Eucalyptus gunnii subsp. divaricata
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A position that offers a splash of morning or evening sun is best, especially during the autumn and winter months. Avoid more than two hours of direct sunlight a day during the summer, as this will lead to dehydration and sun-scorch. Rapid leaf loss will occur to plants that are placed in too dark locations - if it's difficult to read a book, it'll be too dark for the plant, too!
We'd recommend placing your Eucalyptus on either a north, north-east or north-west facing windowsill, or within two metres of a south-facing window. It can also spend the summer months outdoors in a sheltered location. This will improve its overall health by spending time in the fresh outdoors; as long as you bring it in before the night temperature dip below 10℃ (50℉), no harm will be risked.
During the spring and summer, maintain good soil moisture by only allowing the top third to dry out in between irrigations - reduce this further during the colder months for the replication of its dormancy period. Those situated in darker locations must be watered far less than those located in brighter ones for the prevention of root rot. Under-watering symptoms include stunted growth, dry spots appearing on the leaves and yellowing older leaves; these issues are either down to an over-crowded pot, too little light, or forgetfulness. Over-watering symptoms include yellowing lower leaves, brown mushy patches developing in the stems, and root rot. For the latter, take the plant out of its pot and investigate the health below the soil line. If there are visible signs of rot, click on this link to learn about the recommended steps to eradicate this problem.
Low humidity won't affect a Eucalyptus too much, as long as you occasionally mist the foliage whilst the radiators are operating. A gentle hose-down once a month will help with the hydration of leaves, but will also wash off any excess dust and pests.
Fertilise every four waters during the growing period before reducing this to every six in the autumn & winter. Although an 'All-Purpose' fertiliser will still do the job, we'd recommend using a specific 'Houseplant' labelled fertiliser as it'll support the vital thirteen nutrients that this species will need to grow.
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Curled leaves and dried brown edges are the result of too little water and over-exposure to the sun. Although Indoor Eucalyptus can naturally do well in sun-filled locations, those that haven't acclimatised to the harsh rays will show signs of sun-scorch and environmental shock. Prolonged exposure will significantly speed the process of dehydration, so consider transplantation into a bigger pot in the spring to wrap the roots around moister soil.
Continual lower leaf loss is a significant issue among gardeners. This unfortunate phenomenon is caused by dark locations and will continue to occur until it is relocated. Introduce the plant to a more well-lit location with a splash of off-peak sunlight; if caught in time, the leaf loss should stop within a few days.
Environmental Shock is a familiar occurrence with newly-located specimens, that usually results in stunted growth and lower leaf loss (common). When a plant is relocated into a new, unfamiliar setting, the effects can be catastrophic. The humidity, temperature and light levels will all suddenly shift into different proportions, inflicting great stress the individual. There are two options of addressing this issue; either wait it out or relocate it into a more Eucalyptus-friendly environment. As long as the specimen appears healthy with little change to its pre-existing leaves, new nodular growth should emerge in the following months.
Yellowing lower leaves (closest to soil) could be a sign of over-watering, but equally is a byproduct of maturity. If the older leaves rapidly become yellow in quick succession, over-watering could be to blame. People don't realise that a plant's root system needs access to oxygen too; when soil is watered, the air will travel upwards and out of the potting mix. A lack of accessible oxygen for the roots will cause them to subsequently breakdown over the oncoming days. Click on this link to learn more about root rot and how to address it.
Always use lukewarm water, and if you choose to use tap water, allow it to stand for at least 24hrs before application. Their root systems tend to be quite sensitive to temperature change, so pouring cold tap water into the pot will not only ironise the roots, but could even cause yellowed halos around each leaf.
Transplant shock is a big issue when it comes to repotting; give the plant a good soak 24hrs before the action and never tinker with the roots, unless it has been affected by root rot. Typical signs of transplant shock are largely similar to under-watering (wilting, yellowing leaves and crisped growth). For more information about addressing this issue, click on this link and scroll down to the 'Transplant Shock' section!
In 1789, Charles Louis L'Héritier documented Eucaptyus in his taxonomic book, Sertum Anglicum. The genus' name comes from the Ancient Greek words of eu and kalypto, that translates to 'beautiful' & 'conceal', referring to the operculum covering the developing flower buds. The most popular indoor species, E. gunnii, was first documented by Joseph Dalton Hooker in 1844, honouring South African botanist, Ronald Campbell Gunn.
10° - 23℃ (54° - 75℉)
H1b (Hardiness Zone 12) - Can be grown outdoors during the summer in a sheltered location with temperatures above 10℃ (50℉), but is fine to remain indoors, too. If you decide to bring this houseplant outdoors, don't allow it to endure more than an hour of direct sunlight a day as it may result in sun-scorch. Regularly keep an eye out for pests, especially when re-introducing it back indoors.
Up to 4m in height and 1m in width. The ultimate height will take between 5 - 10 years to achieve, with 20cm of growth being put out annually.
Remove yellowed or dying leaves and plant debris to encourage better growth and improve the all-round appearance. Pruning must be done with clean scissors or shears to reduce the chance of bacterial and fungal diseases; remember to make clean incisions as too much damage can shock the plant.
Via Seed or Stem Cuttings.
Stem Cuttings (Difficult)
Pink jellyfish-like flowers will appear during the months of late summer, developing across the foliage line to attract airborne pollinators. Unfortunately, it's doubtful for a specimen to flower in domestic settings due to the unfavourable growing conditions of low light, poor dormancy periods & restricted roots.
Repot every two years in the spring, using a 'Houseplant' labelled potting mix and the next sized pot with adequate drainage. Hydrate the plant 24hrs before tinkering with the roots to prevent the risk of transplant shock. For those situated in a darker location, introduce an extra amount of perlite and grit into the deeper portion of the pot to downplay over-watering risks. Click here for a detailed step-by-step guide on transplantation, or via this link to learn about repotting with root rot.
Book a 1-to-1 video call with Joe Bagley if you'd like a personal guide to repotting your houseplant. This will include recommending the right branded-compost and pot size, followed by a live video call whilst you transplant the specimen for step-by-step guidance and answer any further questions!
Keep an eye out for scale, aphids, spider mites, vine weevils & mealybugs. Typical diseases associated with Eucalyptus are leaf-spot disease, botrytis & root rot - click here to learn about these issues.
This plant is classified as poisonous, so if small sections are eaten, vomiting, nausea and a loss of appetite may occur. Consumption of large quantities must be dealt with quickly; acquire medical assistance for further information.
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