How to Prune Bottle Brush Plants

Written by kimberly johnson
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Bottle brush plants are evergreen trees with dark green leaves and red or pink flowers. The flowers are elongated at the end of branches and are comprised of short spiky petals. These flowers resemble a brush used to clean bottles with, hence the name bottle brush. Pruning of bottle brush trees is only necessary to control excessive growth or to remove diseased limbs. Unlike other trees, bottle brush does not need pruning to encourage growth.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Hand saw
  • Pruning paint

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  1. 1

    Use pruning shears to remove any limbs that are discoloured or diseased. These include limbs with yellow or brown leaves as well as bark that has turned black rather than brown. Also remove leaves or bark that have black spots as this indicates the presence of mould.

  2. 2

    Cut off all small shoots that are growing out of the tree trunk. These small shoots are called suckers and will eventually grow into larger limbs if not pruned.

  3. 3

    Locate any branches that are touching another branch or are within 1 foot of another branch. Remove the limb by cutting it with a handsaw as close to the trunk of the tree as possible.

  4. 4

    Cut off limbs from the top of the tree to encourage outward branching rather than vertical growth. This makes the tree fuller, more attractive and easier to manage. These limbs must be cut with a handsaw as close to the trunk of the tree as possible.

  5. 5

    Apply a thin coat of pruning paint to all sections of the tree from which limbs were cut. This protects the tree from pests and disease until the exposed sections regrow bark.

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