How to Grow Bottle Tree Seeds

Grow Guide #2500
Family: Sterculiaceae
Binomial name: Brachychiton rupestris
Life Cycle: Perennial

This 'How to Grow' guide details everything a home gardener needs to know to plant, grow and care for Bottle trees (Brachychiton rupestris).

When to Sow Bottle tree Seeds

Bottle tree is a perennial plant that grows year round in most climates. Use the table below to identify the best time of year to sow bottle tree seeds in your climate.



Bottle tree plants are best grown in full sun. Choose a location that will receive at least 6 hours of full sun each day.

Bottle tree plants are perennial, meaning they live for several years. Choose a permanent position where plants can grow undisturbed by regular digging.

Bottle tree plants grow into large plants when mature. Ensure there is space for seedlings to be planted 500cm apart so they have space to grow to their mature size.

Bottle tree plants need a very well drained soil. In most cases there is no need to enrich soil with manure or other fertilisers. Prepare soil by weeding it thoroughly and digging it over to loosen it. Keep the area free of weeds until planting. Learn more about preparing soil for planting here.

How to Sow Bottle tree Seeds

Soaking seeds prior to planting may improve the speed and success of germination. Soaking seeds in water can help to soften hard seed coats, which can break dormancy and spur the seeds to germinate. Read more about soaking seeds here.

Bottle tree seeds can be sown directly into the garden OR seedlings can be raised in trays or other containers and transplanted to the garden once established.

Sow Direct

  1. Sow seeds directly in the garden 5mm deep and 500cm apart.
  2. Keep soil moist but never wet or dry.
  3. Seeds should germinate in around 10-21 days at a soil temperature of 20-24°C.
  4. Young seedlings will need protection from pests, pets and weather until they are established.

Raise Seedlings

  1. Fill trays, punnets or jiffy pots with a good quality seed-raising mix, or use soil starter pellets.
  2. Sow seeds 5mm deep.
  3. Keep soil moist but never wet or dry.
  4. Seeds should germinate in around 10-21 days at a soil temperature of 20-24°C.
  5. Transplant seedlings to the garden once they have their first true leaves and are large enough to handle (usually 5-10cm tall).
  6. Plant out, spacing plants 500cm apart.

How to Grow Bottle tree

Bottle tree plants are drought tolerant once established and grow best in soil that is dry and very well drained. Let the soil dry out between watering, and only water when the soil is dry about 10cm below the surface (test this by scratching away a little soil with your finger), even in summer. Water deeply in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid watering the leaves of plants to avoid fungal diseases. Learn more about watering here.

Bottle tree plants will grow in nutrient-poor soils and do not need additional fertiliser during the growing season.

Bottle tree is evergreen in warm climates and deciduous to semi-deciduous in temperate and cool climates, where they drop their leaves just before they flower in spring.

Bottle trees are slow growing. Plants will begin to develop the distinctive bottle-shaped trunk in 5 to 8 years.

Common Problems when Growing Bottle trees

Like all plants, bottle tree is susceptible to some pests, diseases and other problems. Below is a list of the most common problems gardeners encounter when growing bottle tree plants:

  • Root rot
    Root rot is a disease caused by soil-borne fungi found in wet soil. Plants may be slow to establish, have yellowing or wilted foliage and have soft, brown tissue around the base of the stem and roots. Root rot is often fatal; remove and dispose of affected plants. Reducing soil moisture, adding organic matter to the soil and making sure mulch doesn't touch the stems of plants may help avoid root rot.

Browse Bottle Tree Seeds

Bottle Tree

Bottle Tree

Packet 10 seeds