Eucalyptus are beautiful plants. But that beauty comes with a bit of a fussy attitude. While they are usually reasonably happy when they are germinating and growing, they can be a bit harder to grow once they hit maturity.
However, that doesn’t mean everyone gets their Eucalyptus seeds to grow well the first time. They do have some specific requirements to begin growing and to continue to grow well.
One specification to pay attention to when planting Eucalyptus seeds is light. Eucalyptus seeds need bright, direct sunlight all day to germinate and should be planted on or very near the surface of the soil.
That’s not the only thing that Eucalyptus seeds need. Many varieties also need to be chilled first before germinating. Eucalyptus also don’t enjoy moving much, so it may be best to go ahead and plant them in their forever place, whether in a pot or outdoors, to avoid having to disturb the plant later in the future.
How Hard Is it to Grow Eucalyptus?
Eucalyptus is a plant that is easy to start growing. They can germinate rather quickly and are eager to sprout. However, care after that can be a little more complicated.
If you want a plant that is a bit easier to take care of, there are multiple varieties of Eucalyptus. Some of them do better indoors than others, which makes them a little easier to take care of. These are usually the smaller varieties of Eucalyptus, such as Mallee Eucalyptus.
These are usually more of a shrub-like plant and a little easier to take care of. However, if you want something different, there are also other varieties such as:
- Eucalyptus archeri
- Eucalyptus gregsoniana
- Eucalyptus vernicosa
- Eucalyptus citriodora
- Eucalyptus coccifera
One of the biggest reasons the Eucalyptus are finicky is because they don’t like to be repotted. Unlike most other plants, where you want to move from a smaller pot to a slightly bigger one every few years, you want to go ahead and find a pot that will last your Eucalyptus for a long time.
Do Eucalyptus Seeds Need Light to Germinate?
Eucalyptus are plants whose seeds need light to germinate. The plant likes light so much while germinating that the seeds often don’t even have to be covered. However, they can quickly dry out if not covered, so usually, putting a thin layer of soil over the top of the seed still allows them to get the light they need without drying out.
Eucalyptus also needs a lot of light right after germination, so if you place them somewhere where they can get a lot of light, they will be happier and ready to go immediately.
How Deep Should You Plant Eucalyptus Seeds?
Eucalyptus seeds do not need to be planted deeply at all. If you use a seed tray with a lid, you can just sprinkle the seeds on top of the dirt. Otherwise, just putting the thinnest layer on the soil to keep them moist and to protect them from the wind is fine.
What Kind of Soil Do Eucalyptus Plants Like?
Eucalyptus can handle a large variety of different soil types. However, they prefer a lot of drainage. If you want the ideal soil for a Eucalyptus, look for a potting mix with a lot of drainage.
If you want to make your own potting mix, one part loam, one part peat moss, and two parts sand is an excellent mix to look at. For most Eucalyptus, having a bit of sand mixed in is best.
However, it does matter what variety of Eucalyptus you are getting. Some varieties prefer boggy soil where water will sit in the soil for a little bit.
Most Eucalyptus also prefers slightly acidic soil. This means that they are usually happiest around 5.5 to 6.5 pH. Most soils are approximately 6 to 7 pH, so if you want, you can look for a slightly more acidic version or add some acidity with coffee grounds.
How Long Does Eucalyptus Take to Germinate?
Eucalyptus seeds take about two weeks to germinate. However, if the temperature is wrong, they can take a longer amount of time. Generally, Eucalyptus prefers temperatures around 70°F (21°C).
If your Eucalyptus hasn’t started to germinate after a month, some people recommend refrigerating them. You can simply put the seeds and container into the fridge for about a month.
After that, you take them back out, put them back into their ideal temperature, and start germinating like normal. While we aren’t sure why this works, many people say it seems to give Eucalyptus seeds the boost they need to germinate.
We recommend trying to germinate the usual way to see if they will, but if it doesn’t seem to be working, this is worth a shot.
Do Eucalyptus Seeds Need Stratification?
You may have noticed that some people recommend putting Eucalyptus seeds into the fridge for some time before planting. For the most part, Eucalyptus can easily reseed itself and does fine in warmer climates.
However, some varieties of Eucalyptus do need stratification. Specifically, Eucalyptus needs cold stratification. Cold stratification is basically where you chill the seeds before starting the germination process. Placing your seeds in the fridge for a few months before germinating is a quick and easy way to stratify your seeds.
Some of the Eucalyptus varieties that need to be stratified are:
- E. coccifera
- E. regnans
- E. pauciflora
- E. stellulata
- E. elata
- E. dives
- E. goniocalyx
- E. nitens
If you plan to plant your Eucalyptus outside and live in a colder climate, stratification can be easy. Simply plant the seeds outside in the fall. This will allow your plants to get the cold season of winter that they desire, and they will be ready to start germinating as it warms up in spring.
Do You Pinch Eucalyptus Seedlings?
Eucalyptus seedlings do not need to be pinched and generally require little grooming and pruning. They can do just fine, especially when they are indoors. Outdoors, pruning between seasons can help the plant focus on growth when spring and summer come around.
There are some varieties of Eucalyptus that do look nice after being pinched, though. For example, the Silver Drop Eucalyptus variety can be pinched twice or more if you want a more attractive plant.
Pinching, also known as tipping, is a form of pruning. It helps to encourage branching, especially in younger plants. Since it is for younger plants, you don’t need any tools. Most gardeners pinch by simply using their fingers.
You simply remove the tips of plants just above the node. This creates more branches and leaves to produce a shorter but bushier plant.
It isn’t a necessary process for any plant, but it does help certain plants perform and look better.
Other plants that benefit from pinching include:
How Long Does it Take to Grow Eucalyptus From Seed?
Generally, it takes Eucalyptus seeds anywhere from two to three weeks (fourteen to twenty-one days) before germinating. The ideal temperatures are around 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C).
If your plant is too cold or too warm, it will take longer to germinate, up to six weeks.
If it takes longer than six weeks for your Eucalyptus to grow from seed, then it may be time to try stratification on your plant. This may help your plant to open up and germinate easier.
Eucalyptus seeds are relatively easy to germinate, but you must know what you are doing first. They need light, well-draining soil, as little movement as possible, and mild temperatures. Some varieties also do best with cold stratification before planting.
Eucalyptus seeds need a lot of light to germinate and should be planted on or very near the surface of the soil and in a place with plenty of bright light.
Once a Eucalyptus starts to grow, they need relatively little care. As long as they have light, well-draining soil and space, they will generally do fine. If you want your Eucalyptus to be bushier and better-looking, you can also pinch the seedlings.