Q. Will Eucalyptus trees over-winter safely in a greenhouse?
A space in a cool greenhouse could be an excellent solution to overwintering a Eucalyptus houseplant or container-grown patio plant. The Eucalyptus that are most frequently kept as pot plants, like Eucalyptus gunnii (cider gum), need a period of cool rest in the winter. The ideal temperature would be in the 45 to 50 ºF (7 to 10º C) range. This period of limited water, no fertilizer, cooler temperatures and naturally shorter hours of light simulates the native environment of the tree.
Plants kept at normal indoor temperatures during the winter will lose vigor. Eucalyptus gunnii is relatively cold hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10, but when kept outdoors runs the risk of severe die-back during cold snaps. Plants kept outdoors with the additional exposure to the roots of container growth are at even greater winter risk.
The answer regarding your particular plant will depend upon the type of Eucalyptus you are growing and the suitability of the growing environment you maintain in your greenhouse during the winter. A greenhouse kept at tropical temperatures, for instance, will not benefit most Eucalyptus plants. Keep in mind that your plant needs strong light exposure all year even as the days grow shorter.
You can find more information on care requirements in our Guide to Eucalyptus Houseplants.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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