How to plant eucalyptus

Eucalyptus Houseplant: How To Grow Eucalyptus In A Container

Anyone used to seeing eucalyptus trees stretch to the skies in parks or woodlands may be surprised to see eucalyptus growing indoors. Can eucalyptus be grown indoors? Yes, it can. Potted eucalyptus trees make a pretty and fragrant potted plant on your patio or inside your house.

Eucalyptus Growing Indoors

Outside, eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus spp.) grow to 60 feet tall and those half-moon-shaped leaves flutter in the breeze. They are tall evergreen trees with aromatic leaves. But the tree grows well indoors too.

Potted eucalyptus trees can be grown as container perennials until they get so big that they must be planted in the backyard or donated to a park. Eucalyptus houseplants grow so fast that they can be grown as annuals. Grown from seed planted in the spring, the trees will rise to 8 feet high in one season.

How to Grow Eucalyptus in a Container

If you are interested in growing eucalyptus indoors, you need to learn how to grow eucalyptus in a container. The rules are few, but important.

If you use a conventional, round pot for your eucalyptus houseplants, the roots are very likely to start circling the inside of the pot. In time, they will be so tightly wound that you will not be able to transplant the tree.

Instead, plant your tree in a large, cone-shaped Air-pot. That way, you can transplant it outdoors or donate it to the park if you like. Plant it in well-drained, fertile soil and give it ample water on a regular basis.

Once a week, add liquid food to your plant water. Do this from early spring through the end of summer to feed your eucalyptus houseplant. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer.

Where to Place Potted Eucalyptus Plants

Eucalyptus, potted or not, require full sun to thrive. Place your eucalyptus houseplants on the patio in a sunny, sheltered location where it is easy for you to water it.

You can also dig a hole and place the container in it, sunk to the pot lip, all summer long. In mild climates, leave the plant outside permanently.

In a cold climate, you must bring the plant indoors before the first frost of autumn. You can cut bushy plants to the ground before overwintering and store in a cool basement or garage.

Gardening FAQ

Thank you for our question about the care of eucalyptus. Not sure what species you are growing, but usually Eucalyptus gunnii is the most suitable for indoor growing because ordinarily it cannot grow more than 12 – 18 inches a year in a pot. It remains a reasonable size for several years.

The juvenile leaves encircle the main stems, are more or less heart-shaped, 2 – 3 inches across and of a dull, gray-green color heavily sprinkled with white powder. The leaves of very young shoots are usually suffused with pink, particularly when the plant is grown in direct sunlight.

And speaking of sunlight the plant needs full sunlight (at least 6 hrs/day); sunlight from a southern exposure is best.

Another species, E. globulus, can be grown indoors only for a year or two, after which its rapid growth — 3 – 4 feet a year — makes it too large. The juvenile leaves are almost stalk-less, somewhat heart-shaped, 2 – 3 inches across, and gray-blue sparsely sprinkled with white powder.

Temperature for eucalyptus can be warm or cool. While plants are actively growing, water moderately, watering thoroughly throughout the soil, but let the top third of the mixture dry out before re-watering. Trees need well-drained conditions, so do not water too soon. Also repotting may need to be done twice a year, but at least once a year, into a pot one or two sizes larger. Make sure that the potting mixture entirely covers any swollen root structure when repotting is needed.

Courtesy of the NYBG Plant Information Service

Eucalyptus Plant

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Fast-Growing, Cold Hardy, and Aromatic

Why Eucalyptus Plants?

From its incredible aroma to its fast, easy growth, the Eucalyptus Plant is second to none. In fact, it grows up to 6 feet each year, providing unmatched fragrance and iconic good looks that are unmatched.

This is one of the most fragrant Eucalyptus Plants available. Some other varieties are faint or have no smell at all…but this Eucalyptus offers fragrance without fail, like perfume for your garden or indoor spaces. Plus, because it’s drought-tolerant and thrives indoors or out, you can grow it anywhere. You’re not limited by location when it comes to this plant.

You have likely smelled its leaves in flower arrangements or in potpourri. The dusty blue-green leaves of this Eucalyptus are refreshingly aromatic – so much so that you’ll enjoy walking outside just to smell it and look at it.

Also known as the Gum Tree, this plant’s attractive, peeling bark also carries the familiar fragrance for use in closets, drawers, or anywhere you want to add a fresh scent. No leaves to rake, it keeps its foliage year-round. Now you can enjoy color in the winter when all other trees are bare and brown.

And it offers natural flea and tick protection. Put some leaves under your pet’s bed or in areas where they like to sleep.

Why Fast-Growing-Trees.com is Better

Most big-box retailers sell their plants bare-root, giving you a lower chance of long-term success in your own garden…if they even sell Eucalyptus at all.

But when you order from Fast Growing Trees, we ensure that your Eucalyptus Plant is planted, grown, and meticulously nurtured from day one. We take the time to ensure your plant is well-rooted in nutrient-rich soil and delivered in a pot directly to your door.

The demand for Eucalyptus Plants has risen significantly over the past few years, so don’t miss out on yours…order your own Eucalyptus Plant today!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: You’ll want a full sun area that drains well and is far from other competing plants.

Dig your hole twice the width of the root ball, and just as deep. Hold the tree upright to where the tip of the root crown is level with the soil surface. Gently backfill the hole (be delicate with the roots). When the hole is partially filled, soak the soil, let it settle, then finish backfilling to the top of the root ball. Repeat several times until full, watering between layers.

If you’re planting for indoor growth, select the appropriate pot for your new tree. Go up one or two pot sizes from your plant’s shipped container. Use organic soil, place your plant, and then find a sunny spot indoors.

2. Watering: Using your index finger is a good way to tell if the tree is ready for another drink of water or not. Stick your finger into the soil near the tree, about 2 or 3 inches down, and if it still feels moistened, leave it be. If it’s dry and sandy to the touch, give it a good watering.

3. Fertilizing: Potted Eucalyptus may benefit from a slow-release fertilizer once every spring. A basic 10-10-10 formula works well.

4. Pruning: Eucalyptus responds well to pruning but is not necessary for the first two seasons. When you are ready to prune, be sure to remove dead branches. Pruning is recommended in the heat of summer.

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Christmas Season Essential info
Dates over Christmas and New Year:

– Last date for Christmas DELIVERY:
Order by end of day Tuesday 17th December
(please phone if you read this too late)

-Last date for Christmas CLICK & COLLECT:
Collect by Monday 23rd December
(Pre-arrange time slots ESSENTIAL)

-Shipping resumes week commencing:
6th January
(first come first served basis. You will be emailed when your order is ready for dispatch/collection)

-Offices are closed i.e. can’t reply to emails or phone calls:
5pm Friday 20th December until 9am Tuesday 2nd January.

This partly due to restrictions with our Courier companies, and also so we can give our lovely Nursery Team enough time off over Christmas. Thank you!

Bundle Sale!

See our new Cut Foliage collections for those wanting to grow their own foliage or purchase a collection of fast-growing young trees to have as garden ornamentals.

Named “Good”, “Better” and “Best”, each bundle contains 4 x 1 litre trees (your choice or ours) and a variety of sundries. These bundles are the most cost effective way of buying your Eucalyptus essentials.

Spotty Leaves Notice:

Your tree may have a flush of spotty leaves at the beginning and end of the growing season. This is normal! They usually are the older leaves, found directly on the trunk or older branches. They go red-brown-coffee coloured, sometimes with brightly coloured or dark brown spots. This is part of the trees natural growth cycle and nothing to worry about 🙂 Keep it watered!

Care after planting

  • Once correctly planted, Eucalyptus are relatively easy to look after. A word of warning, they do shed bark and even though they are evergreen, leaves only last a year or so and then they drop in favour of new leaves being produced. This discarded vegetation makes excellent mulch and does not have to be cleared if it drops on to your borders.

  • Apart from that, you just need to keep an eye on a few simple things until your new tree is growing away; most importantly watering and weed control.

1. Watering:

  • It is very important to keep an eye on this. Whilst you don’t want the Eucalyptus to become dependent on your watering it every week, you certainly do not want to let a young Eucalyptus wilt. Wilted Eucs turn brown and crispy – only Mary Berry will be impressed! All evergreens (i.e. Shrubs, conifers and trees) are unable to make a good recovery if they are allowed to wilt badly. Deciduous plants have the safety net of being able to drop their leaves and very often revive when water becomes available again.

  • So water your tree well, if it needs it and especially in a drought or if wilting occurs. This could mean watering once a day on sandy soils to watering once a week. Administer 1-2 gallons of water to your new tree during a prolonged dry spell. In any event, be vigilant over watering until your new tree is established and has grown several feet, which means that its roots are establishing well into the surrounding soil.

  • Full details on specifically how much water to give your new tree will be supplied with your tree, when it is sent to you.

2. Feeding:

We recommend that you seek out a plant food that is going to encourage vigorous root growth and help ripen wood in the autumn, in preparation for winter.

The fertiliser needs to be low in phosphate, but high potassium and also contain trace elements, which are vital for balanced growth. A minuscule amount of nitrogen is fine, but excessive nitrogen is to be avoided at all costs: it encourages shoot growth at the expense of root growth. Avoid products such as Gromore. Nitrogen also produces soft sappy growth, which is susceptible to frost damage.

Recommended Plant Feed:

  • Chempak No. 4 High Potassium Soluble fertiliser; for flowering plants, but is good for Eucalyptus too!

  • Phostrogen – high in potassium, balanced fertiliser

  • Granular Bonemeal – a small quantity at the time of planting

  • Vitax Q4 is an excellent plant food which can be administered to your Eucalyptus during April. Euc roots will be actively taking up plants foods during May onwards and any earlier is a waste of effort as the fertiliser may leach out of the soil in a wet spring. Vitax supplies NPK and necessary trace elements, so it’s the plant equivalent of a ‘full english’ with added vitamin pills! Feed Vitax Q4 to a new tree if the soil is impoverished or if you are regularly coppicing or pollarding it.

What the elements of a fertiliser do for the plant:

  • Nitrogen (as Ammonia and Nitrates): encourages fleshy shoots and leaves which is great for lettuce, but disastrous for Eucalyptus. It exacerbates the shoot to root ratio, encouraging instability. It can also increase frost sensitivity. Eucalyptus only require small quantities of nitrogen.

  • Phosphorus (present as phosphates): this element makes for sturdy beefy growth. Whilst it does not alter root to shoot ratio, it does significantly increase tree girth, root weight and encourages trunk growth. Present in large quantities in Bonemeal, this slow release form is gently broken down by mycorrhizal fungi and fed directly into the tree roots. Avoid fast-food forms of phosphate like Miracle-Gro. Antipodean plants find it difficult to tolerate large quantities of phosphorus and it can seriously set them back.

  • Potassium (aka Potash): this mineral is involved with the movement of water, nutrients and carbohydrates in the plant tissues. It has many functions, two of the most important (from our point of view) are: (i) the efficiency of water use and (ii) how Eucalyptus tolerate and overcome stress brought on by drought, excessively high and low temperatures (winter hardiness) and resistance to pests and diseases. Good potash levels in August will lead to improved winter hardiness, by helping the tree ripen its wood, in readiness for the onset of winter. Being highly soluble, Potassium leaches out from sandy/stony soils very quickly. Clay soils are more stable and are not likely to be deficient in this important mineral, if their general fertility levels have been maintained.

  • Sulphur is vitally important for fast growing Eucalyptus. It is one of the building blocks for amino-acids, used to manufacture proteins. This highly soluble element is required by the tree to support its fast growth and due to the ‘clean air act’, it’s a bit thin on the ground these days. If coppicing for biomass or pollarding for cut foliage production, you will need to top up levels of sulphur, after a harvest. Secondly sulphur helps to acidify the soil (something else which Eucalypts appreciate). This in turn makes iron available to the Eucalyptus and iron reacts with phosphorus, reducing its availability. Plant nutrition is all really clever stuff 

  • Trace elements: Molybdenum, Manganese, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium etc. These act in a similar way for the plant as vitamin tablets do for humans and are important for balanced growth. (This next bit does appear elsewhere on our website, but it is important and cannot be over-stressed).

3. Competition from surrounding vegetation:

  • About 90% of a Eucalyptus tree’s roots grow in the top 300 – 400 mm of soil, which makes perfect sense when you consider where they come from: a challenging environment where the ability to be the first to access limited rainfall is vital for survival. Eucalyptus are very efficient at taking up water from the soil.

  • This is why it is immensely important to keep the area underneath your tree absolutely free from weed and grass (lawn) competition for a minimum of two years after planting; to ensure maximum successful establishment of the young tree.

  • Grassing down around Eucalyptus in later years can help towards restricting and slowing down growth, but should only be done once the tree is happily established. A ‘Eucalyptus Lawn’ is a lovely garden feature to walk through.

Mulching:

Keep a 600-1200 mm (2-4 feet) diameter circle around the base of your new tree free of lawn/grass and weeds for at least 2 years, to ensure maximum establishment. Mulch either with a biodegradable mulch mat or our preference is for 150 mm (6 inches) depth of bark chips, for at least 2 years.

Benefits of mulching:

  • Reduces moisture loss, particularly in the summer months.

  • Keeps nutrients available for longer.

  • Acts as a winter root-duvet, protecting the roots and helps to keep the soil from freezing.

  • Can help prevent weed encroachment.

  • Avoid using compost, manure or anything that composts down quickly, producing nitrogen, as this will not only encourage weeds to grow around the base of the tree, but also result in excessive Eucalyptus top growth.

Herbicides for weed control:

Take care not to get spray drift of herbicides (especially a Glyphosate based herbicide) on to young trees or bark of older trees – it can be fatal.

4. Grazing and stock protection:

  • Cattle, horses, deer, sheep and goats love to stand under the cooling shade of mature Eucalyptus. The copious amount of water given off by the leafy canopy creates a welcome haven on a hot sunny day and the Eucalyptol helps deter flies. However, it is not recommended that you plant Eucalyptus in a way that livestock can reach to eat the leaves, stems or bark. Whilst the species grown in this country are not as toxic as the sugar gum E. cladocalyx, Eucalyptus generally are full of oils and complex compounds and should be treated with caution and respect, particularly around ruminants. In any case, a young euc savaged by a cow is simply not going to survive anyway!

  • When planting the odd Eucalyptus in a livestock field, protect with 4 strong posts and pig-wire or rabbit wire to prevent access to the young plant

  • If creating a biomass plantation, exclude all livestock and protect young trees from deer, if they are a local problem

  • Rabbits and hares will eat most Eucalyptus so protect young trees either with a soft mesh rabbit guard or with top grade rabbit wire compounds secured in place on timber stakes a good 450 mm radius away from the new tree. E. glaucescens and to a degree E. subcrenulata have some track record of being unpalatable, but other species are likely to be nibbled. We have found that once a rabbit has torn a strip of bark up the length of the Eucalyptus trunk, it does not recover and very often dies.

5. Plastic tree shelters

  • Plastic tree shelters are not recommended, unless they have a lot of ventilation holes. Eucalyptus do not become fully dormant; they will grow when the temperature is high enough; usually around +5 Celsius. In spring and autumn, the temperature can fluctuate wildly inside a tree shelter, meaning that on warm days the tree will grow, but young developing shoots will be damaged when there are frosty nights.

  • In addition, tree shelters can be very humid, leading to disease problems (such as Botrytis mould), unless they are the type that have lots of holes drilled in them.

  • We have found that the typical plastic spiral rabbit guard can saw a young Eucalyptus in half on a windy day

  • Use rabbit-wire guards to deter deer from munching your tree and soft plastic mesh rabbit guards for discouraging hares and rabbits.

6. Pests and Diseases to look out for:

In their native Australia, there is a whole host of leaf-munching, stem-boring pests and invading fungal diseases all looking forward to making Eucalyptus trees their next meal.

However, generally speaking, Eucalyptus tend not to suffer from many bugs or pathogens in the U.K. Inside a greenhouse, conservatory or polythene tunnel you may get the odd investigative greenfly, but that soon disappears after the first few mouthfuls of Eucalyptus juice. Powdery Mildew can coat the leaves of one or two species (E. neglecta tends to get this a bit indoors), but this too dissipates once the tree is planted outdoors. Botrytis can invade a Eucalyptus that is overwintering in a humid greenhouse with poor ventilation, but is easily remedied.

The chances of your Eucalyptus contracting something nasty are quite slim, but here are a few to look out for if you are at all worried about the health of your trees:

  • Silver Leaf Fungus: This disease is the most common Plum tree killer, but silver leaf fungus (Chondrostereum purpureum) will also invade other fruit trees (Apple, Peach), Hawthorn, Laburnum, Poplar, Rose, Portuguese Laurel and Eucalyptus. If your Eucalyptus are growing in an area where the silver leaf fungus is prevalent and you are carrying out a serious amount of pruning on your trees, it is advisable to do the work when there are a few dry days and paint the wounds with a compound such as Arbrex Seal and Heal, to prevent the fungal spores entering the pruning wounds. Sterilise your pruning equipment using a horticultural or household disinfectant, before and after use.

  • N.B. False Silver Leaf is caused by stress induced by drought, malnutrition, sudden unseasonably hot or cold weather or pest attack. It does not result in branch dieback. An improved cultural regime of feeding, mulching and watering will help the plant recover.

  • Other fungal and bacterial nasties: Whilst not a susceptible as other shrub and tree species, Eucalyptus can contract the usual tree diseases of Honey Fungus and Phyophthora especially if grown on ground that is poorly drained. Bacterial canker can invade a damaged stem and cause havoc, as with any woody plant.

  • Blue gum Psyllids (Ctenarytaina eucalypti): More annoying than terminal, these pesky sap-suckers are visible on the new growing tips; cosmetically damaging for young foliage, they are not an issue on mature trees. Present in the UK since at least 1922, this sap sucker lives entirely on several (but not all) species of Eucalyptus. Snow gums E. pauciflora group are generally not attacked by psyllids.

Young nymphs and adult psyllids attack the juicy new growths of shoots and leaves (a bit like greenfly). They tend not to be interested in the tough mature foliage. As a consequence, young trees and those being coppiced for foliage production tend to be most at risk of attack.

What to look out for: Feeding on the nutritious wax on the new growing points, the bugs create a frothy, woolly looking mass out of the Eucalyptus cuticle. Then for protection, the psyllids encase themselves in a carapace of shed skin and honeydew (delightful!). Treatment is worth carrying out using a proprietary systemic insecticide on non-flowering specimens. Spray your young tree at the first signs of attack and again 4 weeks later. This should keep your tree clean for around 3 months in the growing season. They are not active over the winter months unless in a warm environment like a conservatory. If you are organic, we suggest you look at using a spray formulation containing either a chili or garlic preparation. The use of household detergents is to be actively discouraged as it will strip the waxy cuticle off your Eucalyptus foliage, causing serious damage.

Biological control: because both Eucalyptus and psyllid are not native to the UK, the bugs don’t seem to have any natural predators. Back in the 1980’s, trials were carried out using the imported parasitic wasp Psyllaephagus pilosus on cut foliage plantations. This tiny black wasp preys exclusively on the psyllids, so does not affect any British wildlife. Now it is naturalised in the UK and can often be found in and around Eucalyptus plantations. We certainly have a small population of them living at the nursery.

​​

7. Moving a Eucalyptus Tree and how to do it (if you really need to)

Our first piece of advice is ‘Don’t do it’! Eucalyptus have exceptionally sensitive root systems and if damaged, they go into a monumental sulk. If the tree is in the wrong place, for whatever reason, you could try moving it provided it has only been growing there for no more than one year. After two growing seasons, it will not transplant successfully; there will be far too much root disturbance. Far better to chop it down and start again with a new specimen planted in the correct place.

Therefore, from the very beginning, it is far better to choose your Eucalyptus species carefully, matching it to your requirements and growing environment.

Updated 15/2/2018

Eucalyptus Growing Indoors – Eucalyptus plant with its fragrant properties and coin-shaped foliage makes a wonderful addition to your indoor environment, especially in the bedroom and bathroom. It is very attractive with silvery blue-green aromatic leaves which give off the aroma of menthol. If you are interested in growing eucalyptus indoors, you need to learn how to grow eucalyptus in a container.

Eucalyptus growing indoors

Potted eucalyptus trees can be grown as container perennials until they get so big that they must be planted in the backyard or donated to a park. Eucalyptus houseplants grow so fast that they can be grown as annuals. Pots can be stood outdoors in summer. Pinch out tips to keep growth in check and to maintain the production of juvenile foliage – old leaves are much less attractive.

Young plants of eucalyptus have attractive grey-green leaves which produce a distinctive aroma when crushed. They will flourish under ordinary room conditions if kept well-lit and cool. Keep eucalyptus plant near a window that receives plenty of sunshine. The Eucalyptus needs ample amounts of light to thrive indoors. Make sure that the environmental indoor temperature does not get too hot, however.

Eucalyptus globulus (Blue Gum) grows too tall for indoor cultivation; it is better to choose either the slower-growing Eucalyptus gunnii (Cedar Gum) or Eucalyptus citriodora (Lemon-Scented Gum).

Secrets of success

Temperature: Cool or average warmth. Keep cool (45-55°F) in winter.

Light: This plant does not tolerate shade, so be sure it always has plenty of light. Some direct sun is beneficial. In front of a south facing window works well.

Water: Water regularly from spring to fall. Water sparingly in winter.

Repotting: Repot in spring every year.

Propagation: Sow seeds in spring – germinate at 65°F.

Use: The essential oils derived from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree are often used as an antiseptic to treat wounds and burns and are added to cough syrups, soaps and cosmetics.

Note: A Eucalyptus grown indoors may not flower. Plants are usually discarded after a couple of years.

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus Tree

Product Description

The blueish-green evergreen leaves of the Silver Dollar Eucalyptus tree will refresh your senses with their sweet aroma. You can experience this while simply walking outside to experience the smell! It gets its name from the attractive blue green coin shaped leaves that look like silver dollars.

Native to Australia, the Silver Dollar plant is drought tolerant and extremely fast growing. It can grow up to 40 feet tall at maturity with a 10 to 12 foot wide branch spread; which makes it an excellent shade tree.

During spring, the flowering plant will push out fluffy white flowers that contrast the green leaves nicely.

We have heard success stories about growing eucalyptus indoors if placed in a location with full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. Perfect for the home gardener without yard space! Its attractive, peeling bark is reddish brown and adds a lush addition to any landscape.

How to Grow Eucalyptus Trees

The Silver Dollar tree requires full sun to partial sunlight and can tolerate partial shade. This species of eucalyptus grows best in well-drained soil. It is recommended to be brought indoors in fall before first frost for overwintering if you live in an extremely cold area.

You can easily ship the tree directly to your home and plant it immediately in your yard, or keep it in a container until you are ready to plant. This Silver Dollar Eucalyptus tree for sale will ship rooted in its pot in soil. Be sure to water extremely well the first year of planting to establish a strong root system.

If keeping in a container or pot, choose one with good drainage holes as this evergreen tree does not like wet feet. Container grown trees are perfect for patios or sunk into the ground.

The eucalyptus cinerea growth rate is very fast. This tree quickly grows up to 2 feet per year or more.

Grows best in department of agriculture plant hardiness zones 8-11. Does best in the southern United States and cannot withstand freezing temperatures for too long. It is only moderately cold hardy. Some gardeners grow as an annual just for the invigorating scents the eucalyptus leaves can give off.

The fast growing Eucalyptus plant can be grown in a variety of soil types. The best time of year to plant your tree is in early spring or fall.

Live Eucalyptus Plant Care

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus care is necessary during the first year because of consistent watering needs to maintain its leafy foliage. A potted eucalyptus cinerea will take even more watering if in a pot with a drainage hole.

This tree can benefit from adding a slow release fertilizer at the top of the root ball during the early spring and summer months to improve foliage and root development. Mulching with an inch layer thick of organic matter or compost can help retain moisture at the top of the soil for the root structure.

Lots of people use this variety of eucalyptus for essential oils. Enjoy the fresh cut leaves as table decor, an addition to floral arrangements, wreaths or bridal bouquets, and even hang it in your shower to invoke the fresh scent!

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Eucalyptus Trees | Gum Trees

Features of Eucalyptus Trees

Eucalyptus trees are a popular choice of evergreen, offering year round interest in the form of silvery foliage and striking, chalky, exfoliating bark. The leaves have a distinctive camphoraceous scent of mint and pine and come in a variety of shapes from long and slender to circular. Those with circular foliage are often referred to as Spinning Gum trees. Unusual fluffy-looking flowers provide added interest in spring/summer. The flowers have no petals, instead displaying fluffy stamens which may be coloured white, cream, yellow, pink or red.

Despite several Eucalyptus species being among the tallest trees in the world, those you will find on this website are suitable for growing in gardens and include a dwarf variety ideal for small gardens.

Etymology & Distribution of Eucalyptus Trees

The etymological root of the name Eucalyptus comes from the Greek eu meaning ‘good‘ and kalyptos meaning ‘covered’, referring to the calyx which covers the flowers when in bud. Eucalyptus trees are commonly known as gum trees due to the sap that seeps from cracks in the bark. Eucalyptus are part of the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. There are more than 700 species of Eucalyptus tree, mostly native to Australia, with only fifteen species occurring outside Australia.

Uses of Eucalyptus Trees

Not only do Eucalyptus trees hold aesthetic value, they have several other, more functional features, mainly involving the sap or oil extracted from the bark and leaves. Eucalyptus oil can be found in some medicinal products such as cough drops, decongestants, antiseptic treatments and as a natural insecticide. It is antimicrobial so extracts of the oil are used in personal care products such as deodorant, soap and toothpaste. It is also used in cleaning products and as an in industrial solvent.

In very low levels it can be used in some sweets and confectionery. Although the oil can be toxic in large quantities, koalas and possums are relatively tolerant of it and are known for eating Eucalyptus leaves, so many in fact, that they develop a distinctive Eucalyptus odour.

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