The bottle brush plant is a shrub that is popular in the southern region of the United States. It grows slowly during the first few years, and then begins to grow more quickly into a dense shrub within several years. This shrub can reach heights of up to 12 feet and can become up to 15 feet wide. It spreads by suckers so if you want to confine the bottle brush and keep it from forming a thicket you will need to keep the suckers pruned.
Prune the bottle brush in late winter or early spring. For the first three years of the shrub's life, prune by cutting back one-third of the growth at the base of the shrub.
Prune carefully with small cuts to make sure that you don't alter the shape of the shrub. Stand back often to analyse your progress and proceed slowly.
Prune the bottle brush carefully during the growing season. The blooms can be cut off when they are finished.
Cut the shrub to the ground right before winter if rejuvenation is necessary. While this may seem drastic, the bottle brush will recover miraculously the next spring and will grow well.