Do Bottlebrush Have Invasive Roots? A Deep Dive into Callistemon Root Systems

Do Bottlebrush Have Invasive Roots? A Deep Dive into Callistemon Root Systems

Are you considering planting a bottlebrush plant in your garden but you’re concerned about invasive roots? This article delves into how invasive bottlebrush, also known as callistemon, roots are and whether or not you should be concerned.

callistemon australia

Understanding Bottlebrush Plants

Bottlebrush plants are some of the most charismatic Australian native plants that we have to offer. Their bottlebrush-style flower groups come in a range of colours including white, pink, red, orange, yellow and green.

Each species within the genus has its own characteristics, including typical root growth habit. On top of this, each variety and cultivar of each species can have a totally different root system. Because of this, it’s worth searching online or asking your local nursery professional for any specific information on your chosen cultivar.

Exploring Root System Characteristics

Monocot root systems, such as lomandras, grasses and yuccas, are fibrous, with each root staying roughly the same size. The invasiveness of monocot plants comes from their thick mat of roots, while trees pose a different problem.

Tree roots typically become thick after years of lateral growth, potentially lifting pavers or causing damage to structures. While Callistemons are less likely to cause this type of damage, they can still potentially cause issues like any other tree or shrub.

Generally, larger trees have a more robust root system, while smaller varieties generally have less threatening roots.

All roots are “adventitious,” seeking stability and nutrients efficiently, and they don’t have a problem exploiting cracks in pipes for water if present.

Non-Invasiveness of Bottlebrush Roots

Callistemons have adventitious roots, like all plants, which can potentially damage structures. However, their roots are generally less invasive compared to other plants.

Larger Callistemons tend to have more robust root systems, potentially causing more damage. Opting for a smaller variety can mitigate concerns about invasive roots.

Do Callistemons Have Deep Root Systems?

Generally, Callistemons have fairly shallow root systems compared to some other plants. While variations exist within the genus, most Callistemon species tend to have shallow roots compared to similar-sized trees.

With that being said, you’ll definitely encounter callistemons with a deep root system if they’re large and well-established.


Bottlebrush roots are typically non-invasive compared to other plants. With that being said, all roots can cause problems – even the ones we least expect. Make sure you take proper precautions to prevent water leakages in the soil, and give each plant enough space to grow into their genetic destiny.

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