Eucalyptus cinerea is the botanical name of silver dollar eucalyptus. Mealy stringybark, flat seeded, red box, and Argyle apple are its other known names. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is close relative to the bottlebrush and tea tree. This plant originated from Australia. We shall be looking at how to plant silver dollar eucalyptus. Also, we will take a look at what this plant is all about.
Silver Dollar Eucalyptus
This is an evergreen and hardy tree that has rounded and silver-gray-colored leaves. This plant brings an aromatic fragrance to your garden and you can feel it by just walking around the tree. You can also bring this fragrance to your home, just cut a few branches and bring them in.
This woody tree can grow up to 60 feet in height and has a width of about 15 feet. A pretty big tree it is, but you can also keep it small by pruning it. This is also considered an indoor tree that can be grown in containers.
Silver Dollar Eucalyptus Plant traits
It is a houseplant with evergreen broad leaves. It is a rapid-growing tree with a medium texture. Silver dollar eucalyptus is a poisonous tree if its oil is consumed in large quantities.
Leaves, Bark and Stem of Silver Dollar Eucalyptus
The broadleaf evergreen leaves have different colors. It can have a blue, green, white, and silver-gray color. These leaves have alternate and opposite leaf arrangements. The fragrant leaves have lanceolate and orbicular shapes.
The size of these leaves ranges from 1 to 3 inches and they look like a coin shape. This is the reason they are given the name silver dollar eucalyptus.
The stems of silver dollar eucalyptus are nonaromatic and have a red or brown color. The bark of this tree is light gray in color. It has peeling bark. Younger branches have smooth bark while the old ones have rough and red-brown bark.
Flowers and Fruit
The bell-shaped flowers are gold, yellow or white in color. Each flower contains 4 to 5 petals and it grows in white clusters of bloom. The fruit is a type of capsule that contains many seeds.
Problems with Silver Dollar Eucalyptus
The silver dollar eucalyptus plant is poisonous to human beings. The bark, leaves, and oil of eucalyptus are all poisonous. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, skin irritation and burning, nausea, and even coma. It can also cause problems for cats, dogs, and horses.
How To Grow Silver Dollar Eucalyptus
How do you plant a silver dollar plant?
Growing this plant needs a little bit of knowledge and care. This can grow up to 60 feet in height but if you have low space then it can maintain itself well in the container or pots as well. You can start this plant from the seeds or directly from a small plant bought from some plant store.
How To Grow Silver Dollar Eucalyptus From Seeds
To start the silver dollar eucalyptus from seeds, you can use starter trays. Sow the seeds into the soil and gently press the soil to remove any air pockets. These seeds can take up to 85 to 100 days to germinate. The key to success is to keep the soil moist. Water them well to keep them moist until the seeds germinate.
The seedlings are ready to be transplanted into the garden or a container when they are about 4 to 5 inches in size.
How To Start From Young Plants
The other way to start the plant is to get a small plant of silver dollar eucalyptus from a trusted plant store near you. This way you don’t need to worry about the early germination stage. You will be having a fully grown small plant that can easily be taken care of.
When you get the young plant, choose a location in your garden or a container to plant it in. Dig a small hole and plant it in that hole. Keep the plant straight and upright and after placing it in the hole, fill it with the soil. Make sure not to dig the hole very deep. The top of the root ball should remain at ground level. Slightly press the soil to remove any trapped air and water the soil thoroughly.
The soil should be well-drained for this plant. It is better to add some sand to your soil for good drainage. It must be nutritious for your plant, adding compost to your soil will increase its nutritional value. It should be loosened first before adding compost.
Choosing the Container for Silver Dollar Eucalyptus
Silver dollar grows well in containers. Keep a few things in mind before choosing the container. It must have well drainage as this plant would not like wet soil. The size of your container should be 1 to 2 gallons or greater. This would provide enough room for silver dollar eucalyptus to grow.
Choosing The Location
Silver dollar eucalyptus grows in the USDA hardiness zone of 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, and 11b. It needs full sun to grow well, that is at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. They can also tolerate partial shade.
This plant cannot tolerate extreme cold so if you are living in such areas it is recommended to shift the plant indoors before the first frost of the fall season. This way you can save your plant from extremely cold temperatures.
Mulching the Plant
After planting it in the right spot, mulching the plant will help retain the moisture level. Adding a 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch would be enough. Make sure the mulch does not touch the tree’s bark.
Mulching protects the root system of your plant and also keeps weeds in control. This is important as weeds can share the nutrients that were meant for your plant. So keeping them in control would help to save these nutrients for the plant only.
How often do you water a silver dollar plant?
To establish a good root system you need to water your plant regularly for the first year of planting. Make sure to water every week and your plant should get 1 inch of water per week. It is recommended to keep this routine of watering for the first two years. Avoid planting it in wet places.
An established silver dollar eucalyptus can tolerate drought as well. If you have planted it outside in the garden you can water it every few weeks. But if you are growing it in containers indoors or pots, check regularly for water requirements. In dry conditions, you need to water your plant.
How to Feed Silver Dollar Plant
The soil should remain nutrient-rich all the time. Adding compost or a balanced fertilizer is a good way to ensure this. You can use granular 5-10-10 fertilizer that contains micronutrients. If you are growing in pots, adding slow-release fertilizers in the spring season will also boost nutrients in your soil.
How To Prune the Eucalyptus
How do you trim a silver dollar plant?
Pruning can be done to remove any excessive growth. This will also keep your plant tidy and well-maintained. You can prune it in summer or winter. It will maintain the height of your plant. Because if not pruned it can grow up to 60 feet tall.
If you are growing the silver dollar eucalyptus in containers, pruning is a must job to do. As you have a small space for its growth, pruning will help keep it limited to that space.
You can prune dead or cross branches. If you want your silver dollar to be bushy, pruning in the second year is recommended. You can cut the main stem for this purpose. Only keep the 3 to 4 largest branches and let them grow. Cut all the spindly stems.
How To Protect Silver Dollar Eucalyptus
How do you take care of a silver dollar?
As told before, the silver dollar is easy to grow and even drought resistant. But you need to take care of one thing only and that is extremely cold weather conditions. This plant would not survive extended cold winter days and could also perish.
To keep it safe from such cold weather, you need to move your plant indoors, if you are growing it in containers. Keep it in a dark and cool place. If you are growing it outdoors, you can cover your plant with some cloth or blanket. To support this use a metal cage or a frame.
Preserve the Plant
Silver dollar leaves can be dried and preserved also. You can make a solution of 1 ratio 2 of glycerin and water respectively. Add the silver dollar eucalyptus to the solution and boil it for some time. After this, let it cool down and the mixture should be allowed to be absorbed by the eucalyptus. When you see the leaves turn dark gold now you can remove them from the mixture and let them dry.
Pests and Diseases
Silver dollar eucalyptus is a disease-resistant plant. You need not worry about it being attacked by diseases. But if you see your plant dropping leaves, it could be a sign of a pest attack. The red gum lerp psyllid could be the cause of it. To avoid this, make sure that your plant gets plenty of water. Remove the affected branches of your tree as soon as you see them.