Bottle Brush - pruning?

We live in Margate, UK. About 2 mins walk from the sea so get very few frosts. We have a bottle brush in a pot and is about 18 ins high. My question - when the red 'brush' dies down on a branch there is further growth of leaves above. Should these leaves be cut off or will a new brush appear?
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On 6/26/2009 2:07 AM, Pete L wrote:

I had bottle brush in my previous home. This was Calleistemon citrinus (also known as C. lanceolatus), not a species of Melaleuca. After flowering, a branch would indeed grow longer. In a later season, that branch would flower again. Since the seeds will remain attached to the branch for a long time, I would occasionally have several bands of seeds along the same branch.
On the other hand, if you cut the branch (even just the tip), the plant will become more bushy.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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So is that "bad" or "good"?

David, as you know, I'm also in SoCal, but coastal, so milder than your mini-climate. My bottle brush has gone ape; sprawling at the corner of the house. Few weeks ago, I cut off low-lying branches to give the plant a bit of a trunk and make it look neater. What will be the long-range results?
TIA
Persephone
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On 6/27/2009 3:44 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

For the plant, it's okay. Whether it's aesthetically "bad" or "good" is up to you.

I've seen Callistemon citrinus (spelled incorrectly in my prior post) pruned to grow like a small tree. I don't like that appearance, but (again) that's a matter of taste. (De gustibus non est desputandum.)
If you like the tree form, you might have to remove shoots from along the "trunk" now and then. You should stake it because the trunk will take some time to become sturdy. You might also want to keep the top trimmed so that it does not become top-heavy and break during Santa Anna winds. Just don't trim so much that you prevent flowering.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Thanks; very helpful. I'm not actually going for a "trunk" per se, but rather keeping branches from sprawling unsightly all over the pavement and grass. Will keep an eye out for the Santa Anas.
Pers.

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So is that "bad" or "good"? ________________________ It depends.
If you want to grow new plants, the nuts are good as they contain the seeds of the plants - very, very fine seed, like dust. If you don't like the look of the nuts, then it's probably not good.
I love the nuts and generally let them grow till they look leggy and then I savage them.
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This might help: http://www.anbg.gov.au/callistemon/index.html
If you don't get many frosts, it'd probably be better off in the garden than in a pot, but then again, many bottle brushes don't mind frost at all.
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