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With its striking foliage, the eucalyptus is a special eye-catcher. The decorative silvery-blue leaves remain on the plants even in winter. Unfortunately, almost every eucalyptus in this country is not sufficiently hardy.

In a nutshell

  • Eucalyptus (eucalyptus) grow as small trees or shrubs
  • Depending on the variety, they bloom in creamy white, yellow or red
  • Red and yellow flowering species are particularly sensitive to frost
  • most species are not hardy in Germany
  • only three are somewhat more frost-resistant and can be planted out in the garden, depending on the region

Frost hardiness of eucalyptus

The eucalyptus tree not only spoils its viewers with its extremely decorative foliage, but also with pleasant scents thanks to essential oils. However, this does not hide its lack of winter hardiness, because most species, due to their natural origin, do not tolerate frost. Nevertheless, there are exceptions that, with appropriate protection, can also spend the winter outside in this country.
Eucalyptus that are commercially available are often declared as "conditionally hardy". This supposed winter hardiness usually only refers to a few degrees below zero. This may well work in locations with very mild winters, but not in most regions of Germany. Most are not as robust as eucalyptus 'Azura'. Keeping them in a bucket and frost-free wintering is ideal for them.

Eucalyptus gunnii

Tip: In very mild locations with little frost, the white mountain eucalyptus (Eucalyptus dalrympleana) and the fast-growing Eucalyptus perriniana can also be planted out.

Hibernation in the bed

The 'Azura' (Eucalyptus gunnii) eucalyptus (Eucalyptus gunnii), an attractive novelty with good frost resistance, is particularly suitable for overwintering in the bed. It withstands temperatures of - 14 °C, briefly - 20 °C. Older specimens in particular usually have a certain frost resistance. Appropriate winter protection is therefore recommended primarily for young plants.
To protect the root area from frost, apply a thick layer of mulch and also cover it with brushwood. The winter sun and simultaneous frost can cause frost cracks on the trunk of eucalypts outdoors. To prevent this, you wrap it with a reed or coconut mat or sackcloth.

Reed mat as frost protection

Frost-free through the cold season

A eucalyptus is not hardy, especially in a tub, and generally has to be overwintered frost-free, which affects most of the species available in this country. In summer they enjoy bathing in the sun, in winter they prefer closed and, above all, frost-free rooms.

  • Unheated conservatories or frost-free greenhouses are suitable as winter quarters
  • Eucalypts go dormant in winter
  • Overwintering space should be frost-free and bright
  • Eucalyptus trees need sufficient light even in winter
  • Temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees are optimal
  • should be neither below nor significantly above
  • do without any fertilizer during the winter
  • only pour cautiously
  • only when the substrate is almost dry
  • the cooler the location, the less it needs to be watered
Overwinter eucalyptus in a tub

After the ice saints, this beautiful plant can slowly go outside again. However, you should gradually get used to the new conditions. This can be done by choosing an overcast day to protect the leaves from intense sunlight and to avoid leaf damage from burns.

frequently asked Questions

Is the eucalyptus tree poisonous?

Although koala bears are crazy about eucalyptus, some parts of the plant are poisonous to other creatures. The essential oils are to blame. Small children and infants, pregnant women, people with stomach and liver diseases and pets, especially dogs and cats, are particularly at risk. Horses shouldn't eat it either.

Why does the eucalyptus tree wither in winter?

The winter quarters or the location during the winter is probably too dark. Even a slightly dark place leads to leaf loss.

Does it make sense to cut back after hibernation?

A pruning is particularly useful for dead plants. In order to stimulate the woody shoots to sprout again, the cut can also be stronger. The best time is just before wintering out. Regular pruning is recommended to keep the plants compact.

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