Propagating Eucalyptus: How To Grow Eucalyptus From Seed Or Cuttings

Propagating Eucalyptus: How To Grow Eucalyptus From Seed Or Cuttings

By: Amy Grant

The word eucalyptus is derived from the Greek meaning “well covered” referring to the flower buds, which are covered with a lidded cup-like tough outer membrane. This membrane is flung off as the flower blooms, revealing the woody fruit containing many eucalyptus tree seeds. Let’s learn more about how to grow eucalyptus from seed and other methods of eucalyptus propagation.

Eucalyptus Propagation

Native to Australia and encompassing over two-thirds of its land mass, eucalyptus is not only the koala’s mainstay, but is known to control aphids and other insect infestations. Popular for its use in floral arrangements, eucalyptus propagation can be accomplished in several ways, with eucalyptus tree seeds being the most common and reliable method.

Grafting and micro propagation are also used. Eucalyptus cuttings for propagation are a less than fool proof method, but some species take to this method better than others.

How to Grow Eucalyptus from Seed

Eucalyptus grows rapidly in poor soil conditions and readily reseeds itself in warmer climates. However, some types of eucalyptus require cold stratification, wherein the seed must be chilled to begin the process of germination.

Varieties of eucalyptus which need to be cold stratified include:

  • E. amygdalina
  • E. coccifera
  • E. dalrympleana
  • E. debeuzevillei
  • E. delegatensis
  • E. dives
  • E. elata
  • E. fastigata
  • E. glaucescens
  • E. goniocalyx
  • E. kybeanensis
  • E. mitchellana
  • E. niphophila
  • E. nitens
  • E. pauciflora
  • E. perriniana
  • E. regnans
  • E. stellulata

To cold stratify eucalyptus tree seeds, mix together 1 teaspoon (5 mL.) of seeds to 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 mL.) of filler such as perlite, vermiculite or sand. Dampen the mixture, put in a zip-lock bag labeled and dated, and place in the refrigerator for four to six weeks. After that time, you may sow the seeds including the inert filler.

So now, how to grow eucalyptus from seed? Sow eucalyptus tree seeds in the spring (late spring in some climates) in flats of pasteurized soil medium placed in a shady area and covered with white plastic. Once some maturity has been achieved, transplant to small pots and then again upon maturation into a prepared garden row. Of course, the eucalyptus tree seeds may also be directly sowed into the container in which the plant will continue to grow.

Starting Eucalyptus Trees from Cuttings

Growing eucalyptus from seed is the easiest route to propagation; however, some brave souls have been known to attempt eucalyptus propagation from rooting eucalyptus cuttings. Rooting cuttings is a bit more difficult to achieve unless one uses mist propagation units or micro propagation facilities.

For the intrepid gardener, however, the following are instructions for rooting eucalyptus cuttings:

  • Choose 4-inch (10 cm.) long mature shoots during June/July and dip the bottom tips of the cuttings in rooting hormone for about 30 seconds. Eucalyptus cuttings should have at least one budding leaf but if it has sprouting leaves, break these off.
  • Fill a pot with perlite and position the cuttings down into the medium with the rooting hormone end covered. Allow the pot to absorb water until moistened through its bottom hole set into a saucer filled with water and then cover the pot with a plastic bag and place in a warm location.
  • Rooting eucalyptus cuttings for propagation should remain in temperatures about 80-90 F. (27-32 C.). Keep moist and hopefully after four weeks or so your cuttings will have rooted and will be ready for transplanting.

Good luck!

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Eucalyptus Rhodantha | Growing and Care Guide Australia

Eucalyptus plants are well-known, Aussie natives and many provide an excellent ornamental plant for low-maintenance gardens.

The eucalyptus rhodantha, more commonly known as the rose mallee, is a fantastic offering from the eucalyptus with blooms that look like they’ve come straight out of a sci-fi movie.

This low-spreading flora is quickly grown and requires very little maintenance once established, making it an ideal option for beginner growers.

Here is our growing and care guide for the eucalyptus rhodantha.

About Eucalyptus Plants

Eucalyptus plants are evergreen trees and shrubs in the genus Eucalyptus and family Myrtaceae. 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 leaves contain large amounts of essential oils. The intense spicy scents and cooling effect are reasons why crushed eucalyptus leaves and eucalyptus oil are popular in aromatherapy.

The reason eucalyptus leaves are popular for interior design is their rounded, coin-like shape and blueish-gray color. Young eucalyptus plants generally have oval-shaped leaves. As eucalyptus plants grow, their aromatic leaves gradually become lanceolate-shaped. Eucalyptus leaves from young plants become crispy when dried.

How to Grow a Eucalyptus Silver Drop Plant

The eucalyptus silver drop plant (Eucalyptus gunnii), sometimes called cider gum, is actually a tree native to Tasmania. It has round, silver leaves and attractive bark that ranges from gray to a combination of orange and pink. White flowers appear on the tree during spring and summer. The foliage of the silver drop plant gives off a pleasant menthol scent, even after it is dried for use in flower arrangements. This plant does best in full sun and well-drained soil.

Water the eucalyptus silver drop plant just before you are ready to remove it from its growing container. Dig a hole that is slightly wider and the same depth as the container.

  • The eucalyptus silver drop plant (Eucalyptus gunnii), sometimes called cider gum, is actually a tree native to Tasmania.
  • The foliage of the silver drop plant gives off a pleasant menthol scent, even after it is dried for use in flower arrangements.

Place the root ball into the planting hole at the same level as it was previously growing. Tamp the soil down and water until it is very moist, but not soggy. Add a 2-inch layer of lava rock to control weed growth.

Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Prepare the plant for winter by placing three stakes around the tree in a triangular shape. Cut the bottom out of a clear plastic bag and pull it over the stakes. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to help protect the roots.

Remove the protective covering in early spring, after the danger of hard frost and very cold temperatures has passed.

Eucalyptus silver drop plants make an excellent screen when planted closely in a row.

The eucalyptus silver drop plant can be started from seed.

If it becomes necessary to stake the plant, remove the stakes after the first growing season.

Do not fertilize the eucalyptus silver drop plant, as this will introduce too much phosphorus and could kill the plant.

Root Eucalyptus Tree Cuttings

Eucalyptus trees have glossy, green leaves and an aromatic fragrance. Originally from Australia, eucalyptus grow best in hardiness zones 7 through 11. They grow quickly, with some growing up to 6 feet a year and can grow up to 40 feet tall. They are adaptable to a variety of soil conditions and are very drought tolerant. Eucalyptus trees can be propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings, though they do not root easily. Tap off any excess from the stem. Fill a planting flat with a rooting mixture of equal amounts of coarse sand and potting soil. Tent the cuttings with a clear plastic bag. Watch for growth in four to 10 weeks.

Can I grow eucalyptus from a cutting?

The cuttings should be 3 to 5 inches long and have four to eight leaves. Use pruning shears to make a clean cut just below a leaf node. Set the cuttings in a bucket of water until you are ready to process them for planting.

Beside above, can you grow eucalyptus in water? Mix one part glycerin with two parts boiling water. Pour some of the liquid into your container, then insert the eucalyptus until they are standing in about three inches of liquid. Keep the jar in a cool, dark place and inspect the plants weekly. Add more liquid as needed to keep it at the optimum level.

Subsequently, one may also ask, can you replant eucalyptus?

Unlike many eucalyptus species, Red River gum trees root easily from stem cuttings and will be ready for transplant in one year. However, the stem cuttings root most reliably when treated with a fairly strong hormone solution and kept under warm, bright conditions.

Can you propagate silver dollar eucalyptus?

Silver dollar eucalyptus typically propagates via seed, as growing from cuttings is often unreliable and difficult. Eucalyptus seeds germinate readily, and this fast-growing tree may reach 6 to 8 feet tall by the end of its first summer.

How to Dry and Preserve Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaves can be dried on the stem by hanging the branches upside down in a small bunch. You can also remove the leaves and place them on a paper towel or drying screen. With either method, allow the eucalyptus to air dry until the leaves are slightly leathery or crispy, depending on the size. Once dry, store eucalyptus leaves in glass jars with a tightly sealed lid.

If you would like to use the branches for crafts, one of the best ways to preserve them is with glycerin. To do so, choose a container that is large enough to hold your entire eucalyptus branch. In a separate container, mix one-part glycerin with two-parts boiling water and allow it to cool. Pour some of the cooled liquid into the larger container, then insert the eucalyptus branches until they are standing in about three inches of liquid.

Keep the jar in a cool, dark place and inspect the plants weekly. Add more liquid as needed to keep it at the optimum level. It may take anywhere between one to eight weeks for all the leaves to change color. When they have, the process is complete. Remove the eucalyptus branches, pat them dry with a paper towel, and hang them upside down for two to three days before using.

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