With their fresh, exotic aroma and elegant silver-blue foliage, eucalyptus plants can be a beautiful addition to gardens and indoor spaces. However, caring for these plants does require some specific growing conditions to keep them healthy. Follow this guide to learn the basics of caring for eucalyptus.
Overview of Eucalyptus Care
Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees and shrubs native to Australia. There are over 700 species, the most popular being Eucalyptus globulus, which gets its name from its blue-green foliage. These fast-growing evergreens thrive in warm climates and can grow quite large if left unpruned. Indoors, they stay smaller and have become a popular houseplant. Eucalyptus care does require more attention than some plants, but taking a few simple steps will keep your plant thriving.
4 Popular Eucalyptus plant Varieties
Eucalyptus cinerea (Silver Dollar Eucalyptus): This variety is known for its striking, silvery-blue foliage. It is relatively small in size. The aromatic leaves of Eucalyptus cinerea are often used in floral arrangements and potpourri.
Eucalyptus gunnii (Cider Gum): Another excellent choice for planting, Eucalyptus gunnii has round, bluish-green leaves that emit a pleasant aroma when crushed.
Eucalyptus parvifolia (Small-leaved Gum): This variety features small, narrow leaves with a glossy green color. Eucalyptus parvifolia is easy to grow due to its compact size and adaptability to different light conditions.
Eucalyptus citriodora (Lemon Eucalyptus): With its lemon-scented leaves, Eucalyptus citriodora adds a refreshing fragrance to indoor spaces.
What To Do To Take Care of a Eucalyptus Plant ?
Choosing a Site with Proper Light
Eucalyptus prefer consistent bright light. Outdoors, choose a sunny location. Indoors, place the plant near an east, west, or south-facing window. Some direct sun is beneficial, but avoid hot afternoon sun that can scorch the leaves.
Providing Ideal Temperatures
Eucalyptus grow best in warmer temperatures between 60-75°F. Avoid drafty locations and protect from any temperatures dipping below 30°F. Move potted plants indoors or to sheltered areas during cold winters. Notice : The plants stop growing below 50°F.
Eucalyptus require moderately moist but well-drained soil. Water young plants regularly to establish an extensive root system. Once mature, water when the top few inches become dry. Avoid overwatering which can lead to root rot. For outdoor plants, monitor soil moisture carefully during dry periods.
In pots, use a quality potting mix amended with bark or compost for drainage. Outdoors, eucalyptus grow in average garden soil but need good drainage. Amend clay soils with compost or mulch.
Humidity and Air Circulation
Eucalyptus grow best in humid conditions around 60% relative humidity. Increase humidity around potted plants by misting leaves or using a pebble tray. Outdoor plants thrive in humid, warm climates. Ensure indoor and outdoor plants receive good airflow.
Apply balanced liquid fertilizer monthly in spring and summer following package directions. Repot potted plants in fresh soil annually. Top dress container plants to refresh nutrients.
Pinch back young potted plants frequently to encourage bushiness over height. As plants mature, prune strategically in spring to shape and prevent legginess. Outdoor varieties can be coppiced to the ground to rejuvenate growth.
Take 4-6 inch stem cuttings in spring or summer. Remove lower leaves and place in water or potting mix to root. Eucalyptus also grow readily from seeds started indoors.
With the right care in ideal growing conditions, eucalyptus plants can thrive while adding ornamental value and fragrance to indoor and outdoor spaces.
Some Common Issues
- Dropping leaves and leaf spots from dry air or irregular watering
- Powdery white coating on leaves caused by mealybugs
- Wilting or limp stems from overwatering or cold
- Spindly growth and small leaves due to insufficient light
- Failure to bloom due to heat, light, or pruning mistakes
Adjust care as needed if your eucalyptus plant shows signs of stress. Address pests promptly to avoid spreading. Providing good cultural care will keep your eucalyptus looking healthy and beautiful.
After reading this guidance article, you must have mastered the skills of taking care of your beautiful eucalyptus plant, and can ensure the health of your plant. Make sure to provide good care to keep your eucalyptus looking healthy and beautiful.