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How to Grow Eucalyptus Indoors

By Amy Hannaford ; Updated September 21, 2017
Eucalyptus plant in bloom

Although this deciduous tree can get to heights of 75 to 150 feet outdoors, Eucalyptus can be trained to grow indoors. It's blue-green leaves are very decorative and act as a natural air deodorizer with its distinctive menthol scent. The essential oils derived from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree are often used as an antiseptic to treat wounds and burns and are added to cough syrups, soaps and cosmetics.

Fill a 10- to 15-gallon container or half of a whiskey barrel half-full of potting soil. Water the soil well. Plant the Eucalyptus tree in the container with the top of the root ball about 1 inch below the top edge of the container. Fill in with the remaining soil. Pat the soil down around the tree and water thoroughly.

Set the container where it will receive plenty of bright light daily. In front of a south facing window works well. This plant does not tolerate shade, so be sure it always has plenty of light. If necessary it could be moved out on a patio on a sunny day and brought back in at night.

Water daily, soaking the soil well. Do not flood the soil by leaving water standing in pools. Be sure the soil does not dry out, which can cause the tree to wilt quickly.

Prune the tree to maintain a manageable size. Cut back the main branch at the top to help keep the tree short. A Eucalyptus grown indoors may not flower.

Use a slow-release fertilizer once a month. It should be low phosphorous as Eucalyptus does not tolerate phosphorous well.

 

Things You Will Need

  • 10- to 15-gallon container or half a whiskey barrel
  • Potting soil
  • Low-phosphorous slow-release fertilizer

Tips

  • Place the container where you want it before filling with soil and planting the tree; otherwise, the container might be too heavy to move.
  • Consider setting the container on a wheeled dolly so that it can be moved around easily as needed.

About the Author

 

Amy Hannaford teaches childbirth education classes and a healthy pregnancy series in Southern Oregon. Hannaford holds an Associate of Arts degree, a certificate in medical assisting, and has been a childbirth educator and birth doula for 20 years. She has been writing articles for Demand Media since 2008.