Propagating Bottlebrush - Knowledgebase Question

Highland, CA
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Question by donlain
November 7, 1998
Is there any way of propagating bottlebrush plants?

Answer from NGA
November 7, 1998
Bottlebrush, or Callistemon, can be easily propagated by simple layering, or by cuttings. Layering is easiest: just bend one of the stems of the plant down to the ground, make a wound on the bottom part of the stem where it makes contact with the ground, hold the wound open with a toothpick, cover the stem with soil and anchor it to the ground. Roots will form on the wounded side of the stem, as long as you keep the soil moist. After it has rooted, you can cut the stem from the parent plant and pot your new plant up. You can layer a plant at most any time of the year. Since most of the growth takes place in spring and summer, you should expect it to take from 3 months to a full year for the layered stem to form roots. To take cuttings, use semi-ripe wood (current season, mature - should appear almost woody). Late summer is a good time to start cuttings. Cut a healthy stem, remove some of the foliage (except for 2-3 leaves at the top), dip the cut end in rooting hormone and place the cutting into moistened potting soil. Leave it in a protected place outdoors, and when new leaves appear, your bottlebrush will have established a root system.

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