Eucalyptus Houseplant: How To Grow Eucalyptus In A Container

Anyone used to seeing eucalyptus trees stretch to the skies in parks or woodlands may be surprised to see eucalyptus growing indoors. Can eucalyptus be grown indoors? Yes, it can. Potted eucalyptus trees make a pretty and fragrant potted plant on your patio or inside your house.

Eucalyptus Growing Indoors

Outside, eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus spp.) grow to 60 feet tall and those half-moon-shaped leaves flutter in the breeze. They are tall evergreen trees with aromatic leaves. But the tree grows well indoors too.

Potted eucalyptus trees can be grown as container perennials until they get so big that they must be planted in the backyard or donated to a park. Eucalyptus houseplants grow so fast that they can be grown as annuals. Grown from seed planted in the spring, the trees will rise to 8 feet high in one season.

How to Grow Eucalyptus in a Container

If you are interested in growing eucalyptus indoors, you need to learn how to grow eucalyptus in a container. The rules are few, but important.

If you use a conventional, round pot for your eucalyptus houseplants, the roots are very likely to start circling the inside of the pot. In time, they will be so tightly wound that you will not be able to transplant the tree.

Instead, plant your tree in a large, cone-shaped Air-pot. That way, you can transplant it outdoors or donate it to the park if you like. Plant it in well-drained, fertile soil and give it ample water on a regular basis.

Once a week, add liquid food to your plant water. Do this from early spring through the end of summer to feed your eucalyptus houseplant. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer.

Where to Place Potted Eucalyptus Plants

Eucalyptus, potted or not, require full sun to thrive. Place your eucalyptus houseplants on the patio in a sunny, sheltered location where it is easy for you to water it.

You can also dig a hole and place the container in it, sunk to the pot lip, all summer long. In mild climates, leave the plant outside permanently.

In a cold climate, you must bring the plant indoors before the first frost of autumn. You can cut bushy plants to the ground before overwintering and store in a cool basement or garage.


Eucalyptus gunnii Tree

The elegant Eucalyptus gunnii, Cider Gum tree, is an evergreen that will grow to heights of over 10m in 20 years. They make stately boundary trees to enclose large gardens, to plant alongside long driveways and walkways. They are perfect for park and recreational public spaces where they provide an excellent windbreak and offer shade for picnics.

The main attraction of the Cider Gum is the rounded, silver-blue foliage that dominates newer trees. As the tree ages, the leaves turn to shades of grey-blue and green. The foliage is lightly scented. The bark of the Cider Gum tree peels off in a variety of chalky shades which include cream, grey, green and brown, offering an extra dimension of attraction. The tree has lovely idyllic clusters of white flowers which bloom in late summer, but unfortunately are rarely seen in the UK.

The Cider Gum is fully hardy when mature and can be planted in full sun or partial shade. It can tolerate most soil types but thrives best in well drained, moist soil. Try to choose a sheltered position, preferably facing south, to protect it from harsh winter conditions. This stunning tree offers intricate branches that reach out and form an eye-catching conical shape.

The Cider Gum has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Eucalyptus gunnii (Cider gum)

Botanical name

Eucalyptus gunnii

Other names

Cider gum, Tasmanian cider tree


Eucalyptus Eucalyptus


E. gunnii – E. gunnii is a large evergreen tree with peeling cream and brown bark; round, bright glaucous-blue leaves when young, turning grey-green with age; and clusters of small white flowers.



Tree shape

Broadly conical


RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

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White, Insignificant or absent in Summer

Grey-green in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Specific diseases

Silver leaf , Oedema

General care


When mature Eucalyptus can be left to its own devices, if one grows it as a tree. The removal of damaged, diseased or crossing branches is advised in late winter or early spring. To sustain the most attractive youthful growth, cut shoots.

Propagation methods


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Where to grow

Eucalyptus gunnii (Cider gum) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 15-20 years.

Suggested uses

Containers, Flower Arranging, Architectural, Sub-Tropical, Foliage only


Plant in slightly acidic soil with full sun and shelter when young. Ideal to plant the youngest available specimens in conditions as specified.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Well-drained, Moist but well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral


Full Sun





UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Tender in frost (H3)

Defra’s Risk register #1

Plant name

Eucalyptus gunnii (Cider gum)

Common pest name

; Apple bark beetle; Asian ambrosia beetle; Granulate ambrosia beetle

Scientific pest name

Xylosandrus crassiusculus



Current status in UK


Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

General biosecurity comments

Ambrosia beetle which can affect a wide range of broadleaved trees; widespread in Africa; Asia and parts of the US; with outbreaks in France and Italy. The UK climate is unlikely to be suitable for the pest to thrive and cause significant damage but needs to be investigated through research. A Europe-wide PRA will help inform the case for EU regulation. Premises involved in importing wood and host plants from Italy in particular; where official measures are not being taken; should source material carefully.

Defra’s Risk register #2

Eucalyptus gunnii (Cider gum)

Eucalyptus rust; Guava rust; Rust of eucalyptus; Rust of guava

Puccinia psidii



Rust fungus affecting members of the myrtle family; including Eucalyptus. Europe wide assessment should be considered; given its spread to areas (i.e. Tasmania) with similar climatic conditions.

Defra’s Risk register #3

Eucalyptus gunnii (Cider gum)

Gum-tree weevil

Gonipterus gibberus



Weevil pest of eucalyptus; present in Australia and South America. Actions would be taken against interceptions on a precautionary basis.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here

Suspected outbreak?

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit:

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