Eucalyptus is a genus of ornamental plants with attractive aromatic leaves. Although eucalyptus trees are enormous, many eucalyptus plants can grow in pots and make stunning indoor houseplants. Depending on your zone, you can also plant eucalyptus shrubs and trees in a sunny location outdoors. There are about 700 species of eucalyptus, many of which are also called gum trees. The distinctive citrusy aroma that the crushed eucalyptus leaves give off generally identifies eucalyptus plants. The leaf shape and bark type of eucalyptus plants vary from species to species.
Eucalyptus plants grow well indoors if they get plenty of sunlight. Potted eucalyptus plants are ideal for growing in containers as perennials or annuals. But it’s good to remember that eucalyptus plants are fast-growing trees, and some species can grow at a rate of up to 8 ft. (2 m) in one season. Possibly after a year or two, the indoor eucalyptus tree will outgrow the room. You can then either remove the leafy branches to dry the leaves. Or you can grow a new indoor eucalyptus plant from a cutting or seedling.
If you live in USDA zones 8 through 11, you can grow eucalyptus shrubs and trees in the ground or pots outdoors. The ideal temperature range for growing eucalyptus is 65°F to 71°F (18°C – 22°C). All you need to grow outdoor eucalyptus plants is to choose a sunny location. If you live in colder climates, you can easily grow potted eucalyptus plants indoors. Take the pots outdoors in the summer. Then bring them back inside in the fall to protect the plant from the cold.
Eucalyptus plants growing indoors need plenty of light. Eucalyptus plants growing indoors require at least six hours of sunshine daily. Place a potted eucalyptus in the brightest, sunniest location in your home. A south- or west-facing window is ideal as the plant will receive the midday and evening sun.
Water an indoor eucalyptus plant regularly during the growing season. The best way to water your plant is to wait until the top third of the potting mix is dry. Thoroughly drench the soil until water drains from the bottom. Only water eucalyptus plants as often as the top layer of soil dries.
Eucalyptus plants grow best indoors when grown in a rich, fertile, loose potting soil with excellent drainage. Make a soil mix for eucalyptus by mixing one part soil ( miracle grow), one part peat moss, and one part perlite or coarse horticultural sand. This type of eucalyptus soil doesn’t retain too much moisture and has plenty of nutrients. Peat moss is loose and airy and contains essential nutrients for healthy plant growth. Perlite is an excellent soil amendment to improve drainage and allow plenty of oxygen in the soil.
To keep eucalyptus plants thriving indoors, keeping the indoor temperature warm—around 68°F to 71°F (20° – 22°C) is ideal. Eucalyptus plants have average humidity needs, so there’s no need to mist the leaves.
Follow our blog on Friday about harvesting and drying eucalyptus leaves/stems.