Easy Desert Plant: Bottlebrush

Easy Plants for Desert Gardens

Red Bottle Brush, Callistemon Citrinus, Kula Botanical Garden, Upcountry, Maui, Hawaii, USA
••• Red Bottle Brush. Danita Delimont / Getty Images

The Bottlebrush is sometimes referred to in Phoenix as Red Bottlebrush or Little John. The bottlebrush plant is one of several desert plants that I recommend for people who want desert plants that are perennial (you need to plant them only once), hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provide lovely color many times during the year.

See bottlebrush pictures.

The botanical name for bottlebrush (sometimes written bottle brush) is Callistemon. These are evergreen desert shrubs that flower mostly in the spring and summer.

Bottlebrush bushes in this area take full sun and are somewhat drought-tolerant, but they need a water source, such as a drip system. Dwarf bottlebrush plants, which is mostly what I see around town, don't get very tall -- just about 2 feet high -- and are evergreen, with a dark green leaf. The blooms are red. There are varieties of the bottlebrush that are larger, and there are bottlebrush trees.

The bottlebrush plant is not an especially fast grower. It makes a nice low shrub for under windows or for lining walkways or driveways. These bushes need occasional trimming to be kept neat and enhance next season's blooms. The bottlebrush will attract nectar feeding birds, like hummingbirds, as well as insects.

More Easy Desert Plants
Purple Sage/Texas Sage
Ornamental Grass
Fairy Duster
Red Bird of Paradise
Orange Jubilee
Yellow Bells
Mexican Petunia
See Pictures of All These Desert Plants

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