Plants

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus deglupta

Ulrike Hanninger Ulrike Hanninger

Those who have seen the colorful bark of the rainbow eucalyptus on their travels never forget it. Here are our tips for planting and care.

Growth type
  • Main Tree
Growth height (from)
from 5000.00cm to 6000.00cm
Growth characteristics
  • upright
Flower color
  • white
Flowering time (month)
  • January to February
Flower shape
  • Bundles
  • umbel-like
Leaf color
  • green
page format
  • ovoid-lanceolate
  • full margined
  • stalked
Sheet properties
  • evergreen
Fruit shape
  • Capsule
Light
  • sunny
Soil type
  • gravelly to sandy
Soil Moisture
  • moderately humid to humid
ph value
  • weakly acidic to acidic
Lime compatibility
  • sensitive to lime
Nutrient requirements
  • moderately nutritious
Humus
  • low humus
Decorative or utility value
  • Bark decoration
  • picturesque growth
Winter Hardness
  • frost-sensitive
Use
  • Interior greening
  • Planters
  • Winter garden
Garden style
  • Pot garden

Origin

The Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) is probably the most impressive member of the genus Eucalyptus from the Myrtaceae family – travelers who have witnessed the tree with its multi-colored trunk in its native tropical regions can scarcely forget it. The Rainbow Eucalyptus was first mentioned in the mid-18th century, as ‘Arbor multicolor’ - so, as “multicolored tree”. Today, it is colloquially know as the Rainbow Gum or Rainbow Eucalyptus.

Unlike most Eucalyptus species, the Rainbow gum doesn’t only grow in Australia, but also in Papua New Guinea, Sulawesi and the Philippines, among other places. It is the only member of its genus which can even be found in the northern hemisphere. It is cultivated on plantations for harvesting wood fiber for paper manufacturing. In non-tropical climates it can only be cultivated in heated rooms with high humidity - provided you can get hold of the tree in the first place. At non-tropical latitudes, only the winter-hardy Cider gum tree (Eucalyptus gunnii) is commercially available.

Growth

Rainbow Eucalyptus in its natural location

In its natural locations, the Rainbow Eucalyptus grows into a stately tree

The Rainbow Eucalyptus grows very quickly and, in the outdoors, develops into 197 foot tall tree, on average, with a trunk diameter of a good 6.6 feet. The aptly named buttress roots extend from the side of the trunk and help anchor it into the soil: This is a characteristic of many tropical trees, which is also found in Elms. The crown shape is initially conical, but becomes flatter with age. Indoors, the tree remains significantly smaller, however under suitable conditions it can also grow to heights of several feet.

The Rainbow Eucalyptus is widely recognized thanks to its bark. This is smooth and essentially brownish. Because tears develop in the bark year on year, the luminous, green bark appears which, before also turning yellowish-brown, displays a color spectrum which ranges from luminous blue and violet to orange and fire red.

Foliage

The leathery foliage is stalked, full-margined and ovate to lanceolate. The leaves are notably pointed at the front. The leaf blades are bald and shiny.

Flowers

The umbel-shaped flower clusters of Eucalyptus deglupta can be found on the sides and ends of the shoots. The buds are covered with a small, semi-circle cap, typical for the genus, which falls off when they open but leaves a green scar in the middle of the flower. In non-tropical regions, the flowering period is in the winter months, although flowers on container plants are very rare.

Fruit

The Rainbow Eucalyptus has round, capsule fruit which contains numerous, tiny brown and winged seeds.

Location

In order to flourish, the Rainbow Eucalyptus requires a humid climate, i.e. a moist, warm environment. In non-tropical regions, only a heated conservatory or a temperate greenhouse can provide this. The location should also be sunny and - in light of the growth - roomy.

Substrate

Plant the Rainbow Eucalyptus in a lime-free (as far as possible), acidic and thin substrate which is mixed with additional materials such as gravel, expanding clay or coarse sand to that it remains permeable and loose. A drainage layer in the bottom of the pot is also advisable.

Watering

The plant is as sensitive to lime in the substrate as it is to lime in irrigation water. Never let the root ball dry out, but only water it with lime-deficient water or rain water.

Fertilizing

The Rainbow Eucalyptus enjoys a small amount of liquid fertilizer in a weak dosage between April and September.

Eucalyptus flowers

The Rainbow Eucalyptus only rarely flowers indoors, even with the perfect care

Re-potting

The bigger the container, the faster the growth rate of the Eucalyptus deglupta. Therefore, you should select the plant container carefully and re-pot gently due to the sensitive roots.

Pruning

Due to its growth rate and size, you can’t avoid pruning the plant indoors. The correct time to prune and thin is in the spring..

Overwintering

Eucalyptus deglupta is not winter-hardy and also requires temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the colder times of year. As the species is evergreen, its winter home needs to be light.

Propagation

Seeds are generally only available online. Seed sowing is done in the spring.. The seeds should take about two to three weeks to germinate at a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and extremely high humidity.

Diseases and Pests

The rainbow eucalyptus has a tendency to develop gray mold in its winter home, which is why the room should be regularly ventilated. Sometimes appear aphids, usually due to migration from neighboring plants.

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