How to Root Eucalyptus Tree Cuttings

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Slender and beautiful, eucalyptus trees (​Eucalyptus​ spp​.​) are evergreens with glossy, aromatic leaves. There are about 700 species in the ​Eucalyptus​ genus, all of them native to Australia, including the popular silver dollar tree (​Eucalyptus cinerea).

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These evergreens propagate most readily from seed. Though it is possible to grow some eucalyptus species vegetatively, eucalyptus cuttings do not root readily.

Meet the Eucalyptus

With so many species in the eucalyptus clan, there are great variations between them. Some, like the blue gum eucalyptus (​Eucalyptus globulus​), grow to 130 feet. Others, like the silver dollar tree, stay about half that height. Most members of this genus have glossy, green leaves and an aromatic fragrance.

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These trees are native to warm areas of Australia and they do not do well in chilly winters. Most species thrive in hardiness zones 8 through 11, although a few can be grown in cooler areas. The trees grow quickly, shooting up 8 feet in a single year. Others grow more slowly and are used for lumber. Most are adaptable to a variety of cultural conditions and grow rapidly in poor soils, qualities that have made them invasive in some areas.

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Although koalas chow down on eucalyptus leaves, don't do the same. The leaves, bark, and sap of these trees are toxic to humans and dogs and cause severe reactions.

Propagate a Eucalyptus by Seed

Eucalyptus trees grow easily from seed and planting them is a relatively simple procedure. Prepare a planting site in a sunny location in an area with excellent drainage.

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Gather the seed in spring when the capsules are mature and just before they open. The seeds of most eucalyptus species can germinate without any dormancy requirements. Further, you'll be planting the seeds after all chance of frost is passed.

Be sure to pick a spot with the mature size of the trees in mind. Likewise, you'll need to plant the seeds far apart or else cull the seedlings when they appear to about 8 feet from one another. Water well when planting; then water again when the soil is dry to the touch.

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Propagate a Eucalyptus by Cuttings

Eucalyptus do not grow easily from cuttings, but it costs little to give it a try. Use a clean, sharp garden pruner to remove tip cuttings in late spring or early summer. Each cutting should be between 5 and 7 inches long.

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Remove the foliage from the bottom two-thirds of each cutting with the pruners. Pour some rooting hormone on a paper plate; then dip the cut tip of each cutting in the hormone. Fill small containers with moist, well-draining potting mix; then poke the cut end of each cutting into a container. Cover them with a clear plastic bag and site them in a warm area with indirect sun. Keep the soil moist until you see growth on the cuttings. At that time, they are ready for transplant.

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