APRIL

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus –

Eucalyptus cineria

Origin: Australia

 

 

The Indo-Australia region is home to many unique looking evergreens in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many are part of the Myrtaceae family which includes Eucalyptus. These trees and shrubs provide food and shelter to a variety of native wildlife.

Happily for pet lovers, Eucalyptus is relatively easy to grow and quickly makes a spectacular addition to your collection. A plant started from seed in the Spring, can become a six to eight foot tree by mid to late Summer. So if your feathered or furred friend decides to take a "taste", the Eucalyptus will recover and send out another shoot. 

Almost all like sunny spots and can handle drought situations. There are even some hardy species which can tolerate temperatures below freezing. Most of these hardier Eucs have lance-shaped leaves rather than the trademark round leaves.

The Silver Dollar Eucalyptus is one of the few living, all natural room deodorizers. Its round, short-petioled leaves are richly scented and grow in deep-blue, erect sprays. A subtropical plant, it works well as a tub specimen for that bright spot in your house during the winter months. Another option for overwintering is to cut the plants back to the ground and then store the containers in a cool, dark place. In the Spring, return them outside. This method, which is known as "stooling", will encourage the Eucalyptus to send out long, fast-growing shoots.       

The optimum growing conditions for Silver Dollar Eucalyptus include full sun in well-drained, moist soil. You can allow the plant to dry somewhat between waterings. If kept indoors, occasionally mist the plant and water thoroughly only when the soil is dry down to ". In my experience, Eucs don't like having "wet feet". I use a balanced organic fertilizer once to twice a month. I don't foliar feed these plants.    

One final, added bonus is that Eucalyptus can withstand almost any pest, unless you have Koalas in your backyard.