Callistemon: Home Care, Growing From Seeds, Species

Callistemon is an evergreen shrub or tree and is part of the Myrtle family. It is a strong branching plant with a luxuriant crown. The brownish-gray shrubs have a variety of long, deep green leaves with sharp edges. The plant is characterized by an average growth rate. Therefore, it will take many years to reach the height of fifteen meters.

Under domestic conditions, the height of the tree does not exceed 150-200 cm.

Flowering is observed in the last spring weeks and throughout the summer. Spikelet-shaped inflorescences are formed on the tops of young shoots, with many stamens. The inflorescences are similar in appearance to dishwashing brushes. Such unusual fluffy inflorescences of rich color look very spectacular.

The callistemon is native to Australia, while in the wild it can be found in Tasmania and New Caledonia.

Growing Summary

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

  1. Temperature. No more than 22 degrees in summer and about 10-12 degrees in winter.
  2. Care at different times of the year. In winter, the young plant needs a large amount of light during the daytime.

    In the summertime, the tree is moved outdoors. During the next warm season, it is planted in the garden. With the onset of cold weather, the tree is transferred to the house, and find him a cool place, where it will stay all winter. At the end of spring the bush will begin to flower.

  3. Humidity of the air.

    It should be moderate. In summer, the tree is moistened with a sprayer once every 2 days and occasionally washed under a warm shower.

  4. Lightness. Plenty of bright light is needed. Southeastern, southwestern and southern window sills are suitable for it.

  5. Watering. In summer, watering once every 8 days, and in winter - once every 12 days. A quality drainage layer must be made at the bottom of the pot.
  6. Substrate. A soil mixture consisting of leaf and turf soil, as well as sand and mulch, which are taken in equal proportions, will be suitable.

    A universal soil mixture for flowering plants can also be used.

  7. Fertilizer. Fertilizing is carried out twice a month, using a universal mineral complex, and the recommended dosage should be reduced by several times. It is also possible to use diluted organics occasionally.
  8. Transplanting.

    Transplanting of a young bush is carried out annually in the springtime. Mature specimens are transplanted regularly once every 3 years.

  9. Propagation. By cuttings and by seed.
  10. Care features.

    During the warm season the plant is moved to the garden or to a balcony: for normal growth the bush needs a constant inflow of fresh air. Every time the bush blossoms out, prune its shoots. This helps to stimulate its branching and lay the foundation for its subsequent flowering.

Rare House Plants Calistemon. Garden World Website

Callistemon care at home

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species


If you provide the room callistemon with optimal temperature conditions, it will bloom spectacularly and develop properly.

During the winter time, the shrub should be in a cool place (no warmer than 12 degrees). In summer, it feels best at a temperature of 20 to 22 degrees, and the room should be ventilated regularly and frequently.

Please note that the tree is afraid of a draft. You should also not place it near an air conditioner.

Air Humidity

The plant tolerates quite easily a low humidity in the room.

Humidity levels are usually between 35 and 60 per cent. During the summer months, it is recommended to moisten the tree several times a week with a sprayer. It is also sometimes washed under a warm shower. In addition to helping to remove dust from the leaves, the shower is also an excellent pest preventative.

Specialists advise, near the bush, put an open vessel filled with water.

This method of increasing air humidity is especially effective during the heating season.


Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

This plant needs enough light all year round. And it needs plenty of bright light for normal growth and development. However, if the foliage is exposed to strong sunlight, it may cause burns. The lack of light can cause flowering to suffer.

Southwest, south and southeast windows are therefore the best places to place the tree. Note that on a southern window sill, the shrub must be protected from the midday sunlight. And if the light is too scarce, the plant can be additionally lit with phyto-lamps.


Callistemon is very water-loving. Therefore, check regularly the condition of the substrate in the pot and do not allow it to become too dry.

During the warm season, water once every 8 days, and during the winter months, once every 1.5 weeks. Use well-conditioned water with a temperature slightly above room temperature. For this purpose 2 or 3 drops of lemon juice or 0,2 grams of citric acid should be added to 1 l of water. Acidified water is recommended to use for watering such a culture no more than 3 times a month.

Make sure that there is no stagnant water in the substrate, as this can cause rot on the roots, which can kill the tree. To prevent rot, make a thick layer of drainage in the bottom of the pot and add some loosener (perlite, vermiculite or agrovermiculite) to the soil mixture.

Pot selection

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

For your tree to develop properly, choose a suitable container for it. It must be quite high so that a thick drainage layer and a root system can easily fit in. And the roots should be slightly cramped in the pot, so that the flowering will be more lush and spectacular.

Often pots are sold in stores without holes for drainage at the bottom. In that case you should make them yourself.


Bought-in universal potting soil for house flowers can be used for planting, and it must be slightly acidic. If desired, the substrate can be prepared yourself: combine in equal parts sand, humus, turf and leaf soil. To make the soil mixture of higher quality and better water permeability, it is recommended to mix it with brick crumbs, coconut substrate, chopped sphagnum moss and vermiculite.


Home callistemon needs regular fertilization. From the first days of March to the middle of October, the tree is fed with a universal mineral complex for flowering crops. And the manufacturer's recommended dosage should be reduced by 2 times. When choosing a fertilizer, remember that a large amount of calcium can be harmful to the plant. You can also occasionally fertilize the bush with organic fertilizer, and the concentration of the nutrient solution should be weak.

Feeding is carried out once every 2 weeks, and do it after watering in the evening. The fertilized bush should be shaded for 24 hours. During the winter months, the plant does not need any fertiliser. A transplanted callistemon is not to be given any food for 15 days, otherwise it may be overfed.

Potting out callistemon

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

A young tree is transplanted annually in the springtime.

It is characterized by a fairly rapid growth, with the development of its root system also quite intensive. An adult specimen is only transplanted when its root system becomes too cramped in the pot (approx. once every 3 years).

Large old trees are not transplanted. Instead, the top layer of substrate in the pot is systematically replaced with fresh potting soil.

When transplanting, the old container should be replaced with a larger one.


To keep the crown tidy, the plant needs to be trimmed regularly if any damaged or weakened branches are present. This is done once a year after the shrub has finished flowering. This procedure has a positive effect on flowering and branching. Young shrubs are systematically pruned so they do not stretch out too much.

Bonsai creation

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

Callistemon can be used to create an unusual bonsai-style composition that can be a highlight of any interior. Not very large weights and wire are used to create the original shape of the tree. Shoots are bent in the necessary direction, using a wire, and weights are used to fix it.

After the branches are fully wooded, the construction is carefully removed. Next, shorten the shoots to the length you need.


Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

As a rule, the domestic callistemon blooms in the last spring weeks. The flowering tree looks very spectacular and unusual. It is not the color or unusual shape of the petals (they are difficult to see at all), but the many long stamens of rich color that make the inflorescences original. At the same time, there is a golden spot at the tip of each stamen. Fluffy spike-shaped inflorescences bloom on the upper parts of young shoots.

The stamens may be colored crimson, orange, red, cream or green.

The average length of the inflorescences is 13 centimeters and the width is 5-10 centimeters. After the bush blooms, round-shaped fruits appear in place of the stamens and are firmly attached to the shoots. No fruit is formed on the plant indoors, as it must be pollinated by birds to do so.

Dormant period

In the second half of October, begin preparing the tree for winter.

Gradual reductions in watering and air temperature are made. The plant is dormant from November until the end of winter. During this time, the substrate in the pot is moistened rarely, fertilizers are not carried out. Do not allow the ground to dry out and the formation of a dense crust on its surface.

Give the tree a large amount of bright light throughout the winter, otherwise flowering will be sparse.

If there is little light, you should arrange for backlighting.

Propagation methods

Growing from seed

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

The indoor callistemon can be grown from seeds. They are sown from early to mid-February. They are first soaked in a potassium manganese solution and then spread evenly over the surface of the moist soil mixture. The seeds are covered with a film or glass and moved to a warm place (about 23 degrees).

They are regularly aired and moistened.

After the first seedlings appear, the cover is removed. Potting into individual pots should be done when the seedlings are approximately 70mm long.


Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

Pickling is combined with pruning. The bottom of strong, healthy cuttings are dipped in a solution of a product that stimulates root growth.

Planting for rooting is carried out in a moist substrate. After the cuttings are well rooted, young leaves will appear on them. When this happens, you need to transplant the bush into a permanent pot.

The easiest and fastest way to propagate home callistemon by cuttings. Such a bush will begin to bloom sooner than one grown from seed.

Callistemon. Cuttings, rooting | Callistemon

Possible problems

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

If not cared for properly, callistemon can have such troubles as:

  1. Drying and turning leaves. Lack of light or stagnant moisture in the substrate. Replace the potting soil completely and move the tree to a brighter location.
  2. Bush dries up.

    The potting soil has an alkaline reaction. The fertilizer used should not contain calcium. Repot in a suitable substrate.

  3. Slow growth and scanty flowering. Too little light.

  4. Foliage. Stagnant water in the roots or exposure to a draft. Repot the shrub with fresh potting soil and protect from drafts.
  5. Brown and yellow spots on leaf plates. Sunburns.

    Shade the tree from the scorching rays of the sun, spray in the evening or in the shade.

  6. Pests. The crop is highly resistant to them. But still it very rarely settles spider mites, scale and mealybugs. They are eliminated with insecticidal preparations.

Callistemon species with photos and names

The following will describe the types of callistemon that are most often cultivated at home.

Callistemon lemon (Callistemon citrinus)

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

The low-growing tree is decorated with a lush crown and spectacular scarlet inflorescences about 10 centimeters long. The green foliage has a pleasant lemon scent. This species is very popular in culture. There are many varieties.

Callistemon rod-shaped (Callistemon viminalis)

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

The branches of this low-growing shrub are drooping. Inflorescences are red or deep orange.

Callistemon willowy (Callistemon salignus)

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

A strong-branched, tall shrub. Slender branches of light white color are decorated with snow-white or creamy inflorescences with many showy golden stamens. The bush looks like a willow at the time of flowering.

Callistemon rigid (Callistemon rigidus)

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

The upright shoots of this tall tree point upward. They are adorned with crimson, fluffy inflorescences.

Callistemon bright red (Callistemon coccineus)

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

This shrub can reach a height of approximately 400 cm. Its branches are brownish-gray and its inflorescences have a reddish-pink hue.

Callistemon pine (Callistemon pityoides)

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

The average height of such a tree is about 300 cm.

The thin and short leaves are similar in appearance to the needles. While the tree is young, its bark is silvery gray, over time it turns a dark emerald hue. During flowering, greenish-creamy inflorescences bloom.

Beneficial properties

Callistemon: home care, growing from seeds, species

Callistemon leaves contain essential oils. If you accidentally injure the leaf or rub it between your fingers, you can feel a pleasant aroma.

The essential oils in the air emit phytoncides that help reduce the risk of colds.

The pleasant aroma of this plant soothes the nervous system and improves the mood. Healthy sprigs left after pruning can be used to prepare tinctures and decoctions that have a beneficial effect on problematic skin.

Callistemon in a tropical garden in our Rostov-on-Don. Цветение, советы.


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