Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE / WEEKEND - IN MY GAR­DEN WORDS: ANGIE THOMAS Angie Thomas is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist at Yates.

Cal­lis­te­mons (bot­tle­brushes) have been beau­ti­fully busy dur­ing spring and sum­mer pro­duc­ing masses of vi­brant bee and bird at­tract­ing flow­ers. Once the flower show has ended, bot­tle­brush will start pro­duc­ing lots of small round seed pods, which re­main clus­tered along the flow­er­ing stem. New fo­liage will then emerge from the end of the pod-cov­ered stem. This can re­sult in stems be­com­ing woody and leaf­less and the plant be­com­ing sparse over time. To help keep bot­tle­brush look­ing lush and bushy, af­ter the flow­ers have fin­ished it’s time to give the plant a trim, cut­ting off all the most re­cent spent flower heads and seed pods. Prune to just below the old flower. This will en­cour­age a fresh flush of new fo­liage on the stem tips and en­cour­age denser leafy growth. It’s im­por­tant to prune as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter flow­er­ing has fin­ished, so there’s am­ple time for new stems to de­velop dur­ing sum­mer and au­tumn, that will be the source of next spring’s flow­ers. Cal­lis­te­mon will ben­e­fit from be­ing fed af­ter prun­ing with a qual­ity or­ganic fer­tiliser.

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