Flowers + Plants 101

How to Care for Spiral Eucalyptus

Monday, April 4, 2022

Spiral eucalyptus is well known for its scent, which can be relaxing and may help relieve a stuffy nose. Though not a flower, spiral eucalyptus complements any bouquet or arrangement thanks to its color, scent, and long vase life.

A close-up of a person's hand gently holding a lush eucalyptus plant with round green leaves, in a bright indoor setting with a white background.

Spiral eucalyptus is also known as baby blue eucalyptus and gets its name from how it grows. Its leaves wrap around the stem, creating a corkscrew appearance.

Here’s more about the meaning behind this well-known plant.

The History of Spiral Eucalyptus

There are several varieties of eucalyptus, and nearly all of these highly scented plants are native to Australia. Spiral eucalyptus is a small evergreen tree or shrub. Unlike other forms of eucalyptus, spiral eucalyptus retains its rounded leaves as it matures. These leaves are coated in a waxy powder, giveing them a long vase life of 18-25 days.

Branches of spiral eucalyptus are typically used in floral arrangements or all on their own. Many people hang bunches of spiral eucalyptus in the shower for a refreshing bath routine. In addition to its use in floral arrangements or as decoration, eucalyptus is used as an essential oil.

Fresh eucalyptus is toxic to dogs and cats, so be sure to place your arrangement somewhere your furry family member can’t get to it.

How to Care for Spiral Eucalyptus Stems

Your spiral eucalyptus stems will last longer if you keep them in water. When you receive your arrangement, cut the bottom of the stems under running water. Eucalyptus stems are quick to dry out, so you can extend the life of your spiral eucalyptus by recutting the stems every three to four days. Standard flower food or preservative mixes, like a mix of sugar and bleach, can extend the life of your spiral eucalyptus, too.

Once the life of your arrangement has ended, you can dry out the eucalyptus stems to use as decoration. Dried spiral eucalyptus stems can last for years with proper care. After they’re dried, the leaves will be brittle, so be careful with your stems if you’re rearranging them.

To dry spiral eucalyptus stems, you can simply let them dry out naturally by hanging the stems upside down in a dry area with good ventilation. Applying a glycerin and water solution helps keep the stems and leaves pliable, reducing the risk of damaging the dried stems through contact.

While dried spiral eucalyptus stems make beautiful decorations, keep in mind that once dry, the color of the stems changes from green to a brownish or bronze color. If you use the glycerin solution to preserve your stems, hit the ends of the stem with a hammer and let them sit in the solution for a few weeks until the color changes from green to brown. Make sure the water and glycerin mixture is at least six inches deep during this time. Replenish as necessary. You can get the glycerin needed to preserve the stems from a florist.

How to Care for a Spiral Eucalyptus Plant

If your eucalyptus is not in an arrangement and comes in a pot, place your potted eucalyptus in a sunny area.

Spiral eucalyptus should receive at least 8-10 hours of sunlight per day. Keep the soil in your eucalyptus pot is thoroughly damp after watering. You can let your plant’s soil dry out between waterings, but it may be beneficial to water your eucalyptus daily during warmer months.

Because spiral eucalyptus is native to Australia, it prefers warmer temperatures and will not tolerate winter temperatures. Any temperature below 32 degrees could harm your plant.

Whether you’re enjoying branches of spiral eucalyptus or a potted eucalyptus plant, proper care can ensure you’re keeping your plant happy and healthy.

Fresh eucalyptus is toxic to dogs and cats, so be sure to place your arrangement somewhere your pet member can’t get to it.

Close-up of eucalyptus branches with round, green leaves against a light background, creating a serene and minimalistic botanical theme.