Cylinder cleaner - care, wintering, cutting

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Cylinder cleaner - care, wintering, cutting: wintering

Because of the unusual shape of the cylinder cleaner (Callistemon citrinus, Syn. Callistemon lanceolatus) also called pipe cleaner, Schoenfaden, lampbrush shrub or bottle brush shrub. The genus consists of several very frost sensitive to winter hardy, evergreen shrubs and trees.

Blossom and leaves

The cylinder cleaner is interesting from the flower alone. It blooms depending on the kind up to three times a year; April / May, August and December. The 10 to 15cm long flowers, which come up with very filigree stamens, are long lasting and usually radiate in red, but also in pink and yellow. The flowers themselves are rather inconspicuous greenish, conspicuously colorful are only the long stamens, which often cover the flowers completely.
The leaves are firm and have a delicate fragrance of lemon (which gives the plant also the botanical addition citrinus). If you rub them between your fingers, the smell becomes much more intense. Cylinder cleaners are evergreen. Above all, the frost-sensitive species thrill with their extraordinary flowers, so that almost only these are offered here in the trade.


Cylinder cleaners need a lot of water, the earth should always be kept slightly moist. They tolerate short-term dry periods of 1-2 days, but they usually need months to recover. As sensitive as drought, they also respond to waterlogging. Rain water should be used for watering because the plant does not tolerate lime well. As a star collector, she needs many nutrients, so she loves weekly to 14-day fertilizer. Although it survives even without nutrient supply, this is at the expense of flowering joy.

plant substrate

The lamp cleaner needs absolutely lime-free earth. Suitable are K├╝belpflanzen- or Rhododendronerde. Both are mixed with sand. The substrate may be acidic or neutral. Ideal is a drainage layer on the bottom of the pot. The planter should not be too big. Once it's too heavily rooted, has to be repotted. The best time for it is the spring. It is best to plant again in the old pot, but cut the root ball back about 2 to 3 cm back. So the plant is not too big. If you have room, you can simply grow them and use a larger pot.

Pouring and fertilizing

Cylinder cleaner Callistemon

It is important to know that the cylinder cleaner does not tolerate calcareous water. Rainwater is ideal for casting. Lime in the water causes the leaves to turn yellow over time and make the plant sick. It has to be watered regularly. The plant bale should not dry out. However, no water should be in the coaster. Wet feet cause the root to rot. Planted cylinder cleaners tolerate dryness. Fertilization is important for the plants, which need a lot of power for their numerous flowers. Suitable is normal flowering plant fertilizer. Better is however special fertilizer for container plants. It is enough to fertilize every 2 to 4 weeks.


Cylinder cleaners are hungry for the sun, so they need a full sun, bright location. Ideal are temperatures between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. They are heavy eaters, so they need good nutrient and humus rich soil. It should be permeable, because waterlogging is not well tolerated, but in summer they like a constantly moist soil. The plant thrives best on normal to acid soil. Ideal here is a mixture of rhododendron and normal garden soil.
For a better permeability of the soil, bark pieces or polystyrene pellets are good, which are mixed with. Some proud owners of this beautiful Australian plant consider it a pure houseplant, which is quite possible. However, she prefers a summer outside on the terrace or in the garden and thanks her with a particularly strong flowering flora.


Most of the species offered here are not hardy and should better hibernate brightly frosty. Temperatures between 2-8 degrees Celsius are ideal here. They also tolerate very little frost, so it is safer to get them into the house before the first frosts. Outside, the exotic plants may also only after the Eisheiligen in May. After hibernation, they need a certain period of indulgence and should not be placed in the blazing sun immediately. It is better to let them acclimatize for about 14 days in a partially shaded location.
In winter quarters, little is poured and no fertilizer. From March again give a little more water and from this time can be fertilized again. Fertilizer should be given by August. A subsequent supply of nutrients continues to drive growth, but the new shoots can not become strong enough to survive the winter.Since cylinder cleaners are somewhat sensitive to limescale, it is advisable to create a small supply of rainwater for the winter.

To cut

Cylinder cleaner Callistemon

Cylinder cleaner is good cut compatible. Since the plant flowers on the previous year's wood, it is cut back immediately after flowering. In this case, remove most of the faded shoot ends, as no leaves or flowers grow on them. In addition, the pruning is needed to encourage better branching and to achieve a more compact growth. A radical pruning is possible, but should only be done with really outdated cylinder cleaners, because the new drive costs the plant a lot of power.


Rarely, the cylinder cleaner is haunted by the white fly, aphids are found here more often.

White flies

They multiply rapidly, a fight is hardly possible outdoors. Offered sprays do not bring much, since the animals must be sprayed directly for success and they usually sit on the underside of the leaves and also fly away quickly. Marigolds (Tagetes) and basil are avoided by the pests, so it is best to put these plants close to the cylinder cleaner.


The unpleasant guests are easiest to get rid of by spraying with a sharp jet of water. Lavender and thyme are not popular in aphids and are avoided, which is why you put his cylinder cleaner usefully next to such plants.

Well-known species

  • Stiff cylinder cleaner (Callistemon rigidus) - height 1 to 2.5m and 2 to 3m wide. Waits in summer with dark red flower spikes on dull green leaves. The bushy and dense shrub is only partially hardy, winter free from rust.

  • Lemon Bottlebrush (Callistemon pallidus) - height 2 to 4m and also wide. From late spring to midsummer, cream-colored, green-breathed flowers are formed. The gray-green leaves make a nice contrast to it. This species grows shrubby and is only partially hardy, winter free from frost.

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