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Eucalyptus in a pot

debs64debs64 Posts: 5,124
Hi, I have a eucalyptus growing in a large pot. I want it to retain juvenile foliage for flower arrangements and have read that I need to cut it back very hard. Just checking if anyone has any other tips as last year it really wasn’t happy. Any advice on soil, feeding etc? Thanks


  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    How large a pot is it? In real life this is a big tree; even if you cut back the top it will need lots of root-room.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,010
    It will always be unhappy in a pot, no matter how big.  It needs to be in the ground and will probably need its roots teasing out so they grow out into the soil.  It can then be kept pollarded or stooled to restrict size and encourage the fresh foliage you are after for flower arranging.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,124
    Planning to move it to a larger pot anyone know anything about appropriate soil? Was thinking of giving it a feed too. Chopped it back so hoping the new foliage appears and looks good. Fingers crossed! 
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,124
    I live in a rented house so most things live in pots for me. If it is really struggling I may pass it on to some with a garden but want to give it a go first. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,874
    The link posted by Pansyface above gives suggestions for appropriate compost mix. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I have one in a pot and it's happy enough.  The tree is quite young, maybe 120-140cm high and the pot is 40cm diameter (maybe 50cm high).  Standard multi-purpose compost.
    I've not tried cutting it back.  I'm not planning on keeping it in the pot, mind, I just haven't got the garden quite ready for it yet.  I'm confident that this pot is not big enough for the tree to get very much bigger but with a big enough pot there's no reason you shouldn't be able to do it.

    Eucalyptus trees are very thirsty, have you watered it enough?
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,629
    @debs64   I think in your case I would coppice it right down to a few inches and possibly root prune it by removing from pot and slicing away the sides... but what I do is a bit different in that I grow these as annuals... I have Eucalyptus gunii, 2 in pots, but I have grown them in the ground as they are wonderful to have in a shrub rose border.. they grow about 5 foot in a year, but the key here is to treat them as any other annual, that way I have no concern about their tree like habits..  they are discarded after 12 months which is important,  and I get new ones... you can buy them so cheap for about a fiver in 9cm pots, but I get mine for £6 each in 2 litre..

    If you set a time limit as to how long you intend to keep a tree or shrub, you can grow virtually anything in a pot.. especially if they are cheap to begin with, then you don't begrudge the expense... of course if you pay £50 for something you're not going to want to part with it so easily... but they grow these from seed I think, and I have no qualms about discarding them when the time comes...

    ...these will be good probably until next March... no later..

    East Anglia, England
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    If you can please post a photo of what it looks like now. Maybe it’s not as bad as you think? Sometimes in the winter time the leaves can curl or turn brown and red. I grow mine in a pot around 40cm wide and only 30cm deep. I keep it around 60cm tall and it is in very good condition. I under plant annuals every year. I grow mine in John Innes No 2 with added grit and top dress with multi purpose compost. Drainage is important. Check that the base of pot is unblocked. Raise your containers off the floor with pot feet in the winter months.
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,124
    I have cut it down hard I will be moving it into a larger pot with appropriate compost at the weekend and I will hope to see an improvement. Thanks everyone for all your advice I certainly would never have thought of treating as an annual or growing from seed. I paid about £10 for it so not the end of the world if I lose it but I will definitely try to keep it going because I love the foliage in a flower arrangement. Thanks again for taking the time to help
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