Sick Bottle Brush - Help please

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Coquet41, May 23, 2020 at 3:24 PM.

  1. Coquet41

    Coquet41 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all,

    Newbie here but very enthusiastic; gardening has become my go to lockdown hobby

    Unfortunately one of the plants I purchased approx 4 weeks ago has been deteriorating and not sure why. I was watering it once / twice daily during the hot snap and have watered it everyday apart from days when we've had a fair bit of rain. The only other thing I considered is that it can be exposed to winds where it is located. It has partial shade under a pear tree but typically get sun from a few angles (aspect pic attached with red X marking plants current location).Any advice appreciated. Really want to get it back thriving

    1590243458192..jpg1590243483446..jpg1590243744504..jpg
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    What actually is the problem?
    Are the leaves shriveled, its not easy to see.
    Where did you buy it?
    Where are you?
     
  3. Coquet41

    Coquet41 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi Pete, I'm in Cumbria in North West England; I bought the plant from a local garden centre.

    Sorry about the pictures I was trying to get close-ups of the flowering part of the plant. Essentially the whole plant appears too have wilted / drooped since when I first purchased it. Also the leaves have gone dull and the flowering parts brownish whereas the whole thing was green, lush and perky on arrival. I've included a zoomed out picture of the plant currently and one from the garden centre depicting how it looked when I purchased it.
     

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  4. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Has it been frosted?
    It was probably forced slightly by growing under cover, if it then suffered a frost it would explain why it looks like that.
     
  5. Victoria

    Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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    It needs warmth and sun and time to settle in. You've only had it four weeks, give it a bit of time and don't over water it in the English climate ... I didn't do it here and now it gets virtually no water and is 4 meters tall.
     
  6. Coquet41

    Coquet41 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi @pete and @Victoria it was getting a lot of warmth during our hot snap when we bought it but I recall there was one night when frost was expected so perhaps this has impacted it. How often would you recommend watering it? I read somewhere that I should try to water at soil level only too.

    I'm guessing cutting it back would be a bad move at this stage?
     
  7. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    How often to water, when its dry?;)
    And with most of the leaves dead I dont think it will need much water at all really.
    As its planted in the ground, once a week if we dont get rain,

    I think you are looking at a lot of dieback , so leave it for now and cut back to new shoots when they appear.:smile:
     
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    • Victoria

      Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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      Never heard of this. I agree with pete. i don't have hot spells and cold snaps thankfully.

       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I think if you water at soil level more water gets to the roots, just a spaying over the foliage is useless:smile:

        But, so I'm told it does rain in Australia and the foliage gets wet.:biggrin:
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          I think it might be useful to add, bottle brush only flowers early summer, it then grows, you dont get repeat flowering, well not in the UK anyway.:smile:
           
        • Coquet41

          Coquet41 Apprentice Gardener

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          Cheers both that's really helpful. Usually no need to water in the UK... such is the weather. I'll ease right back on that and just keep an eye on how the plant is impacted
           
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          • CarolineL

            CarolineL Super Gardener

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            Dear All - I must say that to me it looks as though it has dried out. Maybe the roots hadn't been teased out, or soil not actually soaked after planting. I have found bottle brushes pretty robust, but that is a big plant, and would have needed a lot of watering to the roots to help establish. The soil around looks dry...
             
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            • Cuttings

              Cuttings Gardener

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              You can get them to repeat flower here, its a case of prunning correctly.
              After the flower fades, on the stem you see the roundish flower buds, just by the very first bud (trunk side) you will notice a change in colour in the stem/bark, prune here, this will initiate the dormant buds, you will get 2 smaller flowers, for each larger flower, prune there again after the second flush to stop the long leader and several bare patches before flowering next year nice and early.
              You can also prune back to these colour change places, when shaping or maintainance prunning, this works on all the currently available Bottlebrush callistemon, even the weeping ones. The other half has a collection of Callistemon, reds, purple, yellow and whites, shes obbsessed with them, but its me that has to prune the FFFF things.
               
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              • pete

                pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                Thanks @Cuttings I'll see if I can get mine to flower again this year once the first flowers fade.
                I usually prune a bit after flowering anyway but mainly for shape.
                One question, over a period of time do the flowers get smaller and smaller?
                 
              • Cuttings

                Cuttings Gardener

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                They do in this process, but usually revert to size the following season, we did have a yellow one that the flowers seemed to reduce in size over the seasons, We did wonder if it was a natural occurrance of the species, however, sometimes my reactions can be a bit quick draw, on this occassion I applied sulphate of potash, the next season the flowers where back to the origina size, so put it down to potassium levels, so now I feed them as I do my Bonsai trees, september to november I apply a fortnightly dose of a 0-10-10 feed, this hardens them up for winter, and they put on an excellent show the following season, but the 2nd flush are smaller.
                 
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