The Q&A Archives: Bottle Brush

Question: I just moved into a home that was built in 2001 that has a bottle brush that is very overgrown and become more of a tree than a shrub. How far back can I cut it without killing it? It has also grown very crooked at the base any ideas on how to get it growing straighter? Thanks, Ginger from League City Texas

Answer: Ginger,
You can cut a shrub like that as far back as you want. The farther you cut it back the more it will change the form and the shape and it may set it back a lot but it will regrow. I suggest waiting until mid to late winter to make the cuts since that is not an extremely hardy plant and pruning can cause a response of new growth which wouldn't be good at this point of the season.

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