How to Care for Eucalyptus Trees


When you think of a eucalyptus tree, you may imagine a koala sitting in the crook of a branch, munching leaves. But, while eucalyptus does prefer warm climates, you don't have to live in Australia to make this an attractive addition to your yard. Eucalyptus features attractive flowers and will add a pleasant smell to your yard. Eucalyptus trees are not generally difficult to care for and can adapt to container culture, making it possible to grow them indoors in cooler climates.

Step 1

Select your planting site where your eucalyptus tree will receive full sun and good soil drainage. Check the USDA hardiness zone map and plant a eucalyptus variety that can grow in your zone.

Step 2

Plant in a container if you live in an area with cold winters so you can bring your tree inside during the colder months. The container should be at least 2 feet in diameter, with good drainage.

Step 3

Plant eucalyptus outdoors in mid- to late spring in cooler areas, up to autumn in warmer climates.

Step 4

Water your tree well before planting and do not allow the roots to dry out.

Step 5

Dig your planting hole a bit larger than the root ball of your tree.

Step 6

Set the tree gently in the hole, being careful not to disturb the roots. Don't spread the roots out in the hole; a eucalyptus tree's root system is easily damaged.

Step 7

Fill in the hole, tamping the soil lightly as you go to eliminate air pockets.

Step 8

Water your tree again just after planting. Monitor your tree's water requirements closely just after planting, until the tree is well-established. You may need to water up to once a day, depending on the soil texture in your area.

Step 9

Mulch around the base of your tree if the soil tends to dry up too quickly or if the area becomes infested with weeds.

Step 10

Apply a slow-release fertilizer that has a low phosphorus content to potted eucalyptus trees occasionally. In-ground eucalyptus trees shouldn't need fertilization and are not very tolerant of the phosphorus in most fertilizers.

Step 11

Prune your tree every summer to maintain the height you desire.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep the area under your tree clean; eucalyptus trees tend to shed a lot of bark and leaves in autumn. The bark is flammable and should not be left on the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Slow-release fertilizer low in phosphorus
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears or pruning saw


  • Gardening Know How: Eucalyptus Tree Care

Who Can Help

  • USDA Hardiness Zone Map
  • University of Maryland Medical Center: Medicinal Uses for Eucalyptus
Keywords: eucalyptus tree, plant eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree container

About this Author

Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer living and working in Minnesota. She began freelancing in 2008. Mansfield's work has appeared in online sites and publications such as theWAHMmagazine, for parents who work at home, and eHow. She is an active member of Absolute Write and Writer's Village University.