Don’s Expert Answers: Calistemon for screening – clay soil

Question From:
in Eltham, Melbourne Victoria

Nature of problem:
Calistemon for screening – clay soil

Type of Plant (if known):

Symptoms of Plant Illness (please try NOT to diagnose your problems yourself):

Soil Type (e.g. sandy, clay or loam) OR Potting Mix Type:
Clay soil

How often do you water the plant:

How many hours of sunlight does the plant get each day:
Full sun

How long since you planted it:

Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:

Is the plant indoors or outdoors:

Is the plant in a pot or in the ground:

What other treatments have you given the plant:

Upload photo if available:

Other Comments:
Hi Don and team,

I would like to plant some screening trees to block some of the view/noise of my yard and kids from neighbours. We live on a hill with a 1.5m drop between our side and neighbour’s side of the fence. I would like to put in trees of around 3m and prefer natives to attract birds & bees, with some colour for interest, so thought calistemons could suit.

It is a clay soil and a north facing garden (fencelines are N and W facing) so need trees that will be both heat and frost tolerant (Melbourne winter). It is a long fenceline so I need to find a budget-friendly option, and also passes close to an access pit at one point so I am worried about invasive root systems.

Can you please recommend suitable plants and what size is best to purchase?

Thanks so much!

Hi nameless,

Callistemon ‘Captain Cook’ is still the best bottlebrush to 3m. It is harmless, likes clay soils and has red flowers. Don