Whether your home is already a green paradise or you're a new plant parent, adding the ever-energizing eucalyptus plant to your collection is a must. It has a ton of great uses, from aromatherapy to air purification. Growing eucalyptus might seem intimidating, but it's possible to do so successfully even if your thumb is not the brightest shade of green. It's all about watering techniques, ideal soil and pot options, and contending with pests and disease. Once you've nailed the basics, enjoy reaping the benefits of this aromatic herb.
In some areas, eucalyptus grows in the form of a tree and can reach exceedingly tall heights. However, people growing eucalyptus in their homes or gardens generally grow the Eucalyptus archeri shrub. Plant it in a pot roomy enough for it to grow over time. Trim it back to control this growth and don't forget to make best use of the leaves.
You can grow even more eucalyptus shrubs from your first one! Start with a four-inch eucalyptus branch, preferably during the warm summer months. Clip it off the shrub and dip the bottom of the branch in a rooting hormone solution for just under a minute before placing it in water. When you choose a piece to clip for propagation, make sure it has at least one leaf.
Like most houseplants, eucalyptus can dry out more quickly when it's planted in a pot rather than the garden. When you water it, dampen the soil to the point at which the water starts to seep out the drain holes in the bottom of the pot, then stop. Allow the soil to dry just slightly between waterings.
Eucalyptus plants love, love, love the sun. If you are planting a tree in the ground, make sure it gets plenty of sun throughout the day. The same rule applies if you are potting the plant for an indoor garden. Aim to allow your eucalyptus plant six hours of sunlight each day.
This is the fun part about potted plants: choosing the pot. Eucalyptus plants are austere and simple, so you can have some real fun with the pot. First off, decide whether you plan to keep your plant in a pot forever, or if you want to eventually replant it outside. If you're sticking to the indoor variety and don't want it to get too out of hand, you can essentially choose any pot, though clay is usually ideal. Have fun with color and patterns to add flavor to your indoor garden.
One of the best things about growing eucalyptus is that it's highly adaptable. This means that you can plant it just about any soil, provided you ensure proper drainage, light, and watering. If you plan to consume the leaves in teas or other herbal concoctions, consider an organic soil. Don't forget to mix in the proper nutrients and compost to help your plant thrive.
Pests are the bane of any plant parent's existence. Common issues with pests stem from overwatering, so be sure that the soil contains enough moisture to keep it healthy, but not enough to attract those pesky indoor gnats and ants. Spray neem oil on the plants if pests become a problem. This is a safe and natural way to get rid of many common insects.
The second issue that plagues plant parents is the possibility of disease on a plant on which you've lavished plenty of love and care. Root rot can quickly take hold of your eucalyptus plant's underground system. Well-draining soil in a pot with plenty of space helps ward off this issue. Eucalyptus plants are also susceptible to leaf diseases if you overwater them, so try to get only the soil wet and not the leaves when you are watering.
You might opt to buy a eucalyptus plant already sprouting leaves, but if you want to test your gardening skills, start with seeds. Eucalyptus seeds are generally the size of mustard seeds and take about a month to sprout into seedlings. It will take about six months to grow into a small tree or bush, depending on the species you choose to plant.
Looking to up your decorative plant game? Eucalyptus is the perfect way to make it happen. Sprigs of eucalyptus can make your home IG-worthy in a simple, minimalist way. The bonus is that this plant is also super functional. Congested in the mornings? Hang a sprig of eucalyptus on your shower head and breathe in the infused steam. Want fragrant greenery on a side table? Place a sprig in a mason jar of water for an aesthetically-pleasing decoration that will last for a while.