Sick dwarf Bottlebrush

MetalMan2004February 17, 2014

I have 3 dwarf bottlebrush plants that were planted last year. They did just fine during the summer here in Houston, but the winter has kept them soggy and they don't get as much sun as they did in summer.

I am pretty sure it is the wetness that has them sick. I am not watering them, but it is Houston so it rains often and the soil (even though I amended it) has a lot of clay that holds the water in.

Can anyone help me save these plants? I have no idea what to do...

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


it shouldnt need as much light in winter .... it should be dormant ... and many things get different colors in winter .. though i never grew a BB ...

i would expect over watering.. to create yellow leaves... as which i dont see any ...

other than that.. i can not really focus on your pic all that great ... might you not be able to get a bit closer???

could it be.. perhaps.. that you are getting a little antsy for spring.. and this thing isnt ready to get going yet ...??? ... give it a few more weeks .. and lets see what happens ... vigorous spring shoots would answer all your questions ....

give it time.. and obviously.. do not water if you know the soil is already damp ... insert finger and keep track ...

do you happen to know the full cultivar name??? .. might make a difference


    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 10:48AM
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Here is a closer picture. Hopefully this is a little better. I certainly hear what you are saying, but unless I am mistaken, bottlebrushes are evergreen. I agree they shouldn't be exploding with growth yet, but they sure look sick to me...

These are Callistemon citrinus or little john bottlebrush.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:14AM
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In contrast, here is my full size bottle brush that was planted at the same time. it gets the same amount of water and even less light during winter and it looks nice and healthy.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:16AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

That first picture shows you planted it right next to the downspout.
Could that have anything to do with it?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 2:14PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

I think so. Definitely *not* the same amount of water for the two shrubs.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:10PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

They need good drainage. And they ARE evergreen. I suspect soggy roots.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:50AM
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