How to Maintain the Smell of Eucalyptus Leaves

You can maintain the smell of eucalyptus leaves.
Image Credit: Maya23K/iStock/GettyImages

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, sharp scissors

  • Floral preservative

  • Eucalyptus essential or fragrance oil

  • Repurposed plastic spray bottle

Fresh eucalyptus stems are interesting additions to flower arrangements and attractive alternatives to other evergreens that tend to hold their leaves and color very well. While some people think that eucalyptus smells like medicine, others find it clean, fresh and relaxing and wish that the aroma could last forever. Your eucalyptus isn't going to last that long, but you can certainly extend its useful, fragrant life. The key to maintaining the heady smell of your eucalyptus leaves is to keep the plant material as healthy and happy as possible.

Step 1: Choose Fresh Branches

Collect or purchase eucalyptus stems that look, smell and feel as fresh as possible. Choose stems and leaves that feel pliable, not brittle. They should be flexible enough not to crack if you bend them.

Step 2: Prepare the Stem for the Vase

Use sharp, clean scissors or anvil pruners to clip off the bottom ½ inch of each eucalyptus stem. Crush the lower 1 inch of the stems to allow it to take up as much water as possible. Immerse the crushed ends in a jar or vase of water immediately.

Step 3: Soak the Stems and Leaves Overnight

Immerse eucalyptus stems and leaves intended for use in arrangements in a bucket of water overnight. Remove them from the water and shake off excess moisture. Put the cut ends of the stems in a jar or vase of water until the leaves have completely air dried before using. Store your completed eucalyptus stems, leaves and arrangements in a cool, dark location.

Step 4: Consider an Anti-Transpirant

Spray an anti-transpirant or anti-desiccant over the leaves and stems to help keep the arrangement fresh. Cover all parts of the leaves to prevent them from loosing moisture.

Step 5: Add Preservatives to the Water

Add floral preservative to the container of water. Follow the instructions carefully. Strip the lower leaves from the eucalyptus stems so that no leaf material will come into contact with the water. This will discourage the growth of bacteria, which causes rot. Put the stems in the water and place the jar in a cool location away from heat and out of drafts and direct sunlight. Change the water every two or three days.

Step 6: Protect from Heat and Sunlight

Display your eucalyptus arrangements out of direct sunlight. Place the vase and arrangement away from heating and air-conditioning vents to prolong the eucalyptus smell.

Step 7: Intensify the Eucalyptus Smell

Add a drop of eucalyptus essential or fragrance oil to one or two of the leaves or stems in your arrangement. Easy does it; more than one or two drops can make the scent overwhelming.

Step 8: Mist the Arrangement Daily

Use a repurposed plastic spray bottle to spritz your eucalyptus stems and leaves with water once daily. This will help keep them hydrated and fresh.

Step 9: Extend the Eucalyptus Scent

Add a drop of eucalyptus essential oil or fragrance to the water in the spray bottle once weekly to increase and extend the eucalyptus scent in your arrangement.

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