Bottlebrush Buckeye

marketingman(5oh)March 21, 2006

Can anyone tell me the growth rate of the shrub Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush Buckeye)? Around my area it retails for between $60-70 for a gallon size and $15 accordingly for a pint size. I'd like to save money, but don't want to wait five years for a 5 foot shrub.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Buy the cheap one. Definitely.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 10:21PM
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Boy does that seem expensive! If you know anybody with one of these already, you might be able to dig up a sucker from around the base. That's how I got mine (about 4 feet tall when I got it too).

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 10:00AM
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vagarden(7 Central VA)

I planted mine in 2001. It was a gallon size, maybe a foot and a half tall, and cost $75 then. (They were really hard to find then - now they're more popular and available.) It is now almost 6 feet tall and around, and its branches have thickened into a beautiful form. It seems to be growing faster the last few years than in its first. I'm glad to have bought the larger one, although I nearly lost it under three trees that fell on it in Isabel.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 11:14AM
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Hi, On the subject of bottlebrush buckeye . . . I have just had a landscape plan done for my backyard. It calls for 35 bottlebrush buckeye. Looking into buying that many seems pretty expensive. Would it be a good idea to buy just a few and try to propogate them from those? Will it take forever?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 9:49AM
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35 BB? Huh....
Do you have a 20+ acres property?
They are huge and could form a thickets.
Slow growing in a first couple of years, but got shot of steroids after that.
I was lucky to buy a fairly large 4-5' tall and 3-4' wide specimen three years ago.
Now it's about 8' high and 8-10' wide. Plenty of suckers at the base, so it is very dense looking.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 8:31PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Wow! 60 to 70 bucks for a bottlebrush buckeye? I bought mine last year, a gallon pot, for $19. And I thought that was high!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 11:09PM
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devyani1964(Z6 NJ)

I bought 2 last year from LazyK Nursery in the south for under $10.00. They were about 18" tall. They are over 2 feet tall this year. Lazy K shipping season has ended for the spring but will resume in the fall if you can wait until then.

Also I noticed several larger BB (about 3' high) at Rarefind Nursery last year and they were around $40.00. I think they list them in their catalog this year too. Also Fairweather nursery has them but they are done with shipping for spring. Also check out We-Du nursery.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 2:48PM
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Wow, I can't believe those prices for this shrub!! I knew it was becoming more and more popular, but I had no idea it could command that price.

Luckylady, if you really need to buy 35, you really should come to this area to shop for them. Many nurseries sell them (although their inventories of this plant are usually pretty small), and one gallons should sell for around $10. I have even seen them occasionally (rarely) at Home Depot.

Bottlebrush Buckeyes are native to this area, yet they are not at all popular landscape shrubs. Among local native shrubs, they have never achieved the widespread acceptance of Oakleaf Hyrdangeas. Most wild ones are not all that impressive or eye-catching, so I think they fail to get noticed by most people.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 7:24AM
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Thanks, everybody. No, I don't have 20 acres; just one. We hired a landscape designer to do a plan, but his prices are way out of our reach to implement it. The plan seems really good, (apart from the huge number of BB?) and we are trying to do it ourselves, with the help of some intermediate heavy machinery to dig holes and spread topsoil, etc. The BB are interspersed with dogwoods and sometimes there are as many as eleven in a row, alongside the property line. The plan puts them about 6-8 feet apart. Do you all think this is overkill?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 7:34AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

It sounds like your LD has a severe lack of vision. Are there any other shrubs mixed in, or just all BB's? It would look a lot better with a mix of shrubs, not all BB's IMHO. On a 1 acre property, you could have a lot of different shrubs.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 5:49PM
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It's rather hard to describe the arrangement, as it's a fairly ambitious plan, having 189 new plants. (And that's just the rear and side rear areas.) He has 27 leyland cypress along the rear property line (which is 200' - for screening a parking lot), then 9 BB in the center in a modified V pattern in front - toward the house- of them. Another 5 at the left rear corner, 3 at the right rear corner, and 11 & 7 at the left and right side property lines. The ones on the left are under tall limbed-up pines, with hollies, ferns and dogwoods, as well as skip laurels. The ones on the right take over from a long run of rhodys (8) some dogwoods and more skip laurel. There is a path running through all this, leading to a gazebo on the left, then a bluestone patio on the right, and the inside of the path (toward the house) has witchazels (15) more dogwoods, cherry laurels (12) and ferns, as well as a couple of beds for daffodills, plus 10 oakleaf hydrangea. As I read the descriptions for some of these plants, I am concerned that there is too much that will get too big. Around the bluestone patio there are two rows of plants on the sides: cherry laurel on the outside and barberry on the inside. The rear is flanked by two wisteria. Comments?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 9:48PM
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I heard of BB from Fine gardening magazine. I also bought mine at Lazy K nurersery. I got them planted inside until the overnight cold spells go above freezing. It is already leafing out and growing in by our sliding glass door!! I can't wait to plant them.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 2:29PM
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shadygrove(z7 VA)

This is just way too many plants--your instincts are correct. Just the Leyland Cypress will be fifty feet tall before you can catch your breath. My main garden is an acre and I can't imagine putting that many plants into the space. It sounds like a pleasing lay-out, but I think you should ask your fella about ultimate sizes, unless you are trying to plan a forest of foliage. I have one bottlebrush buckeye in my shrub border and its going to be large. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 5:12AM
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I got mine 7 years ago from White flower Farm $40-about 3' tall. I had it out in the yard for 3 years and no irrigation, and it never grew extra suckets or limbs, in fact it kept getting smaller. Now it grows next to the house near the faucet, so it gets alot of watering and after 5 years in its new spot, it has 6 small suckers, extra limbs, and is now 7 feet tall.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 9:17AM
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loomis(Z6a Western MA)

These things get huge. Google it on the internet to see pictures of them. And they sucker, besides. I can't imagine 35 of them, not to mention all the rest of the plants your landscaper proposed. Your instincts are right. Maybe it's time to get another person in with a new plan and a clear vision of how all of this will look when it grows bigger.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 10:25PM
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Luckyladyd, I have five bottlebrush buckeyes in my yard. I like them very much, but they do get huge quickly in a good spot. They can get to be 10' x 10' in a few years, not 5' x 5'.

You can see that if you spaced these 6-8 feet apart, you would have far too many once they began to grow. And all the advice about suckering is also true. The one by the house has been there for about ten years. The one in the open has been there for seven years.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 12:43AM
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giboosi_alttara(z6 CT)

barberry next to the patio?! Ouch.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 7:01AM
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I finally moved the BB's from inside to outside in the fall 2007. The plants are slow growing right now... so all of the advice about it taking off I am waiting to see it.

They seem to be somewhat drought tolerant, as I have them planted on a hillside. I'm still waiting for flowering to occur, but in the meantime the leaf shape is very interesting. It does make a nice contrast to maples and rhodies.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 10:40PM
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tishfromwis(z5 WI)

I'm the most stupid of them all, I paid $120 in 2007 for about a 3 foot specimen. They are hard to find up here and that is why I paid the price. Mine is thriving, but has not grown a whole lot. Of course, it has only been in the ground for a year (creep year). I found on the web that they are slow growers...

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 9:54AM
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I bought a twiggy Bottlebrush 7 years ago. It is now 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It is growing nicely into its planned for space. Our son has his degree from U of I in Ornamental Horticulture. I have been around him long enough to know that the planner who proposed 35 Bottlebrush Buckeye on a 1 acre site is more than severely limited in the end result. And the Leyland Cypress grow into Monsters in no time at all. Our Bottlebrush sits in a screening composed of Henry's Garnet--8 inches high 10 years ago and now 4 feet high and 10 feet wide--and all fit because we knew the mature size when the landscape plan was designed. White pine in the back row with Kousa Dogwood. Incredibly beautiful due to the knowledge of the designer.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 3:52PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I bought my buckeye for $4.00 at our Master Gardeners Sale!

Luckylady, I'd say you were lucky to post this question. I also strongly caution you against the Leyland Cypresses. They get so big that they will make your house look like it's a miniature, and to prune them back requires a lift like the phone company uses. Add to that the fact that bagworms like to go to Leylands for their honeymoons and anniversary celebrations....

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 3:31PM
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My BBs are still hanging in there. Nearly two years in the ground (kinda poor soil, but heavily mulched) on a hillside w/part sun, and they are about twice the size of first years size. Not the rampant grower yet! No flowers yet, but I'm waiting.

Sometimes being a frugal gardener is hard, because I've been planning on this being in their mature form for the last 4-years. In the meantime, I have been planting around them with other stuff that may have to be removed later or stay if the original plan fails to thrive.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 8:04AM
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pondwelr(z5 WI)

Oh the irony! I went on this forum to post the 'what is this' question, having forgotten the name of my bottlebush
buckeye. So now I went to my original landscapers plans and saw that I paid $100 for one bush. I do remember that it bloomed the 2nd year. 11 yrs later, and having been cut
down hard one year, it is about 10'wide and 5' tall. I love having those huge showy candle blooms in the late summer. Little to no suckering so far.
Incidentally, I agree with everyone else, that designer has
proposed W A Y too many plants for a one acre lot. Dump the guy, and trust yourself. Pondy

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 3:39PM
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Can a bottle brush buckeye be pruned and limbed up to create a multi-stemmed (about 3) tree-like form?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 5:46PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Not likely as they are a suckering shrub.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 10:20PM
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