How to grow Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a popular ornamental tree because of its fragrant, grey-green leaves and colourful, peeling bark. There are numerous species available in a variety of sizes to fit almost any garden setting. They generally require little upkeep, are adaptable, and are simple to grow.

There are numerous species, most of which thrive in sunny, sheltered environments. They can be pruned to keep them smaller or they can be vigorous, frequently growing into tall, majestic specimens.

Key Facts

  • The ultimate size of a Eucalyptus ‘gunnii’ reaches higher than 12 meters and wider than 8 meters after 10 – 20 years.
  • Eucalyptus ‘gunnii’ is best grown in chalkloamclay and sandy soils. Ensure that the soil is moist but well-drained, with a pH between acidic and neutral.
  • In a protected area, the Eucalyptus ‘gunnii’ thrives in full sun.
  • Eucalyptus ‘gunnii’ has a hardiness rating of H5
  • The Eucalyptus ‘gunnii’ is evergreen, meaning it keeps its foliage year round

How to grow eucalyptus

Eucalyptus can be grown in warmer parts of the country in a sunny spot that is protected from cold winds. For the first growing season, plant in the spring or early summer and water frequently during dry spells. In the early spring, hard prune the entire plant if it is growing as a shrub.

Where to grow

The best way to display eucalyptus trees is as specimens, either alone on a lawn or a border, or as screen plants in a line or group. When selecting the largest species, make sure there is enough room for growth. Plant Eucalyptus gunnii singly or in small groups on a border to grow it as an annual pruned shrub.

Eucalyptus grows well in full sunlight. The majority also thrive in most soil types, including poor soils, and well-drained conditions. Additionally, they should be grown in sheltered locations that are shielded from dry, cold winds. They can be grown in large containers with a diameter of at least 60 centimetres (2 feet).

The majority of species dislike locations that are susceptible to frost, are cold, shaded, have waterlogged soil, and are exposed. Plant species with larger growth rates away from buildings because they can dry out the soil, particularly heavy clay.

When to plant

Eucalyptus should be planted in the spring and summer so that they can establish themselves before winter.

These are simple to plant and should grow quickly, especially if you buy smaller ones that are less than a meter tall. Without any additional organic matter or fertiliser, plant in soil that is reasonably fertile and well-drained.

Planting in the ground

Manure or garden compost should not be used to enrich the soil because it will encourage too much leaf growth. Firm in and water thoroughly, ensuring that the rootball’s top is level with the soil. Young, small plants don’t need to be staked because they’ll grow stronger roots on their own. They dislike being moved once they have settled in, so be sure to plant them in the right spot.

Planting in containers

Utilise a multipurpose compost, such as the soil-based John Innes No. 2 or No. 3 Mix in a lot of horticultural grit (up to 30% by volume) to improve drainage. Once more, firm in and water thoroughly to ensure that the rootball’s top is level with the soil.

Ongoing care


Eucalyptus plants that have just been planted need regular watering to establish themselves. After that, you should only need to water it during dry spells for the next few years until it is well-rooted. Since many established specimens are drought-tolerant, watering is rarely required. Throughout the growing season, keep the compost moist when growing in containers. Reduce watering during the winter to prevent waterlogging.


The majority of ground-grown, established trees do not require nourishment. However, if the eucalyptus tree isn’t growing strongly, feeding it after hard pruning can be beneficial. When cultivating in grow rooms; throughout the growing season (April through September), feed the plant once a month with a general-purpose liquid fertiliser. Repot every two years using fresh compost in a slightly larger container.


Maintain a 1-meter diameter circle of bare soil around the base of the trunk that is free of weeds and other plants for the first few years after planting. This guarantees that the developing roots will not have to compete with other plants for nutrients or moisture. It’s especially important when trees are growing on lawns because the thick grass would soak up a lot of the rain. However, if necessary, dense planting around the base can help to restrict growth by limiting the amount of rainfall that reaches the tree’s roots once it has established itself.


In the early spring or autumn of each year, cover the soil in the area where the roots are growing with a thick layer of mulch. Applying chipped bark to damp soil helps keep moisture in the soil and prevents weed germination. To prevent rot, leave a gap of about 7.5 cm around the trunk.


Most of the readily available species are robust and do not require winter protection. During the winter, move plants that are growing in containers to a protected location, such as against a south- or west-facing wall, where it will be a little warmer and the plant will be protected from the worst of the rain, preventing waterlogging. Containers can also be raised on bricks or “feet” to keep the drainage holes clear. In this way, plants won’t get stuck in wet compost during the winter.

Updated on April 12, 2023

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