Category Archives: Callistemon

Advantages of Using Native Plants in Gardens


Our Australian native’s plants are greatly desired overseas, and it is any wonder, they are tough, reliable plants that work and look wonderful in many garden styles. In the past Australian native plants have often been thought of as untidy, but with breeders producing new cultivars, there is now tidier, even tougher Australian Native plants suitable for every garden.

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Green John™ Callistemon is a dense shrub with green foliage

Green John™ Callistemon is a dense shrub with green foliage 

Green John™ Callistemon viminalis 'LJ23' PBR

Green John™ Callistemon is a very similar size to the popular Little John but with one big advantage It has much cleaner foliage and is far less likely to go woody like Little John does.

The vivid red flowers of Green John also contrast better with it’s crisp green foliage.

Green John™ gets beautiful light green new growth that later turns dark green. It can be pruned yearly and keep it at a height of as low as 50cm to keep it super tidy or it can be left to naturally grow to about 1m over many years.

So, for a far tidier John, switch from Little John to Green John™ Callistemon

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Better John™ Callistemon is a ‘better’ bred shrub with blue-green toned mature foliage

Better John™ Callistemon is a ‘better’ bred shrub with blue-green toned mature foliage

BETTER JOHN™ Callistemon is a better bred shrub with blue green toned mature foliage

If you like the blue foliage tinge of Little John, then you’ll love Better John™ Callistemon even more. It has a nicer new silver blue-green foliage growth compared to Little John with the same old glaucous  foliage.

It is quicker to establish and forms a denser plant. It always seems to look healthier than Little John. It is very drought and frost tolerant and copes well with most soil types including sandy soils and heavy clay soils. It will start flowering mid spring and finish late spring with eye catching red flowers.

It can be kept to a minimum height of 60cm if pruned yearly or it will grow to 1.3 meters after about 8 years if left un-pruned.

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Macarthur™ Callistemon is a better flowering native shrub with fresh green toned foliage

Macarthur™ Callistemon is a better flowering native shrub with fresh green toned foliage

Macarthur™ Callistemon viminalis 'LC01' PBR

Macarthur™ Callistemon is a mid sized, mass flowering dense shrub. There is a real gap in the market. You have little John or Better John for small bottle brushes, and many that get bigger, but few that fit that dense mid sized callistemon category.

Macarthur™ Callistemon is a cross between the popular Little John, and captain cook varieties. Macarthur™ Callistemon  not only flowers more profusely, but has the dense form you need from a bottle Brush. It works well in humid or hot dry climates, and also does well in frost. A prune every three to 4 years will help it keep tidier.

Macarthur™ Callistemon viminalis 'LC01' PBR

This Macarthur™ Callistemon (above) is 6 years old and unpruned.

Macarthur™ Callistemon viminalis 'LC01' PBR

These Macarthur™ Callistemons are about 2 and a half years old, and already looking great, without any pruning.

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Scarlet Flame™ Callistemon is an ultra-compact shrub with rustic red new growth

Scarlet Flame™ Callistemon is an ultra-compact shrub with rustic red new growth

Scarlet Flame™ Callistemon viminalis 'CC19' PBR

As far as Callistemon or Bottle Brush go, Scarlet Flame™ Callistemon is very dense and compact. It was breed from the very popular Callistemon Captain Cook. Scarlet Flame™ Callistemon is not only about half the size, but has dense foliage that responds well to a yearly prune. Scarlet Flame™ Callistemon makes a great medium sized hedge, or screen, or can simply be planted as a specimen.

Scarlet Flame™ Callistemon viminalis 'CC19' PBR

After 5 years and three times being pruned, Scarlet Flame™ Callistemon only reached this high

In Autumn and early Spring, and sometimes in Winter, Scarlet Flame™ Callistemon flushes masses of beautiful red toned foliage. With Scarlet Flame you get red more often. Red toned foliage, followed by masses of these beautiful red flowers.

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Red Alert™ Callistemon is a native hedge alternative to Photinia

Red Alert™ Callistemon is a native hedge alternative to Photinia

RED ALERT™ Callistemon viminalis 'KPS38' PBR

Red Alert™ Callistemon with its mass of red foliage new growth is a super drought tolerant native alternative to Photinia. Photinia is used all over Australia as a hedge, because people love its red new growth. Well Red Alert™ Callistemon is simply a better alternative, not just because it is native, but because it provides a better solution for the extremes of Australia’s hot summer. Callistemon viminalis are known for their ability to survive and prosper in tough Aussie conditions.

It tolerates most soil types, including poor soils, and is very frost, heat and humidity tolerant. Red Alert™ Callistemon’s vivid red new growth for about 4 months of the year is equal to Photinia, so you do not need to compromise on colour. It is more compact than most Photinia plants, so it will provide a far lower maintenance hedge. Unpruned it will reach above your head, but pruned once or twice per year it is a fabulous screening plant for hedges from around waste height to above your head.

For more info on  Red Alert™ Callistemon click here

Slim™ Callistemon is a great hedge for tight planting areas

Slim™ Callistemon is a great hedge for tight planting areas

Slim Callistemon viminalis 'CV01' BBR

Do you need a narrow growing small tree for along side Fences, walls, as a windbreak, or for a narrow garden? Then you should be considering Slim. Callistemons, or Bottle Brushes as they are often called are known to be very drought tolerant, and handle heat and humidity very well. They cope well with tough roadside conditions and most soil types.

Slim™ Callistemon can be kept quite narrow with occasional pruning, and will keep a fairly thin natural shape. It’s a good idea to at least prune once, 12 months after planting, but after that it’s narrow form keeps on keeping on. If left to grow naturally, Slim requires very minimal pruning to stay narrow. Slim flowers profusely in Spring, but it also often spots flowers at other times of the year including Autumn.

Slim™ Callistemon is quite self cleaning, meaning most of the pods fall off after flowering, which is important if you want a tidy looking low maintenance plant. One of the great things about slim is that its foliage naturally grows all the way down to the ground, making it the ideal farm wind break, or a great screening plant for general landscaping.  If you want you can prune away the lower branches.

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