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Hardy Eucalyptus Blog

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Can I grow eucalyptus indoors?

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Here at Hardy Eucalyptus we strive to be responsible growers and sellers of eucalyptus. Choosing the right tree for the job is the difference between a successful relationship, and a dismal failure.

One of the questions that we are often asked is can eucalyptus be grown indoors? Our usual answer is… sort of. But it has to be the right species in the right location.

The internet is filled with articles devoted to this exact subject, and they are filled with exaggerations and misinformation. We’ve seen suggestions that Eucalyptus gunnii is suitable for growing indoors, and that Eucalyptus archeri barely reaches 7 meters in height!

 
Eucalyptus gunnii – Very pretty, completely unsuitable for growing indoors.

Location

Eucalyptus require light, and lots of it. They are a genus of pioneer species that primarily hails from Australia, so a dimly lit living room simply isn’t going to be sufficient. An indoor growing location needs to be very well lit, preferably a conservatory but otherwise a hallway with a full length window, or somewhere with similar light levels. You’re also going to need good airflow and ventilation to avoid the perpetual risk of oedema.

Be careful with unheated conservatories, high temps during winter days and frosts overnight can lead to decline and death in the less hardy species.

Care

Growing in an airpot is essential, along with using a mulch of pebbles to reduce moisture loss and deter sciarid fly larvae. Feed with Chempak No 4.

Species

Gunnii is not a good choice for growing indoors. It is light demanding, and grows at a rate of over two meters annually to reach a mature height of 35 meters. Archeri is a wonderful small gunnii type, but a small eucalyptus in this case is 12-15 meters! Gunnii is often recommended online because it is commonly available and easy to grow from seed, but trying to grow it in your home is a recipe for disaster. There are, however, some species that are better candidates for growing indoors.

Eucalyptus ficifolia

Eucalyptus apiculata (worth trialling)

Eucalyptus citriodora

Eucalyptus deglupta

Eucalyptus caesia magna ‘Silver Princess’

Eucalyptus leucoxylon rosea (worth trialling)

Eucalyptus macrocarpa (tricky)

Eucalyptus risdonii (worth a trial in sunny ventilated greenhouses/conservatory.

The key is that they ideally need to be smaller and slower-growing species, preferably those which we regard as being slightly more shade tolerant than their relatives. Even the smallest of eucalyptus species is still going to reach 5 meters or so, which means that careful pruning is going to be essential, along with regular feeding, water, and upgrading pot sizes.

Growing eucalyptus indoors is absolutely possible, and we have helped many happy customers achieve good results. The key is always going to be species selection and location. We’re happy to offer advice and suggestions if you would like to bring the beauty of a eucalyptus into your home, just get in contact by email or phone!

 
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