If you love the smell of Eucalyptus but don’t want to keep a live tree in your house, try growing Eucalyptus in your garden! These Gum trees are not only easy to care for, but they also have many benefits.
So before we start with the guide, let’s learn about eucalyptus plants.
Gum trees are an excellent source of shade and privacy and are relatively easy to care for. If you’re thinking of planting a eucalyptus tree, here are a few tips to help you get started.
When choosing a location for your eucalyptus tree, Gum trees prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Gum trees can tolerate some partial shade if you live in an area with hot summers.
Appearance and Characteristics of a Eucalyptus Tree
The eucalyptus tree is a tall, evergreen tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall. The leaves are long, and narrow and have a blue-green colour. The flowers are white, and the fruit is a small, woody capsule.
Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia but can be found worldwide. They are popular trees because they are fast-growing and have a lot of valuable properties. Wood is solid and durable, so it is often used for construction. The leaves can be used to make tea, and the oil from the leaves is used in aromatherapy.
If you’re thinking of planting a gum tree, there are over 700 species to choose from! Gum trees belong to the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, and the genus Eucalyptus.
Here’s a list of some popular Gum Trees:
Liquidambar Styraciflua ‘Lane Roberts’
It is named after the Lane Roberts Nursery in Georgia, USA, where it was first propagated. The tree grows to a height of 30-40 feet and has a spread of 20-30 feet. The leaves are oblong-shaped and have a glossy green colour. The flowers are small and yellow, and they are born in clusters. The fruits are small and spherical, and they turn brown when ripe.
Liquidambar Styraciflua ‘Worplesdon.’
Liquidambar styraciflua is a large deciduous tree with an upright, oval, columnar habit. It is native to North America and grows in moist, well-drained soils in full sun. ‘Worplesdon’ has dark green leaves which turn yellow, red and orange in autumn. In late spring, it bears small, inconspicuous, green-yellow flowers followed by spherical, brown fruits.
Liquidambar Styraciflua ‘Thea.’
Liquidambar styraciflua’ Thea’ is an excellent tree for autumn colour in the garden, with its leaves turning a range of colours, including red, orange and yellow. It is also a fast-growing tree, so it is ideal for those who want to create an immediate impact in their garden.
Liquidambar Styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette.’
Liquidambar styraciflua’ Slender Silhouette’ has a columnar growth habit and can reach a height of 35 to 40 feet and a spread of 20 to 25 feet at maturity. This Gum tree has an upright, oval-to-columnar silhouette with a uniform branching structure. It is one of the more shade tolerant Gum trees and does best in full sun to partial shade locations.
‘Slender Silhouette’ Gum trees are drought tolerant once they are established. They have a moderate growth rate and should be pruned from late winter to early spring.
Liquidambar Styraciflua ‘Gum Ball’
Liquidambar styraciflua’ Gum Ball’ is a small, deciduous tree native to North America. The Gum Ball has a rounded crown and produces gum balls 2-3 inches in diameter. The Gum Ball is an excellent choice as an ornamental tree in the landscape. It is usually found growing in wet areas near streams or ponds.
Flowering and Fruiting
Eucalyptus trees are flowering plants. They produce flowers during the spring and summer months. The flowers are usually white or cream-coloured, but some species have red or pink flowers. The fruits of eucalyptus trees are woody capsules that contain seeds.
Flowers and fruits of a gum tree have high value in the market. Gum tree fruits are used in making jams, jellies, and marmalades. The wood of the tree is used in construction and other wood products.
Uses for a Eucalyptus Tree
The eucalyptus tree is a versatile plant used for various purposes. Gum trees, as they are also known, can be used as ornamental plants, shade trees, or even windbreaks. They are fast-growing and relatively easy to care for, making them a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers.
Other than that, eucalyptus trees have many uses. The leaves can be used for essential oils, while the wood is often used in construction or furniture making.
How to Plant and Grow a Gum Tree
To plant a gum tree,
- You’ll need a young sapling at least two years old. Look for a healthy plant with green leaves and a robust root system.
- When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole that’s twice as wide and deep as the root ball of your tree.
- Place the tree in the hole, so the roots are evenly spread out, then fill the gap with soil.
- Water your tree deeply immediately after planting. Gum trees need a lot of water, especially when they’re young, so be sure to keep the soil moist (but not soggy) during the first few months.
- Give your tree protection from harsh winds and hot sun by planting it in a sheltered spot.
- Once it’s established, though, gum trees can tolerate almost any conditions.
Caring for your Eucalyptus Tree
Caring for a plant is essential to keeping it healthy and ensuring it thrives. Gum trees are no different, and there are a few key things to remember when caring for your eucalyptus tree.
Here are some tips for growing the eucalyptus plant:
For indoor eucalyptus plant care, Gum trees enjoy bright, indirect sunlight and temperatures around 60-75 degrees F. Eucalyptus houseplants should be watered thoroughly when the top 1″ -2″ of soil is dry to the touch.
Be sure to empty any excess water from the catch tray below the pot to prevent root rot. Gum trees are relatively light feeders, so fertilize your plant every other month using a half-strength solution of all-purpose liquid fertilizer.
For outdoor eucalyptus plant care, Gum tree growers should plant in full sun and in an area with well-drained soil. Eucalyptus trees like to drink lots of water, so Gum trees need to be watered regularly, especially when they are first planted.
Once Gum trees are established, they are pretty drought-tolerant. However, during periods of extended drought, Gum trees may need supplemental watering. Fertilize Gum trees once a year with a slow-release fertilizer.
Eucalyptus trees are fast growers and can quickly become overgrown. To keep your tree healthy and looking its best, prune it regularly. Pruning also helps to encourage new growth. When pruning,
- Always use sharp, clean tools. Make sure to sterilize them beforehand to prevent the spread of disease.
- Start by removing any dead or diseased branches.
- Then, selectively remove branches to thin out the tree and open up the canopy.
- Finally, cut back any long or straggling branches.
Diseases and Pests
Eucalyptus plants are generally hardy and resistant to disease and pests. However, there are a few things that can cause problems. Gum tree borers are the most common pest and can cause extensive damage to the tree.
The gum tree scale is another common problem, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Gum tree rust is a fungal disease that can affect the leaves and branches, causing them to become discoloured and distorted.
Eucalyptus can be propagated by seed or cuttings. The best time to sow seeds is in spring, as the warmer weather will help the seeds germinate.
- First, fill a seed tray with a well-draining potting mix to sow seed.
- Then, sprinkle the eucalyptus seeds over the surface of the mix.
- Gently press the seeds into the mixture and water well.
- Place the seed tray in a warm, sunny spot and moisten the soil.
- Once the seedlings have germinated, transplant them into individual pots.
Eucalyptus trees are not too particular about soil type but prefer well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, consider amending it with some organic matter to help improve drainage. Gum trees also like acidic soils, so if your ground is neutral or alkaline, you may need to add some sulphur to lower the pH.
Eucalyptus trees are drought tolerant but need regular watering when first planted. Gum trees like a lot of water, so keep the soil moist but not soggy. Allow the top inch or so of soil to dry out between watering. Gum trees are fast growers and need more water during the active growing season. You can cut back on watering during the winter months.
In general, eucalyptus trees are very hardy and can withstand various climates. However, they do best in areas with plenty of sunlight and good drainage. If you live in a room with cold winters, choosing a variety specifically bred to withstand freezing temperatures is essential.
- When planting your eucalyptus tree, be sure to dig a hole that is twice as wide as the tree’s root ball. This will give the roots plenty of room to spread out and establish themselves. Add some compost or organic matter to the hole before planting, and water the well.
- Eucalyptus trees are relatively fast-growing, so you’ll need to prune them in shape regularly. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Eucalyptus
Are eucalyptus trees easy to grow?
Yes, eucalyptus trees are easy to grow. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil, but they are adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of conditions. Eucalyptus trees are also drought tolerant, making them a good choice for areas with limited water resources.
One downside to growing eucalyptus trees is that they can be invasive. They tend to spread rapidly and can quickly take over an area if not carefully monitored. So if you’re planning on growing eucalyptus trees, ensure you have plenty of space to accommodate their growth.
How long does it take to grow a gum tree?
It can take as long as 12 years for a gum tree to grow to maturity.
Gum trees are native to Australia and prefer hot, humid climates. They are generally planted in the springtime and will grow best when they receive plenty of sunlight and regular watering. Gum trees should not be planted in areas that experience frost, as this can damage or kill the tree.
Where do eucalyptus trees grow best?
Eucalyptus trees grow best in tropical and subtropical climates. They prefer a humid environment with plenty of rainfall.
Eucalyptus oil is extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. The oil is used to make medicine. Eucalyptus oil is taken by mouth for throat infections, chest congestion, bronchitis, and asthma. It is also applied to the skin for pain relief, muscle pain, joint pain, nerve pain, headaches, and skin infections.
Do eucalyptus trees need a lot of water?
No, eucalyptus trees don’t need a lot of water. They can survive in drought-like conditions. That said, they need some water, especially when they’re young.
Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia, which is an arid continent. So the trees have adapted to survive in dry conditions. They can do this by storing water in their leaves and branches. This is also why their leaves are so long and narrow – they can maximize the surface area exposed to the sun and air, which helps them evaporate more water and stay calm.
How long do gum trees live?
Gum trees can live for up to 500 years. They are a long-lived species and can easily outlive humans.
One of the reasons gum trees are so long-lived is that they have evolved a clever way to deal with fire. When a fire burns through a forest, the gum trees are usually one of the few species that survive. This is because they have thick bark that protects them from the heat of the flames.
Gum trees also have a deep root system that helps them anchor themselves in the ground. This means they are less likely to be blown over by windstorms and other weather events.
Can eucalyptus grow in pots?
Yes, eucalyptus can grow in pots. The key is to select a large enough pool to accommodate the tree’s full size and to provide good drainage. Eucalyptus is like well-drained soil and should be watered regularly but not overwatered. They can be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer every few months, but be careful not to overfertilize as this can damage the tree.
If you’re growing your eucalyptus in a pot, keeping an eye on the tree for pests and diseases is essential. Eucalyptus are susceptible to scale, mealybugs, and aphids.
Can you root eucalyptus cuttings in water?
You can root eucalyptus cuttings in water, but it’s best to do so in soil. Eucalyptus cuttings have a high success rate when propagated by embedding them in a soil-based medium. Rooting them in water will work, but the success rate is much lower.
One way to increase the chances of successfully rooting eucalyptus cuttings in water is to dip the cutting into hormone powder before putting it into the water. Hormone powder can be purchased at most garden stores. Another trick is to use hot water; this will help to stimulate new root growth.
Can you grow a gum tree from a cutting?
It’s possible to grow a gum tree from a cutting, but it’s not easy. The best time of year to take a cutting is during the late winter or early spring when the sap is running. Choose a healthy branch from the mother tree and cut it into 3-inch lengths using sharp shears. Strip off all the leaves, then make a small cut at the base of each cutting just below the node (the point where the leaves grow). Dip each cutting in water and place them in a well-drained soil mix. Keep the soil moist until new growth appears, then water only when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
It will likely take several months for new growth to appear, so be patient.
When should I plant eucalyptus seeds?
Eucalyptus seeds can be sown all year round in frost-free areas or during the cool months in colder climates. The best time to plant eucalyptus seeds is when the weather conditions are more conducive to germination, such as after rain or when the ground is moist.
Seeds should be planted about 1 inch deep and about 12 inches apart. Keep the soil moist until germination occurs. Germination usually takes place within two to four weeks. Once germinated, young seedlings need water frequently, especially during hot weather.
Can you plant eucalyptus near a house?
You can plant eucalyptus near the house, but you should consider a few things. Eucalyptus is a fast-growing tree that releases water, vapour and oxygen.
Water vapour can be good for your garden, but it might also cause problems with your house’s roof or walls. The oxygen released by the tree can also be good for your health, but if there’s too much of it in one place, it might cause problems with the air quality inside your house.