Wired my $5 clearance section bottle brush

Got this from the clearance section of Lowe’s. I love going there because you can sometimes find some gems that are just in need of a little TLC…okay, sometimes a lot of TLC lol.

I was surprised at how nice the nebari ended up being. Thing was root bound like crazy though. Other than that all I’ve done is wire without much foliar reduction. Just wanted to get the development on the way. Gonna let it gain strength for now after I’ve hopefully set the solar panels up for success. It’s already put on a lot of growth in the short time that I’ve had it though.

This is my first go with rebar. Overall I think I did well and the goal was achieved without any visible damage to the tree. Apparently these plants are native to Australia, so finding info on YouTube has been interesting from an accent standpoint lol. I’m running some experiments on building ramification. You may notice some green landscape tape. These are pre-hardened tips that I’ve pinched. So far…no measurable effects lol. I think the way to go here is to do post-harden pruning to get some nice radial bud growth. We’ll see.

Anyway, sorry for rambling on more than I had anticipated lol. Here are before and after pics. Branches will be cut off at the red lines some time next year after it recovers from the repotting. I’m running a large branch pruning experiment on one of those larger ones. Probably can’t see the cut pasted cut site in the pic. I want to see how it compartmentalizes large prunes.


I looked at the photos before reading the text. I was thinking “Too tall!” and started thinking about where to cut. Then I saw your cut lines in the second photo. PERFECT!

You’re on your way!


Thanks Bill! Pretty excited about this one.

I like it alot!!! :grin:

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Beautiful piece of material and I agree with the plan :+1:

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I’ve been interested in messing with these. The library in town has some with soda can sized trunks and they look nice. I know @ndavila80 has a few, if I remember a past thread correctly. Maybe he can give you some pointers from what he’s picked up with these plants.

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@el_cheezer Thanks, yes I have a few of these. I would be careful with the hard pruning. They die back along the trunk and main branches if there are no existing buds or shoots, dont heal over big wounds well, and deadwood on these rot quickly. I use the container to constrict the roots and help reduce the leaf size. For ramification I grow all my branches to the point where lateral shoots emerge and then cut back to them. Repeat and repeat and repeat. Spring repotting is best, however, they tolerate summer repots well… with adequate aftercare of course.


All of the major cuts are going to be back to secondary branches. Think that will be okay? I did notice that it likes to push out radial shoots. Just wondering how to force them where I want them to be. With my willow leaf fig I can pretty much just stare at a branch and see the whorl develop lol. :weary:

Okay, I’m watching the zelkova stream because I picked one up this weekend and there was a question asked about die-back on these and pomegranates (which I also happened to pick up this weekend lol). Ryan mentioned that you have to cut back to two buds/nodes. It sounds like the same is true of bottle brush based on what you’re saying @ndavila80.

@Bonsai_Bentley I let the whorls grow until they elongate enough to be cut easily. Leave the lateral and use them, I sometimes keep upwards and downwards growing shoots depending on the movement I want. I always select down to 2-3 shoots depending on what I need. The large cuts to laterals on the primary should be okay, but they most likely wont heal over well or for some time. Make sure to cut paste them.


Poms are great. Pretty bulletproof trees. They are slow growing, in terms of putting on trunk thickness, but will send out shoots like crazy after you work them. Small leaves, flowers, and fruit if you let them…cool tree.

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Makes me want to go this weekend and see what I can find! thanks for the inspiration.

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I troll nurseries on a regular basis lol. I’m waiting for the big box stores to have their big winter sales so I can grab a couple that I’ve had my eye on. My issue now is that even though I know I’m running out of space I’m not really slowing down. :frowning_face:

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Fall is a great time to go nursery shopping, as a lot of the bent, broken trees get put into clearance sections before they have to start gearing up for spring.


Yes indeed. Bought three plants. Two nandina that I plan on using in a slab planting. May need to go back for a third. Also grabbed a star magnolia that I’m gonna cut back hard in the spring. All 50% off. Here’s the nebari on the magnolia. Not the dopest, but I like it. :man_shrugging:t5: