Melaleuca cuticularis is an excellent choice for bonsai due to its unique bark and impressive profile. It grows slowly over time, making it easy to maintain and shape. It matures to a small tree of 10-20 feet in height, with an equally wide spread. The off-white flowers are an attractive adornment, and its oval ornamental foliage provides contrast and interest.
Melaleuca cuticularis is ideally suited to USDA Zones 9 through 11, and is tolerable of both seaside sites and salt environment. This makes it an incredibly versatile choice, allowing it to be grown practically anywhere along the US coast. It is also able to survive temperatures as low as the mid-30s F, though only for a brief period, and so may be suitable as a specimen in colder climates.
For successful cultivation, Melaleuca cuticularis should be placed in full sun or semi-shade and watered moderately, but with extra attention in the summer months. If growing in a pot for colder regions, it is important to bring the pot inside for winter and to ensure the soil is well-draining to avoid root rot. Repot the plant annually and use a high-quality soil mix. If you are watering from underneath, avoid standing water in the saucer.