Bottlebrush freeze damage?

dtstxdan(78942)February 25, 2010

I planted several bottlebrush plants last spring and nursed them through the drought and heat last summer and now they look completely dead. With all the rain since August they have been very wet in an area that sometimes retains water. Anyone think they might come back? Should I cut them back now or wait or just pull them out. They are about 3-4 foot now and were blooming last fall!

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sylviatexas1

If I remember correctly, they are Australian plants & need warm weather.

I had a gorgeous one...
for one summer.

Although the following winter wasn't "bad", the bottlebrush did not survive.

too bad, too, because they're beautiful beautiful plants.

If yours don't return, & you get more, put them inside for the winter.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 7:16PM
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hybridsage

dtstxdan:
I would ask first which Bottlebrush did you purchase little
John(Dwf.) Standard or weeping?
I would not get to concerned just yet it is still winter
and our soil temperatures are still falling. My standard
Callistemon citrinus-Bottlebrush has done the same thing
plants that like warm temperatures like warm soil. If your plant has not came back by May then you know it is truly gone. It is a pretty new plant and may have suffered more than mine which has been in the ground for 10+ Years. Scrape just under the bark in april to see if it is green
and still alive or brown(Dead).
Art

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 7:57PM
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bjb817

Will Bottlebrushes return from the roots like an Oleander or are they dead if the top turns brown?

Both my standard ones and Little Johns are completely brown and the twigs are brittle. They snap right off without a hint of green inside the stems.

It'd be a shame if they're truly dead. They are (were) some of my favorites. :^(

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:08PM
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jolanaweb

All but 2 (planted in protected area) of mine are brown, even my huge ones over 10'
I was told by a lady *in the know* yesterday that they will most likely come back and cited a great reference, so I am not giving up
They are my favorite shrub/tree
Good luck

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:15PM
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texaslynn

Mine are exactly as described above and one of them is 7 or 8 years old and really large so I am sick that they may be dead. What a weird, cold winter.

Lynn

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:45PM
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bobbi_p(z8/9 Cypress, TX)

Mine too, is brown, with the exception of a few green leaves near the base. It's really holding on to those brown leaves too though. I'm hoping they'll fall off as new growth emerges. It didn't seem brittle last time I tried snapping it, but as tough as those leaves are clinging, I wonder if it's a tough wood even when dead?!

I finally have my front yard in tidy form and am moving to the back today. I'll poke around mine a bit more and report what I find!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:06AM
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bjb817

Since its been a few weeks since anyone's posted here, I'm wondering if anyone's noticed and signs of life on their Bottlebrushes.

I've cut all mine back to stubs and there wasn't a hint of life anywhere. I'll probably give them a few more weeks and then throw in the towel if some signs of life don't appear...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 11:34PM
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birdbite(z8b/9a)

My Little John is planted in a somewhat protected area. It was 3' tall and 3' wide and totally brown from the freezes. It still has most of it's brown leaves clinging to it, but I am seeing new green buds and growth starting in interior along the branches. I don' think it's alive all the way to the ends of the stems, but I will trim it back to the new growth once I'm sure it's done budding out.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 8:11AM
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texaslynn

I haven't cut mine back but they are still looking pretty far gone :(

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:02PM
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texaslynn

I just spotted today some green growth coming from my larger (and older) bottlebrush! I am very excited! I'm still not sure that the younger one is alive, but at least the big one still is!

Lynn

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 9:11PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Wait for the 80's, people...........wait for the 80's...the ground has to warm up a bit.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 1:18PM
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bjb817

Well, call me impatient, but I pulled the plug this weekend on all the plants not showing any signs of life, including the bottlebrushes. Went with replacements that are reliably z8 hardy.

I knew the Little Johns were more of a z9 plant, so fair enough, but the standard ones were listed as z8 on the tag, which left me a little frustrated... Live and learn.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 12:00AM
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texaslynn

Well, I was waiting it out but had pretty much given up since I had detected no sign of life in my BB's (even scraping low down on trunk). I just happened to look at it the other day and lo and behold! there was some green growth. I think it is going to need some major cutting back, however.

I thought I would post that mine was still alive so as to give other folks hope that perhaps theirs was too.

bjb, I think we've all gotten lulled into a false sense of security the last few years with having mild winters; I know I had all kinds of stuff in my yard that would normally have not been considered winter hardy and yet it lived from year to year. Until this past winter! I'm certainly going to be more careful about what I put in the yard! It's hard to lose mature plants!

Lynn

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:26AM
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big_cleo

Our bottlebrush bushes are over 15 feet tall and heavily damaged by the freeze. We have new growth high and low on them so we are carefully cutting them back to the new growth. Our nursery advised us to cut them back so I am hoping this works. It's heartbreaking to have to cut them.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 12:37PM
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maidhc_mac

I've seen signs of life on Bottlebrushs, starting to bud out along the main trunks and some branches. The big ones will probably need a season to get back to where they were, but they are fast growers... almost too fast.
Saw a large one the other day that had no freeze damage at all, and it went uncovered through the hard freeze. Was in a somewhat protected spot, but unusual to see it all nice and green and red.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:33PM
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bjb817

For those of you getting new growth-were yours in somewhat protected locations? Just curious. Ours were in pretty exposed areas and I think that may have contributed to their demise. :^(

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:37PM
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texaslynn

My large BB was located on the SE corner of my house, flanked by a large gardenia (which also sustained freeze damage - grrrrr!) and some shrubs on the other side, so it was in a somewhat protected spot.

My younger BB, which was over 5 feet tall, a weeping tree-like specimen - bought last year for $$$$ - and which was to be a focal point in the yard, croaked. It was not located in a very sheltered spot.

I dug it up yesterday and threw it, sadly, on the brush pile.

Lynn

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:08AM
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