Indoor Eucalyptus Plants: Complete Care And Growing Guide

Imagine an indoor eucalyptus plant as fragrant and pretty as tall eucalyptus trees, but small enough to grace your interior.

Eucalyptus houseplants next to a dresser
(Image credit: Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images)

Potted indoor eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus cinerea) are pretty and fragrant houseplants in the right conditions. Most of us have seen tall eucalyptus trees that stretch into the skies. You may not know that smaller eucalyptus varieties can be grown as fragrant and lovely houseplants. Learn how.

Quick Facts

  • Botanical name: Eucalyptus cinerea
  • Height: 15 to 52 feet (4.5 to 15.8 m)
  • Spread: 10 - 15 feet (3 - 4.5 m)
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil requirements: Well-draining
  • Hardiness zones: 8b to 11
  • When to plant: Spring or summer

Can Eucalyptus Grow Indoors?

The species eucalyptus matures into a very tall tree, appropriate for parks or forests. It won’t last long as a container houseplant. But the variety known as Silver Dollar Tree or Argyle-Apple, stays smaller and can make a lovely eucalyptus plant indoors. These trees can be grown indoors or on a patio in bright, direct sunlight.

Indoor Eucalyptus Plant Care


Eucalyptus, tall or small, need lots of bright, direct sunlight.


Newly transplanted young trees require regular irrigation. As the trees establish, they become drought tolerant. Plants in containers like eucalyptus trees indoors need more regular water to keep the compost moist throughout the growing season.

Temperature & Humidity

These trees are winter hardy to USDA zone 8 and can grow happily in warmer regions. They do not appreciate sites that are chilly or get frost in winter. Houseplants are generally happy with ordinary household temperatures and humidity levels.


Plant in well-drained soil. It tolerates most soil types and does just fine in poor soils.


Eucalyptus grows well in poor soil. If you add compost or other soil enrichment, your outdoor tree will get excessive leafy growth. The only time you should prune established trees growing in the ground is after a severe pruning. Apply a fertilizer like pelleted poultry manure according to package instructions. For container eucalyptus, use a general purpose fertilizer monthly from April through September.

Problems, Pests & Diseases

Eucalyptus trees are tough and don’t suffer from many issues. Occasionally, a plant may be attacked by Eucalyptus gall wasp (especially in southern England). Sometimes you may see small swelling on the leaves, or oedema, caused by waterlogged soil. Finally, a type of fungus called honey fungus can attack the roots of the tree and kill it. Look for clusters of golden-brown toadstools in fall.

How to Plant a Eucalyptus Tree Indoors

For eucalyptus trees to be houseplants, they must be planted in a container, and the right planting container is important.

Be sure the container's drain holes are adequate since waterlogged soil won’t be good for the plant. Purchase a soil-based, multipurpose compost for planting and up the drainage by blending in up to 30 percent horticultural grit.


Mature eucalyptus hardly ever require pruning. However, when the trees are newly planted, trim them to form well-shaped trees. (See our guide to eucalyptus pruning as pruning may be needed in a few cases.) If you need to keep the tree small, coppice the plant every few years. This is best done in spring.


Eucalyptus trees produce seed capsules that, when they ripen, can be used to propagate the plants. The capsules do not mature until after they spend several years on the tree. After that, they need to be kept in a refrigerator for several months before spring planting.

Repotting an Indoor Eucalyptus Tree

Repot your indoor eucalyptus tree every few years. Select a container about an inch or two (2.5 - 5 cm) larger than the prior container. At this time switch out the potting material to fresh compost.


Eucalyptus cinerea, known as Argyle Apple or Silver Dollar tree, is a shorter variety of eucalyptus that works well for indoor houseplants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Eucalyptus a Good Indoor Plant?

The Eucalyptus cultivars called Silver Dollar Tree or Argyle Apple stay smaller than the species plant. They can be grown indoors or on a patio in bright, direct sunlight. They make easy-care, fragrant houseplants.

Do Indoor Eucalyptus Plants Smell Good?

The leaves and stems of indoor eucalyptus plants give off the classic eucalyptus fragrance if you touch them or brush against them.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.