Germination of a Eucalyptus Deglupta

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Eucalyptus deglupta is also known as the rainbow eucalyptus and one look at its color-streaked bark explains why. As the outside bark exfoliates, it exposes new, green bark beneath. As this bark ages, it changes to yellow, pink, orange, blue and brown, giving the trunk an ever-changing design of colors. Native to the Phillipines, E. deglupta thrives in a rain-forestlike environment with high annual rainfall and lots of humidity. The most important aspect when growing this tree is to never let the soil dry out. Grow Eucalyptus deglupta within zones 10 or 11 on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map, though in the U.S., it does best in Hawaii.

Preparation

Choose a pot in which to germinate the Eucalyptus deglupta seed. It should have several holes in the bottom for drainage. Seeding flats are ideal if you plan on germinating more than one seed. Combine equal parts of sand and peat moss and moisten it well. Peat moss resists moisture when it is dry, so you may have to stir the mixture well to get it uniformly moist. Pour the mixture into the container, to within 1/2 inch of the rim.

Sowing the Seed

Eucalyptus deglupta seeds require light to germinate, so place the seed on the surface of the planting mix and don't cover it. Fill a spray bottle with tap water and adjust the nozzle to a fine mist. Mist the seeds and the surface of the planting mix. The seeds also require a bit of heat, so set a heat mat to 71 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pot on top of it.

Germination Period

For the first three days, the pot should remain in a lightly shaded area. On day four, move the pot into the sun for one hour then place it back in the shade. Over the course of the next week, gradually increase the amount of time the pot spends in the sun until it receives 50 percent sun. During this time, keep the soil moist by spraying it with the misting bottle. The Eucalyptus deglupta seed's germination period is erratic and may occur anytime between 14 and 90 days after sowing.

Care of the Seedling

Move the seedling into full sun all day when it has its third set of leaves. Continue to keep the soil moist. When the Eucalyptus deglupta reaches 10 to 12 inches in height, it is ready to be transplanted into the landscape. Harden off the seedling by reducing the amount of water given by half and gradually exposing it to increasing amounts of direct sun, over the course of two weeks.

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