underplanting bottlebrush tree

rioritaraeAugust 3, 2004

My large bottlebrush shrub/multi-trunk tree is planted on the northwest side of my house. That bed is located directly off the patio and french doors. I've never had any success with underplants. The roots seem to be shallow. Anyone on the forum had success with underplanting on this tree?

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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

You're not likely to ever have any success. Why? Becasue the "bottlebrush" shrubs latin genus is "callistemon" or something similar...anyway, this plant produces a natural "weed killer" and if you will notice, not much grows well underneath them anywhere there are seen. In fact, one of the best new herbicides to enter the ag market in recent years was a product introduced by Syngenta ( the conglomeratin of many different chemical companies) by the name of "callisto"...and its active ingredient is from the bottlebrush plant.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 12:53PM
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Well that message vindicates my "brown thumb." I should grit my teeth and dig it up, but it's huge. Guess my only recourse is potted plants around the base, but it drops leaves all the time. Would those hinder growth also?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 3:37PM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Don't know, but I believe that the active ingredient is mainly in the roots. Dig it up or go with pots. ANd good luck!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 9:03AM
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I didn't know this, but I knew there was a reason I didn't like bottlebrush trees. I always assumed that the reason nothing grew underneath them was that they sucked up all the water.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 11:18PM
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I have amaryllis growing under mine. They seem to be doing OK. Maybe I have just been lucky. The tree is not all large so perhaps they just haven't been affected yet. Or maybe it's the different type of root?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 6:31PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I have agapanthus under mine - they are all doing fine.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 12:41PM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Bulbous type plants should be fine of course...the roots ingredient mainly targets shallow rooted grassy type weeds. I would guess, however, that neither plant is at its optimum with the underplantings. I have seen tangerine trees with underplantings that all looked OK...but this is a cardinal sin for citrus...NO underplantings. Bottlebrush probably prefers to be by itself as well, but I bet yours looks great PeaBee4!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 1:09PM
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leafylea(Australia. Quee)

I had fishtail ferns,Broms,spathiphilum [unsure spelling]
under mine.If you put plenty of mulch under and top it up
regularly theres quite a few small shallow rooted running
plants that will grow.Could suggest more but not sure how
cold it gets at your place.The Broms do really well here
when you put lots of loose pine bark around them+mulch
mulch mulch.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2004 at 7:29PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I lied. In the long run, my agapanthus did terrible underneath the bottlebrush tree. They finally had to be moved in order to save them. I'm now a believer that bottlebrush poison other plants. A just put some caladium under there... we'll see how they do.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 6:12PM
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