I noticed that Barbara from Corbin had a eucalyptus shrub. I am wanting to start one I found at a greenhouse but wonder if it will live if planted outside (with our Kentucky winters) or if I should keep it as a house plant? If I do plant indoors, wonder what size of pot I should use? I purchased it in a small 4″ pot.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Angela: Eucalyptus will not survive our winters here in Kentucky but is certainly a wonderful addition to the summer garden. It has fragrant bluish-green foliage that is nice dried or as an addition to a cut flower arrangement. It can get quite big in one growing season, so keep this in mind when you plant. If you are going to grow your eucalyptus in a container, you can go larger than you normally would for a 4” plant because they grow so fast. I would not hesitate to plant that into a 10″ container or even larger if you are doing a mixed container. Depending on the plant, sometimes it is easier to start new every spring with our tropical plants as opposed to over-wintering them. If you have the right conditions and the patience, it can be worth the effort. To over-winter your plant indoors, make sure to bring it in before the first frost arrives. It will be happiest when placed in a bright space where it will receive a lot of filtered sunlight, such as a south-facing window. If your eucalyptus does not get enough light it will become leggy. You will want to cut back on your watering during the winter months. When spring arrives and our frost-free date has passed (May 10) you can take your eucalyptus outdoors. It is best to acclimate it back to the full sun.