Eucalyptus Tree, Plant or Shrub?
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Maria Oyola
Posted on: February 21, 2005

I bought something but I don’t know what it is. Is a Eucalyptus tree, plant or shrub the same thing and just the size varies?

All the eucalyptus offered by Richters are trees of varying size. They can be top and root pruned (judisciously) periodically if kept in a container and thus continue to fit into a home. But if you plant it out-of-doors you will do better to let it grow into a tree. Eucalyptus grow quickly and trying to prune an in-ground tree to bush size would result in a very butchered look. To find out how big the particular eucalyptus you own will get, go to our web-site at www.richters.com , click on "Richters Info Centre" in the News& Info section and once there click on "Richters Herb Growing Infobase" and on that page type in "Eucalyptus". You can then scroll down the list of species and find at least an indication of the relative size at maturity if not the actual size.

Also what is the general care? I already gathered that the roots are very delicate so does that mean I make a hole, take out the plant from it’s original container delicately and place it in the hole, covering it softly?

It might be a good idea to dig a huge hole for the tree and augment the soil with organic matter and if you have a clay soil, also add sharp sand to the mix to improve drainage. A three foot by three foot by three foot deep hole is not excessive and the work now will pay back handsome dividends in a healthy tree in the future. Make sure you keep the tree well watered, especially in the first year.

I have always wanted to have my very own Eucalyptus tree (small). Ever since I was little I dreamed of going outside cutting my very own branches and placing them all over the house. I have an acre of land some parts are very rocky, some parts rich soil. Should I plant it in a giant pot or directly in the ground? Oh and by the way I live in Puerto Rico, hot and sunny all year around.

As mentioned earlier, if you want the tree to stay small, I would suggest you plant it in a big pot. The restricted root run will tend to keep the tree smaller. Just be very careful at repotting time- disturb the roots as little as possible, just scratch off some soil all around and replace with fresh soil. Pruning the top hard once a year, ie. taking off one third of its height will not harm it.

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