The ‘Eucalyptus Era‘ was initiated by a 20th-century Medical Expert, Baron Ferdinand von Muller, who had the idea of using their extracts as a disinfectant. Ever since, the craving for their leaves, stems, roots and oils has been massive due to their many health and industrial benefits.
Eucalyptus plants are easily recognizable by their stringy, even, and toughened foliage, which appears lustrous, pointy, and shiny, with thick harder cork barks surrounding the branches. They also bear fruit seeds in fibrous pods called ‘gumnuts.’
Propagating Eucalyptus Plants
Eucalyptus plants grow mostly on a single stem, but several other species develop from one main trunk before branching out to several smaller branches called ‘Eucalypts.’ Studies have shown that Eucalyptus plants grow in 4 separate foliage stages, from Seedling to Juvenile to Intermediate, before finally, the Adult phase.
When they’re well cared for, they can grow tall to up to 33 feet (10 meters) in length, although averagely sized varieties grow a bit taller than that; They can be as tall as 33-98 feet (10-30 meters). The tallest varieties are known to grow more than 200 feet (60 meters) high.
Eucalyptus plants release their capsules full of seeds at maturity, which can be propagated into new plants. Other popular propagation methods include stem cuttings and grafting; let’s discuss this in more detail.
Propagating Eucalyptus by Seed Germination
Freshly harvested Eucalyptus seeds can be propagated directly in a potting soil mix, and once the new plants are grown a bit, they can remain in the pot indoors or taken outside to a garden nursery where they can be grown as ornamental garden trees.
You can either gather the seeds from the pods naturally or harvest them from the mature pods by creating an opening at the midsection. Eucalyptus capsules turn brownish and feel dry at maturity, and it’s best to collect the seeds in their active seasons.
To propagate them, insert the seeds in a potting mix, apply some moisture, and cover them with a light transparent polyethylene bag. Place the potting in a warm moist environment, maybe behind a well-lit window frame or a refrigerator shaft. You can remove the covering once the seeds start germinating in 8-12 weeks. It’s best to propagate the seeds between late summer and mid-winter.
Propagating Eucalyptus by Grafting
Grafting is the simplest, quickest, and most uncomplicated way to propagate Eucalyptus pots. The process may be a little technical, but it requires your attention. Always remember, our aim of grafting is to grow a younger, freshly budding Eucalyptus stem on an older rootstock.
First, select your young shoot from an older plant. The shoot should have fresh-looking leaves, buds and leaf nodes well developed. Use a stem at most 6 inches long for grafting.
Make an identical cut on the rootstock, targeting a branch closest to the main shoot. If you could carve a lock-and-key outline on the scion and rootstock, that would be great. Most propagators like to go for a T-shaped cut outline.
Now, insert the scion onto the rootstock and bind them using tape or a binding wire. You’ll gradually begin to notice cambium and cork growth around the adjoining segments; regularly water the newly grafted plant and place it under shade or indirect sunlight, and the new shoots will develop in 3-4 weeks.
Propagating Eucalyptus by Stem Cuttings
Stem Cuttings are the most common method of propagating Eucalyptus plants, and it’s ideal for every newbie propagator to begin their adventurous experiments growing Eucalyptus plants with this method.
Select the healthiest stems for the cuttings; each should be up to 6 inches long, with 2-4 leaves and nodes.
Make the cuttings just below the leaf nodes at 45° to the main shoot using a clean garden knife or pair of scissors. The cuttings should be allowed to heal properly before rooting them in water or a potting medium. Cuttings will remain viable for up to 30 days after cutting, so ensure you’re not in a hurry to root them; they must be well-callused before rooting.
Rooting Eucalyptus Stem Cuttings in Water
From this point on, propagating the Eucalyptus cuttings will only get easier. Rooting in water is faster than a potting medium, but it exposes the tender cuttings to the possibility of injuries sustainable while transplanting them after they’ve rooted. The perk is you get to see the daily development processes from cutting to rooting, unlike in a potting medium where you’re left blind.
Dip the callused cuttings into a glass jar of water and place them under shade or beside a window frame to receive daily indirect sunshine. Your cuttings will be rooted in under four weeks, as long as the water is changed regularly to improve aeration.
Rooting Eucalyptus Cuttings in a Potting Medium
Suppose you wish to do it the conventional way and avoid the inherent risks of damaging the tender-rooted cuttings. In that case, rooting in a pot is also an efficient way to propagate Eucalyptus cuttings. Prepare your rooting pots by pouring the homemade potting mix in and making light holes on the surface.
Insert the cuttings into the holes and add more potting mix to strengthen them. You can water immediately by misting or a light spray or wait a few hours before watering.
Ensure the pot has air holes at the sides and bottom to improve its aeration. After watering, place the pot beside a window sill to receive adequate indirect sunshine and expect the cuttings to root and grow a new shoot after 3-4 weeks.
Sunshine Requirements in Growing Eucalyptus
They’re mainly recognized as evergreen shrubs and trees that like to get full sunshine baths for more than 8 hours daily. However, a few of their tropical varieties appear somewhat deciduous, shedding their leaves at the tail end of the dry season.
Eucalyptus plants can be propagated outdoors, where they are left to thrive under the full radiation of summer spring and summer sunshine. If you’re growing them indoors, ensure they’re placed beside a south or East facing window with plenty of direct sunshine.
When they receive the right amounts of sunshine, they easily grow to tower heights and form cascading shades with their shiny leaves due to the active secretion of oils through the oil pores on the leaves.
Don’t forget to take them indoors in winter when the temperature has dropped below 50°F (10°C). Leaving them outside in winter for days can freeze the plant leaves and stems or root rots.
Best Potting Mix for Eucalyptus Plants
Eucalyptus, like most succulents, like to be potted in a well-drained soil mix with good aeration and grits. You can prepare your own standard homemade lightweight potting mix by putting together 30% Peat moss, 30% loamy soil, and 40% regular garden soil. You could also improve the grit and percolation of the soil mix by adding perlite to it.
They enjoy neutral to mildly acidic pH environments, so always maintain the right levels. In cases where the Soil Mix appears too acidic, you can add a little lime to cushion the acidity.
Watering the Young Eucalyptus Pots
Their water requirements depend on the current location and atmospheric conditions. Seasons with longer hours of burning sunshine and high humidity will require more frequent watering to cool them off than the cooler winter of low humidity.
As the pots develop from early spring to late summer, their water needs will gradually increase. You can begin watering them only once a week during early spring. Still, as summer approaches and the sunshine intensifies, you may eventually need to water them daily to preserve them from scorching under the sun.
A major cue to know it’s time for watering is always to pay close attention to the soil moisture levels; each watering episode should only apply after the top 2 inches of the potting soil surface looks dry and crispy. Yellowing leaves are a good sign of over-watering.
Spraying, misting, and light showers are all applicable methods of watering Eucalyptus Pots, especially in their earlier stages. As they grow bigger, you should limit how long moisture stays in their leaves to avoid leaf rot.
Bottom watering is a great and safe way to satisfy their moisture needs. You lift the plant from its pot and gently soak the roots in a water bowl for 3-10 minutes before placing it back in the pot. You should ensure the dripping water fully drains off the roots before returning the pot to its position. The roots could rot if water is held within their hairs too long.
With over 700 varieties currently under study, growing Eucalyptus pots around the home and offices has many medicinal benefits, including treatment of respiratory inflammations, control of global epidemic diseases such as influenza, meningitis, and malaria, treatment of ulcers, as well as recovery from injuries and burns.
Its commercial applications include using its planks for industrial purposes in making Paper and as a fuel source. Eucalyptus oils’ aromatic and mesmerizing fragrances are used as essential ointments for skin care, and some latest scientific discoveries also employ them in aromatherapy.