How To Take Care Of Eucalyptus Plant?
Many of you may be well-versed with Eucalyptus. It is the koala’s favorite food. The Eucalyptus genus comprises over 700 plant species that belong to the Myrtaceae family. Often associated with its native Australian environment, Eucalyptus is a fast-growing plant.
They are evergreen and can be easily spotted in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Australia. In their native environment, the plant can grow up to 30 feet high or more to 180 feet, depending on the variety.
However, if you plan to grow Eucalyptus indoors, its height is curtailed. Regardless of the degree of eucalyptus plant care, the indoor Eucalyptus will attain a maximum height of six to ten feet. In the outdoors, significant growth happens during the first decade itself.
There are several different species of Eucalyptus plants, including prevalent varieties like the Silver-Dollar tree and Gum tree that can be conveniently grown in home gardens.
- How To Care For Eucalyptus Plant
- Benefits of Eucalyptus
- Eucalyptus Problems and How To Revive It?
Diverse species have different kinds of leaves. Typically, you will find silvery to blue-green-hued leaves. It has a smooth reddish-brown bark that peels away pretty rapidly. Their beautiful flowers, spectacular fragrance, and green foliage and leaves make them visually appealing.
If you learn how to take care of eucalyptus and mimic their native environment, they can grow well. They have an exponential growth rate and ideal spring plantations. When bruised, the leaves give out a menthol-like fragrance. They also have exceptional medicinal properties.
This guide will discuss some tips and tricks on how to maintain eucalyptus plant. Let us get started and address these tips one by one.
Steps To Take Care Of Eucalyptus Plant
Now, let us get started and shed light on eucalyptus tree care.
1. Where is the best place to plant a eucalyptus tree?
Location is one of the primary requirements for eucalyptus plant care. Ideally, you must place the plant in a spot that receives abundant sunlight with soil that allows water drainage at a moderate pace. at a moderate pace.
So, how to take care of eucalyptus planted indoors? Pick a spot near a south-facing window. Herein, the plant gets ample sun. Also, ensure that you root them in the same depth as in the nursery.
At the same time, you must also be careful of spacing. Eucalyptus is a fast-growing and rapidly spreading plant. Hence, you must leave ample space between two plantations to give the plant enough space.
No shrubs or trees in its vicinity must rob the eucalyptus of its sunlight. So, how to care for eucalyptus plants if you intend to plant several Eucalyptus trees. Ideally, you must place each one of them eight feet apart.
2. Does eucalyptus need sun?
Sunlight is also a detrimental factor in eucalyptus plant care. Unfortunately, if the plant does not get adequate light, it won’t grow to its full length and becomes dull.
So, how to maintain eucalyptus plants indoors and outdoors? Eucalyptus plants love the sun. They need at least eight to ten hours of full sun. You can keep your plant in a sunny spot on a patio where you can conveniently water the plant. However, they dislike frost.
3. How often should you water eucalyptus plants?
Meeting the plant’s water requirements is also a quintessential factor in appropriate eucalyptus tree care. So, how to care for eucalyptus plant’s watering needs?
When you freshly plant the eucalyptus, it is vital to water it thoroughly. It helps the plant settle into the roots well. Continue frequent watering till the plant is rooted deep into the soil. Once that happens, you can hold back on the plant’s watering intervals and solely water it during the dry spell.
Sure shot way to alter your watering frequency is by touching the topsoil. If the soil seems dry, you can re-water the plant. When the plant matures, they become forgiving and drought-tolerant.
But, you cannot leave the plant dry for long durations. Extended frequencies of drought might cause the leaves and branches to droop. You can water once a week during summers and extend it to once in two weeks during winters.
Outdoor eucalyptus plant care requires you to add a dead plant material layer comprising grass or bark clippings, leaves, and compost, at the base of the plant. It helps the plant retain moisture wherever needed.
How to care for eucalyptus plant soil requirements. Soil is the source of nutrition for all plants. Hence, giving eucalyptus the necessary soil conditions is vital for its growth. The soil must be well-draining and moist as part of thorough eucalyptus tree care.
The plant does not care much about the soil pH where it grows, but neutral to acidic pH works well for the plant. You can even add a potting mix to the soil. An essential aspect of eucalyptus plant care involves potting the plant in a pot with holes to drain out the excess water.
Eucalyptus plant needs humidity of around forty percent. Hence, moderate humidity works best for eucalyptus plants. In its native environment, the weather is arid. So, you do not need too many measures for indoor eucalyptus tree care.
But, when the moisture in the air is little or when the air is dry, you can install a humidifier to prevent the plant from wilting.
6. How to take care of eucalyptus temperature?
Exposing your eucalyptus to the right temperature is vital for its growth. The plant typically enjoys temperatures between 18-22 degrees Celsius. Proper eucalyptus plant care demands protection from cold.
So, when it gets colder outside, you must immediately move the plant indoors to a warm spot if you can. Long periods of cold can stunt the plant’s growth. It goes against eucalyptus tree care.
How to care for eucalyptus plant when you cannot move it inside in the cold weather? If you cannot bring the plant indoors, you must winterize the eucalyptus plant.
As a general rule of thumb, remember that if the given temperature is suitable for you, it will be so for your eucalyptus plant. If the temperature drops below 10-degrees and continues for a while, it can be fatal for the plant.
Eucalyptus plant care needs are minimized when grown directly into the ground. But, how to take care of eucalyptus indoors?
In indoor spaces, too, the eucalyptus does not require frequent fertilization. You can use a slow-releasing fertilizer in a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 NPK ratio or a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season.
Opt for a low-nitrogen houseplant fertilizer for best results. Feeding the fertilizer in the right proportion is also quintessential for eucalyptus tree care. So, read through the label guidelines, and fertilize accordingly.
8. How to maintain eucalyptus plant pruning requirements?
Pruning is not vital for eucalyptus plant care. The plant does not need regular pruning. But, they are fast growers and generally grow haywire. So, to add to the visual appeal of the plant, you can remove the misshapen, dead, overgrown, or broken branches. Summer is the best period for pruning, and pruning during humid conditions is a strict no.
Using stem cuttings is the best method of eucalyptus plant propagation. Propagation can help you add more eucalyptus to your collection of aromatic indoor plants. You can also propagate them via cuttings, seedlings, or using micropropagation.
You may think repotting is vital to eucalyptus plant, but they are finicky and do not enjoy repotting. So, plant them in a giant pot, good enough for them for a decade. However, that can curtail the growth of the plant. So, if you wish to let the plant grow to its maximum height, you can consider repotting every once a year.
It is all about eucalyptus plant care. Hopefully, now you know eucalyptus tree care is pretty straightforward.
Benefits of Eucalyptus
People can readily guess the presence of eucalyptus from its smell. However, not many know the uses and benefits of eucalyptus. Here, we will discuss them in brief:
1. Rich in antioxidants – Of course, you cannot eat the whole leaves of the plant, but you can dry them and make them into a tea to get their richness into the body. Its leaves are an excellent source of antioxidants like flavonoids that shield your body from free radical damage and oxidative stress.
2. Relieves from breathing concerns – Eucalyptus is a common home remedy used to treat respiratory issues and their symptoms. You can use fresh eucalyptus leaves in a gargle to cure sinusitis, common cold, bronchitis, and sore throat. Eucalyptus oil vapor works as an excellent decongestant.
3. Aromatherapy – Some people pluck fresh eucalyptus leaves in the shower for a relaxing aromatherapy experience.
4. Relief from joint and muscle pain – Rubbing the oil from the eucalyptus leaves into the muscles and joints gives temporary relief from pain.
5. Helps treat dry skin and scalp – Eucalyptus has ceramide content, a fatty acid in the skin that helps lock moisture. So, using products containing eucalyptus can help with dry scalp or skin. It can also improve scaliness, dryness, itchiness, and scalp redness.
6. Promotes dental health – The eucalyptus’ antimicrobial and antibacterial properties promote dental health.
7. Skin wounds and fungal infections – Eucalyptus also relieves you from fungal infections and helps with skin wounds.
8. Promotes relaxation – Inhaling eucalyptus oil can help relieve anxiety and stress and reduces blood pressure.
9. Insect repellent – The presence of eucalyptol content makes it a natural insect repellent.
10. Best cleaner – Lastly, eucalyptus has excellent cleaning properties and a healthy aroma. Hence, it finds use as cleansers and soaps.
Eucalyptus Problems and How To Revive It?
Some common concerns and issues associated with Eucalyptus tree care include:
A. Problem – Overwintering
Eucalyptus cannot thrive if the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius. In addition, exposure to frost can kill or damage the foliate.
Before exposing the plant to long periods of cold, you must bring it indoors and place it near the south-facing window that receives ample sunlight. During the cold weather, avoid watering or fertilizing the plant.
B. Problem – Common Pests
Eucalyptus is not very susceptible to diseases and pets. However, at times, pests get attracted to the plant’s iconic fragrance and seek refuge in the hardy evergreens. Some pests that generally attack the Eucalyptus are whiteflies, sharpshooters, borers, psyllids, wasps, and beetles. Most pests cause defoliation, while some are dangerous and kill the plant.
Before performing any remedial Eucalyptus plant care action, closely examine the plant. Try to understand the extent of the damage. It should decide the degree of insecticide or chemical usage. You can also get rid of some insects with water, hand soap, or eucalyptus oil.
C. Problem – Oedema
Oedema contains water-soaked tissues and can result in swelling of the leaves. It implies that the soil is waterlogged.
Check the pot to ensure that its drainage system is blocked. You can even add a good potting mix to improve drainage. Further, cut down on the water frequency.
D. Problem – Honey fungus
It results in clumps of golden-brown toadstools during the autumn. It is a deadly fungus and directly attacks the root, eventually killing the plant.
Be vigilant, and any time you spot it, use a fungicide.
E. Problem – Browning of the leaves
Eucalyptus leaves might turn brown because of diseases like a crown, collar, foot, or root rot.
You can use neem oil to tackle the pest or fungus attack.
F. Problem – Yellowing of the leaves
Overwatering or excessive humidity can cause leaves to turn yellow.
Cut back on the watering frequency and move to the spot with lower humidity.
G. Problem – Drying eucalyptus
There could be multiple reasons for a drying eucalyptus. A few of them include:
- Lack of essential nutrients
- Recent act of transplanting or repotting the plant
- Fungal infections
- Exposure to cold
For Eucalyptus plant care to fight these problems:
- Water it thoroughly
- If it is growing season, feed the plant
- Water it and infuse fertilizer, and give it a few days to settle
- Use neem oil or a fungicide
- Bring the plant to a warm, dry spot
H. Curling leaves
Curling is a challenging state in plants. So, you should immediately take measures to tackle it. Not watering enough can cause the leaves to dry and curl. Also, root distress might cause leaf curling. Moreover, if there is no space for the plant to spread out, leaves may curl.
Mist the plant as soon as you see the leaves curling. If you recently repot the plant, it causes root distress and might cause the leaves to curl. While repotting, ensure that there is adequate space between plants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques 1. Are eucalyptus plants toxic?
Ans. Eucalyptus extracts and essential oils are used in alternative medications and over-the-counter drugs. However, eucalyptus oil can be toxic if consumed. Hence, please keep it away from pets and children’s reach. In addition, breastfeeding and pregnant women must avoid direct application of the oil.
Ques 2. Are eucalyptus plants easy to take care of?
Ans. In all honesty, eucalyptus is easy to grow if you can successfully mimic their natural environment. If not, they may pose some challenges for the grower in Eucalyptus plant care.
Ques 3. Can eucalyptus trees be kept indoors?
Ans. Yes, you can keep the eucalyptus plant indoors, provided you plant it in a large container and place it in a spot receiving full sun.
Ques 4. How long does eucalyptus last?
Ans. Eucalyptus trees live for around 100s of years. As for their leaves, you should use the fresh eucalyptus leaves within two months. However, after the Eucalyptus leaves air-dry, they last forever, and their scent will be there in the air for many years.
Ques 5. Can eucalyptus grow in pots?
Ans. Yes, eucalyptus can grow in pots.
Ques 6. Do you cut back eucalyptus?
Ans. Eucalyptus is not a fan of pruning and does not need it either. However, you can prune it every year once to improve its visual appeal. Here is how to prune eucalyptus correctly.
Ques 7. How do you make a bushy eucalyptus?
Ans. Eucalyptus is a rapidly growing plant. If you let it grow as-is with correct Eucalyptus plant care and expose it to the right conditions, it will automatically grow bushy.
Ques 8. Where to buy a real Eucalyptus plant?
Ans. You can easily find a real eucalyptus at an authentic nursery online or offline.