The evergreen indoor eucalyptus (Eucalyptus) belongs to the myrtle family. Australia is considered the birthplace of the plant. In nature, it looks like a small neat tree with a pyramidal crown. The smooth blue-green leaves of the plant have a waxy sheen. A distinctive property of eucalyptus is the ability to purify the air. Due to the fact that the leaves of the plant secrete phytoncides that kill bacteria, eucalyptus essential oils are often included in antiviral drugs. One such tree will be enough to significantly improve the atmosphere in the room. You can take advantage of the properties of essential oil by rubbing a couple of leaves in your hand and inhaling their aroma. But you cannot eat them - this will lead not to healing, but to poisoning.
Eucalyptus grows slowly. In its natural environment, its growth reaches 100 meters. The home variety is many times more compact. In addition, it is able to change the appearance of the leaves as it matures. Fresh foliage is soft and has a strong aroma. Over time, the leaf thickens, stretches and smells much less. In addition to the attractive crown, eucalyptus can surprise with flowering. Its small flowers, one at a time in the bosom, later turn into fruit-boxes.
Two varieties are best suited for indoor growing: Gunn Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus gunnii) and Lemon (Eucalyptus citriodora). Often ready-made seedlings are purchased in stores, but you can also grow such a tree from seeds. Despite their small size, they have a fairly high germination rate.
Caring for indoor eucalyptus at home
Location and lighting
Indoor eucalyptus loves bright places. He will be satisfied with the east or south window, where there will be enough sunlight. In other places, additional lighting will be required.
The plant prefers a moderate temperature regime to heat. In summer and autumn, + 16 + 18 degrees or slightly higher will be optimal, and up to +15 in winter. Air circulation is important, but drafts should be avoided.
From spring to autumn, a tree, especially a young one, is watered abundantly, in winter - less. To do this, use water at room temperature. Extremes such as overdrying or overflowing can cause the tops of the shoots to dry out. Eucalyptus does not like spraying, but the pot with it can be put on a pallet with wet expanded clay.
Eucalyptus is suitable as a universal mineral or organic fertilizer for indoor plants. From spring to autumn, it is used twice a month, and in winter they take a break.
Growing young seedlings need annual replanting. Adults can change the capacity 2-3 times less often. As a soil, take 2 parts of turf and one part of leafy earth, sand and peat. Do not try to plant the plant in a large pot right away. This will negatively affect its root system. If the roots of an adult specimen have become too long, they are pruned a little, sealing the sections with garden pitch.
In the spring, the tree can be cut to the desired height. To form a denser crown, pinch new shoots.
Reproduction of indoor eucalyptus
Growing indoor eucalyptus from seeds has its own characteristics. They start it in early spring. It is best to choose a clay container with drainage holes for sowing. It is filled with soil that is half sand. Seeds are sown on a sufficiently damp surface. The optimum temperature for germination is 18 degrees. The first 4 days do not water the ground. They begin to do this closer to the appearance of the first shoots, which can hatch after a week or a little earlier. They need to be watered very carefully: excess moisture will only harm. It is best to use a spray bottle.
When the size of the seedlings reaches 3 cm and leaves appear, they are carefully dissected out into individual pots. Moderately high containers with a diameter of 7-10 cm are suitable. As with sowing, the plants are not watered for the first few days after transplanting. Then they do it regularly, but in moderation. After a few weeks, the grown eucalyptus trees can be planted in a permanent place.
Another method of reproduction is by rooting apical cuttings. But they rarely take root, so the method is not so popular.
HOW TO GROW EUCALYPTUS FROM SEEDS. Eucalyptus citriodora
Diseases and pests
The insufficiently spectacular appearance of the tree - too long branches, dull color of the leaves - may be associated with a lack of lighting. Withered foliage indicates rare watering.
Eucalyptus is very resistant to diseases of indoor plants, moreover, it is able to scare off some insects. Flies and mosquitoes will not fly in the room where such a tree stands. However, shield aphids or spider mites can harm them. To combat them, specialized drugs are purchased.
Elena Yakovleva and her "green" house
Actress Elena Yakovleva dreamed of her own house for a long time. Once she lived in a small dorm room of the Sovremennik theater and could not imagine that she would live in such a house.
And after she received the first serious fee for her work in the film "Intergirl", she could afford to buy the first dacha. But she and her husband reasoned like this: if there is no car, then how to get to the dacha? So the time has not come yet. But then something else happened - during perestroika, money depreciated, so the family got a country house much later.
Elena Yakovleva and her husband are very fond of their country house
Now the spouses and their four dogs love to spend time outside the city, at the dacha near Moscow. True, when the house was just being built, the actress did not assume that gardening could captivate her. She was even indignant with the words: "What would I hunchback? Never." It seemed that the city man could not be carried away by the beds and flowers.
But a little time passed and she, every time on the way to the dacha, bought seedlings. Yes, I was so carried away that it seemed that soon there would be little land for all ideas and desires.
Once the hostess started counting the types of flowers that are in her garden. Their number has exceeded one hundred. And these are only perennial plants: gladioli, phloxes, chrysanthemums, peonies, lilies ...
Elena Yakovleva did a lot herself in the country
The actress also loves roses. There is already a wide variety of varieties and colors. He brings unique varieties from different cities, where he goes on tour and buys from grandmothers in the market. There is even a joke among friends that she has a "green" hand: no matter what she plant, everything will surely take root. “Indeed, I plant everything without a calendar, I don’t cover roses for the winter - but they bloom. Maybe this is a state of mind. I think if a person plants something with a kind heart, he has good shoots,” says Elena Yakovleva.
“However, everything is accepted and gets accustomed to me. Friends say:“ Yakovleva, you have a green hand. ”Why?
In her winter garden, citrus fruits grow - the pride of the hostess - lemons, oranges and tangerines, from which she dreams of harvesting. But the owners did not arrange the beds, the whole garden is planted with bushes and flowers. Only strawberries were found - her family loves them very much.
Recently, the actress announced that she decided to give up eating meat. Perhaps such a transition to vegetarianism will add more beds in the garden. After all, what could be better than your vegetables and herbs.
Conditions of keeping lemon eucalyptus
Eucalyptus as a species has a very high adaptive capacity. It took root and formed forests in the Mediterranean and the North Caucasus. Perhaps the selection of particularly resistant specimens will lead to the acclimatization of this plant in temperate latitudes.
However, the unpretentiousness and endurance of the eucalyptus make it dangerous for the local flora, which it can press.
Lemon eucalyptus in natural conditions is undemanding to the soil, drought-resistant. This fairly hardy plant can survive even slight frosts.
In regions with cold winters, lemon eucalyptus is grown outdoors as an annual.
When choosing a suitable place for lemon eucalyptus in the house and in the garden, keep in mind that this is a light-loving plant, but it also tolerates partial shade.
Lemon eucalyptus grows well indoors in a bright conservatory, on the east and west windows, near the south-facing windows.
If the shoots of the eucalyptus are stretched out, and the leaves have become smaller and have lost their previous color, then the plant does not have enough light.
A pot with indoor eucalyptus for the summer can be exhibited in the garden.
Placing eucalyptus in the warm season on a balcony or in the open air, you should gradually accustom it to bright light in order to avoid sunburn. If the plant is sharply exposed to the sun after cloudy weather (or after being in a place with diffused light), then it can burn the leaves.
Lemon eucalyptus prefers a warm content during the growth period. From spring to autumn, temperatures in the range of 24… 26 ° C are comfortable for him. Further, the plant begins to prepare for a state of dormancy, therefore, from autumn it is desirable to lower the temperature to 16 ... 17 ° C.
Eucalyptus loves humid air, but does not tolerate spraying well. Therefore, it is better to provide the plant with increased air humidity by placing the pot on a pallet with wet expanded clay, pebbles or peat.
Indoors, it is desirable to provide the eucalyptus with fresh air, but drafts should be avoided (especially in winter) - they are very harmful to the plant.
Lemon eucalyptus - growing from seeds, medical use
Lemon eucalyptus is an unpretentious crop that can be grown as a house plant. We will tell you about the rules for caring for eucalyptus, as well as its beneficial properties and their use in folk and traditional medicine.
Lemon eucalyptus (lat. Eucalyptus citriodora) is very easy to recognize with a specific scent, reminiscent of a mixture of aromas of lemon, thyme, mint and verbena. This plant has no pronounced decorative properties, but its high content of essential oils and pleasant smell make it very popular.
Growing lemon eucalyptus from seeds
The culture can be propagated by cuttings and the seed method. The permissible sowing dates are quite long: from mid-February to the end of June. But planting is considered optimal from the third decade of February to the second decade of April.
For cultivation, use turfy soil with sand in equal proportions, which must be prepared in advance. For sowing, standard containers with drainage are used, for example, ordinary flower pots, or cups for seedlings with stands.
Preparing to plant lemon eucalyptus seeds
Seeds are laid to a depth of 5 millimeters, 2-3 pieces in one container. After sowing, it is recommended to cover the pots with plastic wrap or a bag to help retain moisture in the soil. Check the surface of the ground daily, and moisturize as it dries.
Eucalyptus seeds germinate quite quickly, but provided that the temperature in the room is kept within 23-25 degrees Celsius. The first shoots can be seen within a week after sowing, but pecking can take up to three months.
Eucalyptus seeds germinate quickly and seedlings must be dived
This plant needs a pick. It is performed when the first 2 true leaves appear. Seedlings are planted one at a time in a container with a diameter of 7 centimeters or more. Before planting, prepare the soil by mixing sod soil, humus and sand, in a one-to-one ratio.
Home care for eucalyptus
This culture loves warmth and light, so you should think in advance about the placement of the seedling pots. Until the plant gets stronger and actively develops, it is necessary to create the following conditions:
- temperature not less than 24 degrees Celsius
- high air humidity of at least 65% in winter and 60% in summer.
To prevent eucalyptus from getting sick, you need to harden
So that the plant does not hurt, it is necessary to harden. This can be done in warm weather, but it is important to avoid drafts. In winter, the permissible temperature for keeping a plant is up to 16 degrees Celsius.
Lemon eucalyptus loves moisture, but water stagnation should not be allowed, as this is fraught with decay of the rhizome. You can place the pots with young growth on a pallet with drainage, and add water to it as it dries. Watering is carried out with settled warm water.
Culture loves light and this must be taken into account when placing pots. The best growing areas are south, east and southeast. The lack of sunlight can be compensated for with fluorescent lamps.
In the summer it is helpful to expose the eucalyptus to sunlight, but it is important to be careful not to provoke a burn. The plant should be accustomed to natural sunlight gradually.
The culture is actively developing from spring to autumn, and winter is a dormant period. During this period, it is recommended to introduce organic matter and mineral fertilizing. Fertilizers are applied every 14-20 days, and stopped in winter.
A young plant up to three years old is transplanted annually, choosing a pot accordingly. For adult cultures, the interval between procedures increases to 3 years.
An adult eucalyptus plant is transplanted every three years.
Eucalyptus does not like transplanting, so you need to be very careful. The best way is to gently transfer to a larger pot without destroying the root earthy coma.
When replanting adult plants, they prune broken, rotten, or infected roots. The cut sites are treated with garden varnish or a weak copper-containing solution. Drainage is laid at the bottom of the container prepared for planting, and it is filled with loose soil, in the same composition as when planting a plant.
When growing eucalyptus at home, it is important to control the growth of the shoots. For these purposes, the main shoot is cut in the spring, removing the main growth point at a height of one meter. After the procedure, the plant releases lush side shoots, and pinching should be carried out to form.
Application of lemon eucalyptus
The oils contained in the foliage of the plant in large quantities are successfully used in medicine and cosmetology. It has disinfectant, astringent and bactericidal properties.
Even the dried leaves of the plant contain up to 3% of essential oils, so they are added to teas. For medicinal purposes, eucalyptus leaves are used to prepare decoctions and infusions.
Essential oil of lemon eucalyptus has disinfectant, astringent and bactericidal properties
Lemon eucalyptus oils soothe pain in respiratory diseases, so they are added to inhalation products. Preparations containing essential oils are used to treat cervical erosion, herpes, and fungi.
The substances contained in the plant fiber have high disinfecting properties. Eucalyptus-based medicines are used to relieve pain in lumbago, rheumatism, neuralgia.
Due to its deodorant properties, the oil is used in the manufacture of flavoring sachets. Also, a pleasant aroma for human perception is detrimental to insects, so eucalyptus oil is used as a means to fight ants, mosquitoes and other sucking pests.
Lemon Eucalyptus is a fragrant evergreen that is great for home growing and requires little maintenance. This culture will create a pleasant scent in your home and purify the air, and has a number of beneficial properties that can be used for winter colds.
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Lemon eucalyptus is a favorite houseplant
I bought lemon eucalyptus seeds last summer by accident, knowing nothing about its properties and requirements.
My own rules for growing plants from seeds boil down to a short stick-and-water formula. Therefore, I just sowed 5 eucalyptus seeds from the purchased bag directly into the pot with Kalanchoe, and then I forgot about them.
About a month later, I found only one small sprout next to the Kalanchoe and planted it separately, in ordinary seedling soil.
This seedling grew rather quickly. And when he had already formed about five real leaves, while watering, I accidentally touched the plant with my hand. And I was amazed by the amazing scent from the leaves, with which no perfume can be compared!
Since then, lemon eucalyptus has become my favorite window plant.
My young eucalyptus was already about 30 cm tall, and then I noticed: the tips of some of its lower leaves began to dry out. Then I cut a couple of these leaves. And so that their miraculous aroma did not disappear, I began, sitting at the computer, to knead small pieces of eucalyptus leaves with my fingers and inhale their smell.
Then it became clear to me why Australian koalas are so lazy, calm and peaceful :) This is influenced by lemon eucalyptus: it not only soothes, but also refreshes the head, relieving fatigue.
I understood: the healing lemon eucalyptus is a dream plant!
Cutting the leaves didn't hurt my eucalyptus. A twig appeared in place of each cut leaf. But the trunk of the eucalyptus at that time was quite thin and began to bend. I had to support the plant.
By this spring (2011), my young eucalyptus has grown by 70 cm and has become a slender tree with 8 branches.
During the cultivation of lemon eucalyptus, I have already collected enough materials about this plant (in the Russian and English-speaking Internet) and already knew everything about the features and requirements of this plant.
In the spring, I pruned the eucalyptus: I cut off the top with two branches.
But it was a pity to dry these twigs with leaves. I put them in water - in the hope that they will take root. The twigs have been standing in the water for a month, their roots are not yet visible, but all the leaves are fresh and green.
I realized that one eucalyptus in my house is not enough! And I bought another bag with 5 seeds. Four of them have sprung up in a week, I hope that wonderful plants will grow from these seedlings.
In the meantime, working at the computer, I cut small pieces from the aging leaves of my first eucalyptus with scissors and breathe in their incomparable fragrance with pleasure!
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