When its leaves are bruised, they give off a strong, distinct citrus scent that gives it its other name, the lemon bottle brush plant.
It’s no surprise that many of our readers ask about growing crimson bottle brush plants. They are strong, adaptable plants that can liven up any space in your home. For crimson bottle brush fans out there, these 6 tips on growing them are for you.
Tip 1: Set up according to the plant’s needs.
The first thing to remember in growing crimson bottlebrush plants is that they are native to Australia and love warmth. Read on for some of the most important factors to observe when setting up an area for these plants.
- The ideal temperature for crimson bottle brush plants is 65° – 75° F (18° – 24° C). They can stand up to the summer heat but cannot tolerate the cold. Place them in an area in the house that meets this temperature range.
- When it comes to the type of soil you use, choose a potting soil that is ideal for drainage. The crimson bottle brush does not take kindly to excess water. If you don’t purchase well-draining soil, you can add some sand to your preferred soil type for less water absorption.
- Choose a container with a good drainage system because as mentioned earlier, too much water is damaging to these plants.
Tip 2: Give your crimson bottle brush plant as much sun as possible.
Crimson bottle brushes thrive best in the warmer months when they have full access to sunlight. Keep these plants in your sunroom or another area with maximum sunlight access, such as a windowsill. A crimson bottle brush plant that doesn’t grow flowers is most likely not getting enough sun.
Tip 3: Do not overwater the plants.
While the crimson bottle brush plants are relatively easy to care for, it is important not to overwater them. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can damage the plant and make it more susceptible to pests and disease.
When watering your crimson bottle brush, be sure to check the soil first. If the soil is dry, give the plant a good drink. However, if the soil is still moist, wait until it has begun to dry out before watering again. When in doubt about water levels with crimson bottle brush plants, remember that less is best.
The crimson bottle brush needs even less water during the winter, as it barely grows during this season. Keeping the soil moist during the cold months is enough for these plants.
Tip 4: Fertilize!
Using fertilizers is essential to growing crimson bottle brush plants. During the warmer seasons, use a liquid phosphorus-rich fertilizer monthly to support the plants’ flower production. Using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer will support leaf growth but might hinder flower production.
Be careful though. Crimson bottle brush plants are prone to fertilizer burn, if you apply too much. Similar to the plants’ water needs, when it comes to using fertilizer, keep in mind that less is best.
Tip 5: Prune your crimson bottle brush plant as needed.
Crimson bottle brushes only need minimal pruning, unless you are pruning to keep the plants at a desired height. The best time to prune your plants is during early spring. Pruning at any other time might affect your plants’ flower production.
These plants are classified as large shrubs that can grow up to 16 feet in height. However, the indoor plants usually only grow up to 4 feet. If you have limited space and want to keep the plants at a certain height, prune more aggressively.
In pruning these plants, here are some tips to keep them in tip-top shape:
- The best technique is to use sharp plant trimmers on dry branches and those that are keeping the center of the plant from getting full sun.
- The best time to prune is when the bottlebrush flowers start to fade. If done incorrectly, pruning can damage a plant’s flower production.
- To avoid causing danger to your plant, follow its natural shape. And keep trimming to a minimum if the branches aren’t blocking the other parts of the plant from the sun.
Tip 6: Avoid common crimson bottle brush plant diseases.
Excessive moisture in the soil or on the leaves often causes diseases in crimson bottle brushes. We’ve stressed that overwatering is one of the worst things you can do to this warm-loving Australian plant. Next, let’s discuss some of the most common diseases these plants can get and how to spot them.
This is a fungal disease that causes unhealthy growth in plants and is brought about by excessively wet soil. Bloated branches and twigs are signs of twig gall.
If left untreated, this disease can be deadly for the plant. However, there’s no need to panic if you detect twig gall early. Just remove the bloated branches and twigs, add some sand to your soil, and stop overwatering your plants. When you’ve done all these, the sick plant will be cured in no time.
This form of mildew is a common disease in the crimson bottle brush plant. It is caused by excessive water in the leaves. Powdery mildew appears on plants as a chalky white or gray coating. In extreme cases, powdery mildew will cause leaves to turn yellow or brown. You can easily cure powdery mildew with a fungicidal plant spray.
This disease is caused by fungi that has contaminated the roots. It travels from the roots to the plant, leaving a path of wilted yellow and brown leaves. It will also cause leaves to fall off and branches to dry out.
One of the ways to spot verticillium wilt is by opening a branch and checking for dark rings. These rings are likely caused by fungi.
Verticillium wilt is a serious disease that sometimes cannot be cured. If you want to try to save an infected plant, it is often possible. Cut off damaged branches, give it enough sun and fertilizer, and do not overwater it.
Too much water in the soil is the primary cause of root rot. This is a disease where the fungus attacks the roots and can also affect neighboring plants. Root rot has similar symptoms as verticillium wilt — dying branches, discolored leaves, and strange trunk color, but it’s much harder to treat.
If you find root rot, wash the affected roots, remove damaged areas, and replant the affected plant in new soil. You may also use chemical treatments. If you do manage to save your plant, make sure to not overwater it to prevent the disease from returning.
Crimson Bottle Brush Plant Care – The Wrap-up
Growing crimson bottle brush plants is not so hard once you understand their weaknesses – cold weather and too much water. They are also naturally strong, resilient plants. Shower them with the right amounts of water, sunlight, and fertilizer, and you’ll be rewarded with lovely, aromatic flowering plants that will be the topic of conversation in all the get-togethers in your home.