Eucalyptus, of which there are almost 800 species, is originally from Australia. Some species lend themselves well to cultivation in our country. We love its decorative bark and its aromatic foliage which gives off a fairly marked minty smell, but also its silver-gray leaves which are adorned with a pretty metallic blue reflection. Spotlight on the planting and maintenance of a Eucalyptus or gum tree.
Planter and Eucalyptus
It is important to be well informed about the size that the tree will take in adulthood in order to choose thespecies in line with the area of the land and the place we want to give it.
Some Eucalyptus like humus-rich, acid or neutral, deep, well-draining and cool soils. Others grow in dry soil and thrive in chalky soil. Likewise, they are more or less rustic. Some gum trees can be planted in poor soil, but such conditions are likely to have a slight impact on their growth, which will be limited. It is therefore at the time of purchase that it is necessary to find out about the needs of the variety of Eucalyptus chosen in order to be able to offer it the best possible conditions.
As far as its exposure is concerned, it must be very sunny, sheltered from drafts and cold winds.
here’s how plant a Eucalyptus in the ground.
- Dig a square hole of 50 cm sides and 50 to 60 cm deep,
- Place a layer of coarse sand or gravel about twenty centimeters thick to ensure good drainage,
- Position the young Eucalyptus in the center of the planting hole, ensuring that the collar is at ground level,
- Fill the hole with soil that meets the needs of the species,
- Tamp with the foot,
- Water generously.
It is recommended to plant posts around the hole in order to maintain the trunk with flexible links if it is a Eucalyptus with large development. For other species, this precaution is not necessary.
If we choose to planter and Eucalyptus en potit is necessary to opt for a fairly wide and very deep tank (about 60 to 70 cm), with a pierced bottom, and fill it with a light and rich substrate. We do not forget of course to deposit a draining layer at the bottom of the tank such as gravel, pozzolan, coarse sand or expanded clay balls.
Growing a Eucalyptus
These are trees particularly well adapted to our Mediterranean regions, the Atlantic coast and Brittany. Is the spring that you can plant a Eucalyptus in the ground or in a pot, when the temperatures are mild. Planting at the start of autumn is possible, but only in regions that are little affected by early and sometimes severe frosts.
Caring for a Eucalyptus
This fast-growing tree with a pretty silhouette does not no particular problem. It is even very easy to grow, able to withstand excessive rains such as severe droughts, and can finally be satisfied with ordinary soil.
It is especially during the two summers following its planting Eucalyptus must be watered regularly. Thereafter, nature will take care of its irrigation. On the other hand, specimens grown in pots need more water. We water as soon as the substrate is dry but not before.
Only potted gum trees should benefit from a nutrient intake because their roots do not have the possibility of going to draw them in depth. In spring and autumn, it is therefore necessary to carry out a surfacing. This consists of removing 6 to 7 cm of soil and replacing it with compost.
Eucalyptus pruning it’s not mandatory. On the other hand, it is recommended to delete only the twigs that have suffered from frost. It is enough to cut them at the base, and even if all the branches are affected, severe pruning can be carried out without fear. If care has been taken to keep a few young stems, the tree will grow back very quickly.
Note that after a few years, if some large roots are a little too invasive, it is possible to cut them.
Potted Eucalyptus should be sheltered before the arrival of the frosts. It can be stored with other shrubs in tubs that are put back in a cold greenhouse. If you do not have this type of structure, a simple cool and bright room (free from frost) is quite suitable.
Pests and diseases
Eucalyptus is appreciated for its ease of cultivation but also for its high resistance to pests and diseases. At most he can be the target of Ophelimus eucalypti, a small wasp that transmits the Galle de l’Eucalyptus. This disease causes yellowing of the foliage. The best way to get rid of them is to cut off all the affected leaves and burn them.
It is up to everyone to choose the Eucalyptus species that best suits the size of their land. The smallest Eucalyptus in adulthood measure 4 to 5 m, while the tops of the largest can cheerfully culminate at 90 meters for a trunk of a good ten meters in circumference.