In what climate do eucalyptus trees grow
Eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree - care
The plant has a very high biodiversity. In total there are more than 600 different species of the eucalyptus, which originally came from Australia and Southeast Asia. The flowers of the eucalyptus are located in a capsule before budding and are not visible. The name of the plant comes from this fact: Eucalyptus means “well hidden” in Greek. The unfolded flower can develop a white, yellow or red color depending on the species. The leaves of a eucalyptus are characterized by a dark green to blue-green color. The trunk of a eucalyptus is usually light in color. In addition, due to their very rapid growth, they are also ideal for wood production.
The right location for a eucalyptus
Originally, eucalyptus come from tropical and subtropical regions. Most species therefore prefer a warm climate with a lot of sunlight. Almost all species can tolerate freezing temperatures, at least for a short time. The hardest of all is the "Eucalyptus gunnii", which is considered particularly frost-resistant when planted and successfully defies temperatures of up to 12 degrees below zero.
In order to develop optimally, a eucalyptus tree absolutely needs a bright location with as much sunlight as possible. If this is not the case, the leaves quickly lose their natural color due to the inadequate lighting conditions. So that a eucalyptus tree gets as much sunlight as possible, it is advisable to place it on the south side of the house.
If it is difficult to provide a location with sufficient sun for a eucalyptus, one should choose a species that is frugal in this respect and that also tolerates a location in partial shade.
Holding a eucalyptus tree can also have a pleasant side effect that you should definitely take advantage of: Since flies and mosquitoes avoid eucalyptus trees because of the essential oils, the trees are suitable for keeping vermin away. It is therefore advisable to set up a eucalyptus near the terrace.
The correct method of sowing
Growing a eucalyptus from seeds is usually very straightforward and is also cheaper than buying young plants. If you grow them under the right conditions, the plants are robust even at a young age and show rapid growth.
When sowing, the seeds of the eucalyptus tree are put into a slightly moistened mixture, which should consist of roughly equal parts of sand and peat soil. The seeds should then ideally be placed in a heated propagation box at a temperature of around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. The first seedlings appear after just under a month. As soon as these start to form their own leaves, they are transplanted into pots with a soil made of compost. The leaves of young eucalyptus are heart-shaped or egg-shaped. The elongated leaves typical of the plant only begin to develop when the eucalyptus is older.
If you choose to plant one or more eucalyptus trees freely in your garden, you must be aware that this can have adverse effects on the other plants. The roots of a eucalyptus tree reach deep into the interior of the soil and can thus withdraw space and water from the other plants and thus hinder their growth.
The proper watering of a eucalyptus tree
During the main growth period, a eucalyptus tree should be watered regularly and extensively. It is important to moisten the soil well and evenly. Before the next watering, let the nutrient soil of the plant dry on the surface. Eucalyptus thrive best on a substrate made of compost soil. Since a eucalyptus does not tolerate waterlogging as well as excessive substrate moisture, the culture medium should be air-permeable and, above all, very water-permeable. In particular, excessively high moisture in the area of the root ball can have a harmful effect on a eucalyptus. It is therefore important to ensure that the bucket offers a good drainage facility.
In addition, it must be taken into account that many eucalyptus species do not tolerate calcareous tap water. To get information about the lime content of your own water, it is advisable to call the responsible waterworks. If it turns out that the water contains too much lime, predominantly rainwater should be used to water the plant.
During the winter, you can give the eucalyptus a rest period and restrict watering accordingly. However, it is important to ensure that the soil does not dry out completely during the winter months.
Overall, a eucalyptus needs relatively little water compared to other plants of its size. This is due to the hard-leaved leaves of the tree, which lead to reduced evaporation of the water. Nevertheless, it should be watered as daily as possible in particularly hot and dry climatic conditions. This counteracts the dehydration of the root ball, which can result in irreparable damage to the leaves.
In order to develop good growth, you should fertilize a eucalyptus from the beginning of spring until autumn at about two-week intervals. For this it is recommended to use liquid fertilizer in normal concentration. You have to make sure that you only fertilize a eucalyptus moderately. If you add too many nutrients to it, the already very pronounced growth of the plant is additionally accelerated. It is important that the fertilizer contains relatively little nitrogen or phosphorus.
Pruning a eucalyptus
If you want to keep a eucalyptus as a container plant for a longer period of time, it is essential to prune it regularly. Otherwise the tree threatens to "grow over your head" in the truest sense of the word. Pruning the plant should be done in spring. If larger wounds occur, they must be carefully coated with varnish balm. The roots of the tree must not be pruned.
Some types of eucalyptus can also be grown in apartments. But here in particular, due to the vigorous growth, regular pruning of the plant must be ensured. The "Eucalyptus gunnii" is a species that grows less rapidly and is therefore also suitable for keeping in rooms. If kept in a species-appropriate manner, it has an annual growth of approx. 40 cm.
In the wild, certain types of eucalyptus can reach dizzying heights under optimal conditions. The giant eucalyptus is considered to be the deciduous tree with the highest growth height, which can be up to 100 meters. "Normal" eucalyptu species reach a height of 40 to 50 meters in the open.
Repotting the plant
If a young eucalyptus has reached the appropriate size, it is transplanted into a larger pot. Since eucalyptus, as already mentioned, show rapid growth, it is not uncommon for them to even have to be repotted twice a year.
Usually repotting should be done in the fall of each year. It is important to repot the tree a little later before moving to winter quarters. This ensures that the eucalyptus can still enjoy a sufficient recovery phase. When repotting in a new bucket, the root ball must not be trimmed under any circumstances. After a two-day pause in watering, you should then continue with normal maintenance and resume the old watering rhythm.
In general, it should be remembered that eucalyptus trees grow very quickly and can only be used as a container plant for a few years.
In the winter months you have to bring eucalyptus planted in tubs into the house. Otherwise, the plant threatens to freeze quickly in permanent freezing temperatures. As soon as the temperature rises, you should give the eucalyptus as much light as possible, even during the cold season. The ideal temperature for wintering the tree is approx. 5 to 10 degrees Celsius and can be achieved relatively easily in a winter garden or a cool cellar (with a window), for example. If you cannot guarantee these conditions in your own living environment, a eucalyptus can also overwinter in warmer rooms. It is important to give it the same care (watering) as during the summer months.
Control of pests
The essential oils of a eucalyptus protect it more than other plants from excessive pest infestation. Nevertheless, the shoot tips of a eucalyptus in particular threaten to be attacked by aphids in spring. As a consequence of the pest infestation, dark sooty fungi often appear. There are various ways to effectively combat the pests:
One of them is to submerge the plant in cold water for about 24 hours. This method kills the pests, whereas the eucalyptus does not suffer any significant damage. Alternatively or in addition to this, the plant can also be sprayed with a soft soap solution to which a small dose of alcohol has been added.
Since the eucalyptus originally comes from areas with a subtropical climate, its care and cultivation is not completely problem-free in our latitudes. Especially in the winter months it is important to create the right conditions for a eucalyptus and to heed the advice on species-appropriate care. Nevertheless, there are species that are also suitable for our climate. The "Eucalyptus gunnii" has proven to be particularly advantageous because of its high resistance to colder temperatures. In addition, it shows moderate growth compared to other species and therefore requires less maintenance.
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