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The Lemon bottlebrush can be grown as a large shrub or small tree with a mounding habit 15-25 ft. tall, 15-20 ft. wide. Citrus-scented leaves are pointed and 3-4 in. long; new growth emerges soft and reddish before maturing pale green and hard. Striking red flowers comprised of numerous stamens occur in large brush-like spikes, 3-4 in. long, during mid spring and also intermittently all year.

Lemon bottlebrush comes from coastal habitats of eastern Australia. It is widely grown throughout the Inland Empire, showing remarkable adaptability to heat, sun, aridity and wind. It grows best with moderate amounts of water throughout the year, but its tough foliage and bark enable established plants to tolerate periods of summer drought. It is available from nurseries as a single trunk tree or shrub, and can be used as a patio and garden tree, foundation plant and large clipped hedge. Flowers of the Lemon bottlebrush are valued by many types of birds. Several cultivars are available, including compact forms.

Water Needs

The Lemon bottlebrush is highly adapted to climates with moist winters and dry summers. As a result, our normal winter rains are often sufficient to provide good moisture from late November through March; afterwards, established plants need only periodic deep watering during the summer and fall. Young plants will grow faster and larger with regular moisture during the winter to spring growing season if the winter rains are sparse.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Tree
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Mounding, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 15 ft. - 25 ft.
Width: 15 ft. - 20 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Red
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Silt, Loam, Clay, Calcareous soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Screening, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Attracts bees, Hedge


May need proper staking when young, only until it can support itself. Remove stakes as early as appropriate so the plant will continue to develop its own strength. Prune when young for good long-term structure. Organic mulch of 3-4 inches under the canopy is ideal, held away from the trunk and root crown. It can also be pruned as a hedge. Plant fall through spring. Prune in fall or winter (D).



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