Callistemon (Callistemon) has several more names - beautiful stamen, red stamen. These are shrubs or small trees, they belong to the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae) and come from Australia. We can grow only in indoor conditions or in winter gardens, since they do not tolerate frosts. Very popular because of the unusual shape of their flowers.
Callistemon is an evergreen plant. Inflorescences with long stamens resemble brushes for washing bottles. It is the stamens that give the flowers a spectacular and original look, while the petals are small and nondescript. Flowers up to 12 cm long, dense, cylindrical. Appear at the ends of branches. After flowering, ligneous small fruits of spherical shape are formed.
In nature, callistemon flowers are pollinated by birds that fly to enjoy sweet nectar. Narrow, regular leathery leaves are so stiff that their sharp edges can hurt. Leaves contain essential oil. They are arranged in a spiral around the stem. Callistemon has an interesting feature - its leaves are always turned to the sun with an edge. Due to this, their heating is reduced, and the plant protects itself from moisture loss.
Callistemon needs a lot of bright sunlight, otherwise it will develop poorly and bloom. It is watered abundantly, never allowing the earthen coma to dry out. It is better to use soft water, as callistemon does not tolerate excess lime.
In winter, a dormant period begins for the plant. Its growth is suspended. He needs to organize wintering in a cool, no more than 12 ºC, bright room.
In the spring, the plant is pruned so that it looks neat and better bushy. Callistemon tolerates pruning without problems. Then it is transplanted into fresh land. It should be borne in mind that callistemon does not tolerate calcareous soil. A substrate with a neutral reaction is suitable.
Callistemon propagated by seeds and cuttings. Plants grown from seeds bloom quite late - in the 4th or 5th year of life. Therefore, it is faster to grow new plants from lignified cuttings cut from late summer to early spring. Cuttings are planted in pots with loose earth, covered with a plastic bag and kept at a temperature of about 20 degrees.
Difficulties in growing Callistemon
It needs fresh air, therefore it is better if it is possible to take the plant to the garden or to the balcony.
If wintering was very warm, above 15 ºC, callistemon may not bloom. You can not wait for flowering even if your green pet does not have enough light.