How big does a eucalyptus tree grow


How To Care For A Eucalyptus Tree

Eucalyptus is a tree most often associated with its native Australia environment and fun-loving koalas feasting on its branches. There are many species of eucalyptus trees, including popular varieties like Gum tree and Silver-Dollar tree, that can be grown in the home landscape.

In fact, this tree can make an attractive addition with interesting bark and foliage, beautiful flowers, and nice fragrance. They do especially well in areas that mimic their native environment. Most of these trees are rapid growers, reaching heights of about 30 to 180 feet (9-55 m.) or more, depending on the variety, with approximately 60 percent of their growth established within the first ten years.

Tips on Growing Eucalyptus Trees

All eucalyptus trees require full sun, however, some species, like E. neglecta and E. crenulata, will tolerate areas with semi-shade. They also adapt well to a wide range of soils, from hot, dry sites to slightly wet as long as the area is well draining.

Plant eucalyptus in mid to late spring or fall, depending on your location and climate. Be sure to water the tree both before and after planting. Dig the hole slightly larger than the root ball, and take care with the tree’s roots during planting, as they do not like being disturbed. There’s no need to spread out the roots while planting, as this could damage their sensitive root system. Back fill the area and lightly tamp the soil to remove any air pockets.

According to most eucalyptus tree information, many species respond well to potted environments as well. Ideal candidates for containers include:

  • E. coccifera
  • E. vernicosa
  • E. parviflora
  • E. archeri
  • E. nicholii
  • E. crenulata

Containers should be large enough to accommodate the tree, about 2 feet (61 cm.) in diameter, and allow for adequate drainage.

Eucalyptus trees cannot take temperatures below 50 degrees F. (10 C.) for extended periods, therefore, it’s recommended that they be grown indoors in cold climates, spending summers outside whenever warm enough. Other areas can either overwinter them indoors or provide suitable winter protection.

How to Care for a Eucalyptus Tree

Eucalyptus tree care is not difficult, as this type of tree usually maintains itself reasonably well. Once established, eucalyptus trees should not require too much watering, with exception for those growing in containers. Allow these to dry out somewhat between waterings. Additional watering may be necessary during periods of excessive drought, however.

As for fertilizer, much of the eucalyptus tree information recommends against the use of fertilizer, as they do not appreciate phosphorus. Potted eucalyptus may require an occasional slow-release fertilizer (low in phosphorus).

In addition, eucalyptus tree care includes annual pruning (in summer) to control top growth and their overall height. Eucalyptus trees are also known to produce heavy litter in the fall, shedding bark, leaves, and branches. As its shred-like bark is considered flammable, keeping this debris cleaned up is preferable. If desired, you can collect some seed once it falls, and then plant it in another area of your yard or in a container.

How to Grow and Care for Eucalyptus

You might be most familiar with eucalyptus plants (Eucalyptus cinerea) as a favorite food of the koala. This evergreen tree can grow to nearly 60 feet high in its natural Australian environment. But when planting eucalyptus in home gardens, it usually remains small at around 6 to 10 feet high. It features reddish-brown bark that peels on the smaller branches. The leaves are a silvery to blue-green color, and they give off the plant’s distinct menthol-like fragrance when bruised. Eucalyptus trees are best planted in the spring. They have a fast growth rate and can gain several feet per year. It's important to note that the bark, leaves, and sap of eucalyptus are toxic both to humans and pets. 

Common Name Eucalyptus, silver dollar tree, argyle apple
Botanical Name Eucalyptus cinerea
Family Myrtaceae
Plant Type Tree
Size 6–53 ft. tall, 2–15 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, neutral
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color White, red
Hardiness Zones 8–11 (USDA)
Native Area Australia
Toxicity Toxic to people, toxic to pets

Watch Now: How To Grow and Use the Eucalyptus Plant

Eucalyptus Plant Care

When planning how to care for eucalyptus plants outdoors, first choose a planting site that gets lots of sun and has soil with sharp drainage. Make sure no nearby trees or shrubs will block sunlight from a young eucalyptus plant. Also, ensure that there is enough space to accommodate the tree’s full height and spread. If you’re planting multiple eucalyptus trees, space them at least 8 feet apart.

These trees generally do not need any staking or other support structure on which to grow. And they also can be grown in containers as well as indoors when given enough light.

Beyond enjoying its beauty, growers can also harvest eucalyptus for various uses. Wait until later in the growing season to harvest mature leaves and branches. If you just want the leaves, simply snip them off with pruners or by hand. Air-dry them on a paper towel or drying screen in a cool spot out of direct sunlight. Wait until the leaves are slightly leathery or crispy, and then store them in glass jars with tightly sealed lids.

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The Spruce / Cielito Vivas

The Spruce / Cielito Vivas

 The Spruce

Light

Eucalyptus likes a lot of light, so settle your plant somewhere in your landscape that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Likewise, eucalyptus plants grown indoors should be kept near a bright window, preferably one that faces south.

Soil

Eucalyptus can tolerate most soil types, but it needs soil with good drainage. For container plants, use a well-draining potting mix. A slightly acidic to neutral soil pH is best.

Water

Eucalyptus is somewhat drought-tolerant once it's established. However, it really doesn't like to be left dry for long periods, and doing so might cause it to drop leaves. A good rule of thumb is to water when you can stick your finger into the soil and feel dryness at your fingertip. This often will amount to watering weekly if you haven't had rainfall, especially for container plants.

Temperature and Humidity

Eucalyptus prefers warm temperatures between roughly 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and it likes a moderate humidity level. It cannot survive prolonged exposure to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you're growing your plant in a container, bring it indoors when you expect chilly temperatures.

Fertilizer

If you're growing your plant in the ground, it typically won't need fertilizer. However, container plants will deplete their nutrients more quickly. So fertilize them with a low-nitrogen houseplant fertilizer throughout the growing season, following label instructions.

Types of Eucalyptus

In addition to Eucalyptus cinerea, there are hundreds of other eucalyptus species. They include:

  • Eucalyptus globulus: Known as blue gum, this species features smooth bark and is particularly adaptable to a variety of growing conditions.
  • Eucalyptus gunnii: Commonly referred to as cider gum, this species has better cold tolerance than most other eucalyptus species.
  • Eucalyptus platypus: Commonly called moort, this is an especially hardy species that can tolerate heavy soils, cold, and drought.

Pruning

Eucalyptus trees generally don’t need much pruning. However, you can prune overgrown, broken, or misshapen branches to keep the plant looking attractive. The best time to do so is in the summer, but avoid pruning during very humid weather.

Propagating Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus trees are most commonly grown from purchased seeds or nursery plants. Home garden trees don’t often flower and produce their own seeds. They also can be propagated via cuttings, though this isn’t always successful. But this is an inexpensive and convenient way to get a new plant, especially because eucalyptus can be hard to come by at garden centers. The best time to take cuttings is when a tree is between 2 and 12 months old; rooting mature stems is difficult. Aim to take your cuttings in the late summer. Here’s how to grow eucalyptus from cuttings:

  1. Prepare a small pot of 3 parts composted tree bark to 1 part perlite. Add a slow-release fertilizer, following label instructions for the size of the pot. Moisten the growing medium.
  2. Use sterile pruning sheers to cut a stem that’s around 5 inches long with four to eight leaves. Cut just above a leaf node.
  3. Remove the leaves on the lower half of the cutting. 
  4. Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone, and then plant it in the growing medium almost up to where the leaves are. 
  5. Keep the container in bright, indirect light in a room that’s around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the soil remains lightly moist.
  6. Roots should form in about a month. At that point, you can move the new plant to a sunnier spot and gradually space out waterings. Once the weather is warm enough, bring it outdoors for progressively longer stretches before planting it in the garden.

How to Grow Eucalyptus From Seed

When considering how to grow eucalyptus from seed, note that the seeds first must be chilled in the refrigerator for two months before planting. Sow them in the late winter indoors roughly 10 to 12 weeks before your area’s last projected frost date. Use a seed-starting mix in peat pots that you’ll eventually be able to plant right into the soil to avoid disturbing the roots.

Sow seeds on top of the growing medium, only lightly covering them. Place the pots in a warm spot with indirect bright light, and keep the growing medium moist but never soggy by misting it. Seeds should germinate in two to three weeks. Once the seedlings are about 6 inches tall, they’re ready to go outdoors. 

Potting and Repotting Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus plants are often grown in containers outside of their hardiness zones. Growing eucalyptus in pots allows gardeners to protect their plants from the cold by bringing them indoors. However, many gardeners treat container eucalyptus plants as annuals, starting with new plants each year because of their rapid growth rate. This allows them to remain manageable as houseplants and on balconies and decks.

These plants don’t like their roots to be disturbed. So it’s best to start with a large container to avoid having to repot. A 5-gallon container is a good size. And while unglazed clay is an ideal material to allow excess moisture to evaporate through its walls, you might want a plastic container that’s lighter to move around. Just make sure any container has ample drainage holes, and use a quality fast-draining potting mix. 

Overwintering

If you’re growing a container eucalyptus plant outside of its hardiness zones, you must bring it indoors to survive the winter. Do not let your plant be exposed to frost, which can damage or kill the foliage. Place it near your brightest window, preferably a southern-facing one, for the winter. Do not fertilize the plant, and slightly back off on watering.

Common Pests

Eucalyptus plants are fairly free of any major pest or disease issues. But you might occasionally spot eucalyptus long-horned borers, especially on stressed plants. Holes in the bark, oozing sap, and foliage discoloration are signs of an infestation. Remove the infested area of the plant immediately, as insecticides are not effective against borers.

Common Problems With Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus trees remain relatively healthy when in their preferred environment. However, in suboptimal conditions, they can come down with certain issues.

Leaves Turning Brown

Leaves turning brown on a eucalyptus tree can be a sign of too little moisture. That’s likely the issue if you notice leaves curling up or dropping as well. In that case, up your watering to keep the soil lightly moist but not soggy. Brown leaves also can be a sign of disease, especially fungal diseases. If just a small area is affected, remove that portion promptly. Or treat with an appropriate fungicide.

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Eucalyptus cinerea. NC State Extension.

  2. Eucalyptus. ASPCA.

home growing, care

Eucalyptus is a tall, evergreen tree most of which can be found in the forests of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.

It is grown in many other countries, not only because it purifies the air, but because it grows quickly and is able to drain the marshland.

Contents

  • Where does the tree grow, its height, what does the leaves look like, flower
  • Is it possible to grow a plant at home from seeds and seedlings?
  • Caring for indoor flower in a pot
  • Medicinal and beneficial properties of eucalyptus, application
  • Treatment with eucalyptus: what to use, how to use

Where the tree grows, its height, what the leaves look like, flower

Eucalyptus grows in a warm tropical or subtropical climates. It is grown in European countries, India, Saudi Arabia, South and North America, Africa, Abkhazia and even in the southern regions of Russia.

Eucalyptus is one of the tallest plants in the world. Its height can reach 150 meters, and the diameter of the trunk - 25 meters!

The height of the eucalyptus depends on the climate . In a humid climate, a giant species grows, and in hot countries and in the desert, dwarf trees grow like shrubs, the height of which reaches only 2 meters.

Even the densest eucalyptus forests are considered the lightest, they have a lot of sun and a dense grassy cover.

The height of the tree can reach 150 meters, and the diameter of the trunk - 25 meters

The color and shape of the leaves depend on the age of the tree . In young trees, the leaves are round and dark green. But the older the tree is, the longer the leaves become and turn green.

They also bloom unusually . A soft box appears in place of the future bud. It increases in size over time and becomes hard.

After that, the bottom of the box falls off and a bright brush of stamens appears from it. This is what the flower looks like.

Fruits appear instead of flowers . They can remain on the tree for up to two years. Who eats eucalyptus? Parrots feed on the fruits of the tree.

A tree blossoms for 5-7 years of its life . The fruits on the tree ripen and can be stored for several years, while not losing their qualities.

In the forests where it grows, you can also feel the healing aroma thanks to the essential oils of this plant.

Many trees shed their leaves in autumn. Eucalyptus sheds bark instead of foliage .

A tree blossoms for 5-7 years of its life, the fruits ripen and can be preserved for several years

Is it possible to grow a plant at home from seeds and seedlings?

Growing a tree at home is possible . To do this, you need to purchase seeds or seedlings. Plant them in a small pot in soil consisting of sand and earth.

To grow a tree, after planting the seeds, the ground must be watered abundantly. And after 15-20 days, the first sprouts will appear in the pot.

Potted flower care

Easy care indoor plant . It is only necessary to take care of a bright place at home, where the pot will stand, and provide abundant watering.

Medicinal and beneficial properties of eucalyptus, application

Eucalyptus contains medicinal substances in leaves, bark and roots. Folk remedies are often prepared from it for the treatment of many diseases.

In addition, it is widely used in the preparation of medicines and care products for the skin of the hands, face and body, as well as for hair and nails.

Eucalyptus is used to treat colds and their accompanying symptoms such as cough, runny nose. The use of this plant improves immunity, treats infectious diseases, and also helps with headaches.

How else to use the plant? Eucalyptus purifies the air in the house and improves blood circulation in the upper layers of human skin.

In addition to the positive properties, plant can cause allergies and irritation of the skin , as well as lead to increased pressure.

Eucalyptus treatment: what to use, how to use

Essential oil is made from it. It is widely used for coughs and runny noses, as well as for sore throats.

It is very useful and effective to use essential oil as an inhalation for colds . Add a few drops of oil to a container of hot water and inhale the vapors for 10 minutes.

This essential oil is also added to bath water. From the oil prepare a solution for gargling.

This wonderful plant is used to make yarn for stuffing pillows and blankets. The filler from it is considered environmentally friendly.

In addition, bath brooms are made from young twigs of the plant . They help to bring the respiratory system back to normal, and also enhance the regenerative processes in the human body, which contributes to the rapid healing of wounds and any skin damage.

The leaves of the plant are also used for colds . To prepare a decoction, take 2 tablespoons of herbs and pour a glass of boiling water. Then boil for 2-3 minutes.

The decoction must be infused and cooled. Then it is used for gargling. Hot decoction can be used for inhalation.

The plant is used to make oil, yarn, bath twigs

Eucalyptus is a fast growing, evergreen tree with a striking height that boasts not only the beauty of leaves and flowers, but also an amazing healing aroma.

People who grow this plant at home, always have a real home doctor at hand.

The scent of eucalyptus ionizes the air. It has a calming effect on a person, and also contributes to good health.

Room eucalyptus - fragrant and demanding. Care at home. Photo - Botanichka

Among the representatives of indoor coniferous and bonsai plants, it is rarer and more valuable than eucalyptus. This is a real gem in a pot format with a unique crown and leaves, the aroma of which changes the whole atmosphere in the room. And it's not just about phytoncidal properties. Eucalyptus is a surprisingly atmospheric plant that looks very luxurious and noble. And it requires complex care, unlike more common competitors. Temperature is not the only thing to take care of.

Indoor eucalyptus - fragrant and demanding

Plant description

The naturally pyramidal, unique bluish crown of eucalyptus trees is the dream of many flower growers. Australian in origin, the plant and source of one of the most essential essential oils in rooms is rare. And not so much because of the considerable price, as because of its extreme capriciousness.

Eucalyptus trees ( Eucalyptus ) develop slowly and change almost imperceptibly, usually not growing more than 1 m indoors. They can be grown both as a shrub and as a tree. The transparent and lace crown in a room format looks like a small, elegant miracle with straight shoots and green-silver coin-leaves.

Eucalyptus does not seem dense due to the special arrangement of the leaves with an edge to the light. Glossy, with a waxy bluish-bluish bloom, the foliage shimmers with silver at a distance. The soft rounded oval leaves are very fragrant, becoming more rigid with time, slightly elongating and pointed.

Eucalyptus blossoms are one of the most fluffy. In the axils of the leaves in small corymbs or on short petioles, amazing pale cream, light yellow, pale pink flowers bloom one by one with fused petals hidden under innumerable stamens. The unusualness of the plant is also emphasized by bizarre fruit cones.

Prevention of colds, soothing, tonic and refreshing effects are valuable just like the phytoncidal properties of the plant. Eucalyptus is especially valuable for work areas and offices.

"Silver dollar", or Ash Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus cinerea). © amdolcevitaGlobular Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus). © skubicEucalyptus gunnii. © wrosliny

Indoor eucalyptus species

It is very rare to find the species name or variety name in the information about indoor eucalyptus when buying, but all four compact species with bright foliage are easily recognizable:

"Silver Dollar", or Ash Eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus cinerea ) - a beautiful species with silver-matte ovoid leaves that almost do not change shape.

Eucalyptus spherical ( Eucalyptus globulus ) - densely branched, graceful species with yellowish bark and elongated-lanceolate bright green leaves.

Eucalyptus gunnii ( Eucalyptus gunnii ) is a round-leaved, slightly fragrant species with a bluish tinge that changes to green only in adulthood. There are several varieties with smaller leaves and even brighter blue or dark green colors.

Eucalyptus parvifolia ( Eucalyptus parvula ) is a sprawling bushy species with a striking number of shoots and small bright green lanceolate leaves.

Read also our article The most useful indoor plants, or Healing air of our house.

Growing conditions for indoor eucalyptus

Eucalyptus will not be content with normal living room conditions. And that is why it is so rarely found in interiors. This is a true fan of coolness and consistently bright lighting - conditions that are much easier to recreate in a greenhouse.

Lighting and placement

Eucalyptus plants need the brightest light possible. He is not afraid of the direct sun, but even on the eastern windows he will feel uncomfortable. The best option for eucalyptus is southern or at least partially southern window sills. Additional illumination in winter is required, but it does not completely compensate for the meager lighting: you should try to provide eucalyptus with about 6 hours of direct sun per day.

Temperature and ventilation

The hardest part of growing eucalyptus is finding a cool enough place for it. This plant does not tolerate heat at any age. Ideal temperatures for eucalyptus even in summer are only 18 degrees, and their excess cannot be compensated without constant ventilation. In winter, eucalyptus trees should be at a temperature of 7 to 15 degrees. Exceeding 16 degrees can be fatal, especially if you make mistakes in care.

Eucalyptus cannot develop normally without access to fresh air. In the rooms, even ventilation is not enough: in the warm season, only a constantly ajar window or taking the plant out to the balcony or garden is suitable. Cold drafts are contraindicated for eucalyptus plants, but the plant is not afraid of warm ones.

Eucalyptus cannot develop normally without access to fresh air. © lindalovestjarna

Eucalyptus care at home

Indoor eucalyptus does not forgive mistakes. Its wilted leaves do not recover and easily fly around even with the slightest violation of the rules of care.

Watering and air humidity

Eucalyptus is watered abundantly in summer, leaving no water in the trays and allowing the top layer of the substrate to dry slightly. Since autumn, watering is reduced, only slightly drying the soil more strongly. Eucalyptus trees cannot stand stagnant water and waterlogging, but even more dangerous for them is the drying of the substrate even to the middle of the earthy coma, which causes the upper shoots to dry out and the leaves to drop.

It is advisable to water eucalyptus with rain or melt water, the temperature of which should not differ much from the air temperature in the room.

The only thing eucalyptus is undemanding to is air humidity. He does not like spraying and rubbing, the foliage is cleaned by showering.

Top dressing and fertilizer composition

It is advisable to use special fertilizers for eucalyptus or bonsai, in extreme cases, universal fertilizers for ornamental leafy plants with a reduced content of phosphorus and nitrogen are suitable. Top dressing for the plant is applied all year round - 1 time in 2 weeks in spring and summer and 1 time per month in autumn and winter, with half the dosage.

Pruning and shaping eucalyptus trees

The slow growth of eucalyptus trees does not need to be controlled. The plant is most spectacular in its natural form, when it is allowed to develop freely. But if desired, eucalyptus trees can be shaped by regular shearing, pinching, baring and shaping trunks. From eucalyptus trees, you can create stems, topiaries and bonsai. Pruning is carried out in the spring, if necessary, supplementing with pinching in the summer. The plant easily tolerates a haircut more than half the length of the shoots.

If desired, eucalyptus trees can be shaped by regular shearing, pinching, stripping and shaping trunks. © marissahomes

Diseases, pests and growing problems

Eucalyptus trees are almost immune. If scale insects or spider mites have been transferred to the plant from infected neighbors, insecticide treatments should be started as early as possible.

Eucalyptus trees are prone to root rot at any overflow. The consequences are evidenced by the blanching of the leaves and their mass dropping. But if the leaves turn yellow before falling, the reason is in cold or hard water.

Read also our article The most fragrant indoor plants.

Transplanting, containers and substrate

Eucalyptus trees are transferred without disturbing the earthy clod, as the substrate in the previous container is completely filled with roots - only when the roots begin to appear in the drainage holes.

Whimsical cubes, polygons, outlandish designer pots or vintage painted and decoupage models are the ideal container choice from a stylistic point of view. Eucalyptus trees need natural materials and sustainability. They are grown in small containers. The diameter of the container is increased by only 1-2 cm.

For young eucalyptus, pots are selected so that the volume of the pot is only a few centimeters larger than the earthen clod. If the plant is growing too vigorously, shrinking the pot and trimming the roots will help keep the canopy under control.

For this plant, you can use a universal substrate with the obligatory content of peat and loosening additives. Perlite or vermiculite, sphagnum, coarse sand can be added to protect against compaction. High drainage at the bottom of the tank is required.

The basic rule for transplanting eucalyptus trees is extreme caution after this procedure. It is better not to repeat light watering after transshipment for 4-5 days, resuming gently and slowly, slightly moistening the soil and waiting for signals about the plant's adaptation to resume the usual irrigation scheme.


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