Eucalyptus | 11 Grow and Care Tips You Need to Know

By Mira Sidak | Updated on Apr 18, 2023

Eucalyptus | 11 Grow and Care Tips You Need to Know

Native to Australia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, Eucalyptus is a fast-growing evergreen tree and shrub. Eucalyptus trees can reach heights over 300 feet. Their bark peels off easily and has a lovely texture. They are known as "gum trees" because of the sap that is discharged when the bark is broken. The most common eucalyptus tree, the blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus), gets its name from its blue-green leaf.

Between species, eucalyptus leaves differ widely in size, shape, and color. The most popular kinds have round, glossy green leaves with a tip. Some less developed variants will have rounder, dusty-green leaves. Australian koalas eat about a pound of eucalyptus leaves per day, which makes up the majority of their diet. 

Nowadays, eucalyptus plants are produced all over the world for their therapeutic benefits and menthol-like aroma. And if you’re looking to plant and care for this amazing plant species, following are 11 tips to help you along the way:

1. Pick The Appropriate Variety

The proper eucalyptus tree for your space should be selected because they come in a number of types and sizes. A diversified and adaptable genus of trees and shrubs, Eucalyptus is widespread throughout the world. There are hundreds of different eucalyptus species, each with distinct qualities and applications.

The best eucalyptus variety to grow depends on a number of variables, including climate, soil type, intended use, and personal preferences. While some species, like Eucalyptus globulus, can reach heights of 60 feet, others, like Eucalyptus gunnii, are better suited for smaller gardens or pots.

2. Plant In Soil That Drains Well

Eucalyptus trees prefer well-draining soil, so check that the area where you're planting has good drainage. Eucalyptus trees need to be planted in well-draining soil, which calls for careful planning, optimum planting depth, watering, and routine upkeep.

Eucalyptus trees may flourish and enhance the beauty of your landscape with proper maintenance. Make sure the bottom of any pots you wish to plant in has drainage holes.

3. Water Regularly

Even while eucalyptus trees can withstand drought conditions, they nevertheless require frequent watering, particularly in the first year of growth. Deeply water the soil, but let it get a little dry in between applications. Eucalyptus trees that have just been planted need plenty of water to form their roots.

Eucalyptus trees can then receive sporadic watering because they can withstand droughts. To keep the soil moist, additional watering may be necessary during protracted dry spells.

4. Provide Full Sun

Eucalyptus trees need full sun to thrive, so make sure they are planted where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. For them to produce energy, sustain healthy foliage, fend against illness, and produce essential oils, they require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day.

Sunlight is necessary for eucalyptus trees to provide the energy they require for growth and survival. Eucalyptus trees offer lovely foliage that comes in a variety of hues and textures. Sunlight can make the leaves more bright and appealing by enhancing their color and texture. Eucalyptus trees that receive sunlight are more resistant to fungal diseases.

 The danger of disease can be decreased by providing enough sunlight because of fungi like moist, shaded areas.

5. Mulch Around The Tree's Base

Eucalyptus tree care is incomplete without mulching. A layer of organic or inorganic material called mulch is applied to the tree's base. The mulch layer aids in soil health improvement, weed control, and moisture retention. 

Mulching can aid in moisture retention and weed control around the base of your eucalyptus tree. Use an organic mulch devoid of any chemicals. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as bark, leaves, or wood chips. The advantages of mulching Eucalyptus trees benefit from mulching in a number of ways. 

6. Use Fertilizer Sparingly

This is because eucalyptus trees don't require a lot of it. It normally suffices to use a slow-release fertilizer once a year in the spring. Eucalyptus trees should only get a small amount of fertilizer in order to protect their delicate roots, discourage poor development, maintain the soil's natural nutrient balance, and protect the environment.

 To prevent over-fertilization, it's crucial to adhere to the suggested fertilization schedule and application rates and to use a slow-release, balanced fertilizer designed for trees.

7. Prune Regularly

Maintain your eucalyptus tree's health and appearance by trimming it frequently. Cut back any excessively long branches and remove any dead or broken ones. Before new growth starts, prune eucalyptus trees in late winter or early spring. This timing promotes healthy new growth and allows the tree to recover from the pruning cuts. 

Get rid of any damaged or dead wood. These branches can be recognized by their absence of leaves or by decaying stains. Selectively prune branches that are rubbing, crossing, or growing inward to thin out the tree canopy. Enhancing air circulation and sunshine encourages healthy growth and lowers the chance of illness

If the eucalyptus tree has an unattractive size or shape, prune it to get the shape you want. To induce new growth in the desired direction, make cuts immediately above the junction of a lateral bud or branch.

8. Avoid Topping

Eucalyptus trees should not be topped, which includes removing the entire tree's top. This could result in branches that look unkempt and are haphazardly joined. To make precise, clean cuts, use the appropriate pruning equipment, like pruning shears or loppers. You can avoid harming the tree and the propagation of infection by not using sharp or improper objects.

9. Watch for Pests

Keep an eye out for pests: Psyllids, borers, and scale insects can be problematic for eucalyptus trees. Because pests can seriously harm the health and general growth of eucalyptus trees, it is crucial to keep an eye out for them. The sap from eucalyptus leaves can be sucked away by pests like scale insects and psyllids, which stunts growth and weakens trees.

Eucalyptus trees nourish other plant species and provide habitat for wildlife, making them crucial parts of many ecosystems. Eucalyptus tree pests can have a cascade impact on the ecosystem, reducing biodiversity and ecological stability. Pest damage to eucalyptus trees is a risk and might be deadly.

This is especially important for pests that bore into trees, such as the eucalyptus long-horned borer. If you spot any indications of an infestation, including yellowing leaves or a buildup of sticky stuff on the trunk or leaves, take the proper actions.

10. Be Mindful of Diseases

If you’re not already aware, there are many diseases that could affect Eucalyptus trees and possibly limit their development and cause damage to their health overall. If not properly cared for and kept an eye out for, this could also lead to the death of the Eucalyptus Tree. 

There is a potentially dangerous fungal infection called “Myrtle Rust”. This affects many kinds of plants and is particularly persistent in the Eucalyptus plant. It can cause defoliation and the yellowing of leaves, which can lead to the death of plants. 

There is also an infection known as Eucalyptus canker, which is particularly found on the outermost bark of the Eucalyptus Tree. As a result, sunken sores develop on the bark, which can lead to branch dieback, sluggish growth, and tree mortality.  A fungus known as root rot attacks the roots of eucalyptus trees. The tree might grow slowly, drop its leaves, and ultimately die if the roots begin to rot.

The soil is the main medium through which the fungus Phytophthora spreads and it is prevalent in many plants including the Eucalyptus. It could cause root rot, stunted growth, and tree death.

The Eucalyptus gall wasp is a pesky bug that develops galls by laying its eggs on eucalyptus tree stems. An insect pest called the Eucalyptus long-horned borer affects eucalyptus trees by boring into their branches and trunks, which can cause the tree to die.

11. Consider Partner Planting

Numerous advantages of companion planting exist for eucalyptus trees. Because of the following factors, think about companion planting for your eucalyptus trees:

Pest control: Eucalyptus tree damage can be avoided by using companion planting as a pest control measure. For instance, eucalyptus trees can be protected from damaging insects like aphids by planting garlic, onions, or chives nearby.

Nitrogen Fixation: Some plants, including legumes, are capable of fixing nitrogen. They are able to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use. Eucalyptus trees require resources to develop, therefore adding nitrogen-fixing plants to the area around them can improve the fertility of the soil.

Holding Moisture: Companion plants can improve the soil's structure and capacity to hold moisture, which is beneficial for eucalyptus trees. For instance, cultivating cover crops like vetch, oats, or clover can improve soil quality and increase organic matter.

Biodiversity: Companion planting can increase the biodiversity of the landscape by providing a habitat for beneficial insects like pollinators and predators of pest insects. Both the ecology as a whole and eucalyptus trees can profit from this.

Ambiance: Companion planting can be used to create a stunning and attention-grabbing environment. Plants with contrasting colors and textures can be used to provide interest and variety to a garden.

It is worth noting that eucalyptus trees can be invasive in some areas, so it is important to check with local authorities before planting them.

If you wish to be a Eucalyptus Plant Parent, you're in for a lot of benefits because of the gorgeous leaves, calming perfume, and maybe therapeutic capabilities of eucalyptus trees.