Japanese Bottlebrush Care
You'll want to plant your Bottlebrush within a few days of receiving it. If you need to wait, stick in the crisper drawer of your fridge, without any produce with it. Soak your Bottlebrush root in cool or room temperature water for about 2-4 hours to re-hydrate it before planting. When planting, find a place with good, well-draining soil that gets mostly sun. Space plants about 24" apart. Dig a hole about twice the size of the root (or choose a pot about 3 times the size of the root), then fill it back in a bit so that you place the roots on soft soil, fanning them out gently at a depth just below the surface of the ground or rim of the pot. Fill in the hole around your Bottlebrush with the remaining soil, tucking in the roots gently, so that the top of your plant (the crown) is level to the surface. The eyes should be covered by ½” - 2” of soil. Now give your roots a few solid pats to compress the soil around it, a long drink of water, and stick your Plantgem marker on the spot so you’ll remember where your new friend lives now.
Bottlebrushes love full sun or dappled shade. They do not like their dirt to dry out, so you’ll want to make sure the soil stays evenly moist for this little friend. Mulching the roots will help with this - keeping soil moist is tricky for plants that need to be in the sun all the time! Be sure to stick your finger in the soil regularly to check the moisture level. It will help you establish your watering routine. If planting in a pot, use quality potting soil, rich with compost. If planting outdoors, consider supplementing your soil with compost or quality top soil - your Bottlebrush prefers nutrient-rich soil.
Bottlebrush is such a fun little plant. The pink flower "brushes" form on wire-like stems over a compact clump of foliage. Cut the "wires" of the faded flowers down at the base where it meets the leaves to keep the plant tidy and to encourage it to grow more. Fertilize every two weeks to keep it blooming.
Happily, Japanese Bottlebrush's are low maintenance once established. They are pest and critter resistant. Cut back the foliage down to the ground when it turns brown after the first frost. It will grow back in the spring.