Eucalyptus deglupta - Rainbow Gum
Rainbow Gum - A magical, evergreen tree for summer patio and winter conservatory - bring into a frost free environment for winter. The bark has to be seen to be believed - all the colours of the rainbow in stripes...amazing.
Nursery Notes 2020: Summer
1 litre are available again now
5 litre later in the summer
Do ping us an email if you would like to be put on the early warning list for when they are ready. :)
Botanical Name: Eucalyptus deglupta MYRTACEÆ; Myrtle Family
Common Name: Rainbow Gum
Status: Tree with a nice habit - Partly evergreen in that it sheds leaves late winter/spring time at the time of leafing out
One of the three Eucalyptus species not indigenous to the Antipodes. It hailes from Indonesia, so is not hardy for growing outdoors in the UK all year round. It is more than happy to grow outdoors in a large container from May through to the first frosts of Autumn; at which point you need to bring it indoors. Please note that Eucs. hate root disturbance of any kind, so planting it in the ground and then lifting to pot and bring indoors is not a good idea if you want it to live! Keep containerised at all times. Air-pot containers are absolutely the best way forward as they constantly stimulate the roots, keeping them active and producing fresh new growth up top; leading to a happy tree.
Alternatively, you can grow it in a sunny, light conservatory. When indoors - mist occasionally
What we have done with ours:
We started growing this species in 2016 for the first time and were keen to see how long it would take to produce the amazing bark. In July 2017, and potted a 1 litre tree into a 20 litre air-pot container. It grew to around 10 feet tall over the summer and produced the most majestic tree. The challenge came in November over what to do with it, as we have no heated glass houses. So Stephen pruned it down to 6ft (including the pot) and cut back every side shoot to a 4-6 inch spur. This leafless coat-rack then moved into our kitchen for Christmas, next to the glass patio door, where it started to sprout little shoots all over the trunk and branches. By March, it had to move out to the potting tunnel as it was getting quite hairy with foliage. During May it was back up at around 8ft tall, including the pot and has the most magnificent bushy, purple tinged canopy. By August 2017, our bushy tree was 10ft tall. The trunk is about 1-2 inches in diameter and is pink!
Recently (2018) its been potted on into a 45 litre air-pot container - really looking forward to seeing how fat we can get the trunk this year. We'll keep you posted.
Pot yours into a 20 litre airpot for spectacular results in one year. Liquid feed every 2 weeks, from April till September, with normal strength Chempak No. 4, high potassium/low phosphate fertiliser, for sturdy growth. Please note that in November, when you move your tree into its winter quarters indoors, the older leaves will begin to change. They desiccate in the drier air of the house/conservatory and may go crispy at the ends. Black spots develop as oil glands break down and biscuit coloured patches appear on the leaf surface, prior to them all falling off! We find this to be quite normal. The tree is absorbing all plant food stored in the old leaves and pushing it directly into new growth. As temperature and daylength increase during January/February, prolific, fresh, burgundy coloured new growth will emerge all along the pruned branches and on the trunk.
Keep in a light open airey position whilst indoors and place outdoors as soon as the frosts are over or keep in a frost protected growing house or conservatory.
Eucalyptus deglupta responds well to pollarding, but you will need to liquid feed religously during the growing season to make up for the pruning and removal of stored carbohydrates as a result.
Bark Update 2019: Apparently the bark begins to display when the trunk is about 2-3 inches in diameter. We have recently been advised that the stunning colourful display is as a result of a diffraction pattern. When sunlight shines on to and through the flaking bark, particularly when the bark is wet, the light gets 'fractured' into all the colours of the rainbow. Our tree at Hardy Eucalyptus is now some 3.6m tall and living in an unheated poly-tunnel. It's still being pollarded and fed; the trunk is approximately 100mm in diameter (at 1m from the ground). Hoping to see some vibrant colour this summer. Will keep you posted!