Although this attractive and unusual houseplant will grow well in normal room conditions, it is ideal for a greenhouse or sunroom, where it can be allowed to develop into a moderately large shrub. The flower spikes have no petals but consist of tightly packed, bright red stamens with yellow tips.
These 4-in/10-cm spikes have the appearance of a particularly colorful bottle brush. Leaves are long, narrow, and pointed, giving the plant a rather spiky appearance.
Flowering occurs in summer; once it is over, move the plant outdoors into a sunny, sheltered location to help ripen the wood for good flowering the following season. Bring it back indoors when the nights start to become cold. Callistemons need a winter rest period, during which they should be kept cool and watered moderately.
The brilliantly colorful, erect flower spikes are topped with a little tuft ofleaves.
A bright, sunny location is essential for good flowering. Soil-based medium suits this plant best. Be careful not to overwater, especially in fall and winter.
HEIGHT To 4ft/1.2m.
POTTING MIX Equal amounts of soil base, leaf mold, and coarse sand.
REPOTTING In spring. Increase the size of pot until the plant is as large as you desire, then top-dress annually.
PROPAGATION Sow seed in spring or take semiripe cuttings in early summer.
KEEPING PLANTS Cut back by about half immediately after flowering, to keep the plant compact.