Anyone with any luck with Eucalyptus in Tennessee?

charlesmartel2April 25, 2010

I'm outside of Nashville in a hilly area and really came to love the smell of Eucalyptus I found when I visited the West Coast.

I've since planted a Eucalyptus pauciflora, both spp. debeuzevillei and Niphophila (Jonama Snow Gum and Snow gum). These were among the two cold hardiest species I could find (neglecta, gunnii, and archeri all seemed like reasonable options, as well). I haven't been able to find much on either of these making it Zone 6b, but I thought I'd give them a try. I've set them on a pretty steep grade with some tree/shrub coverage from north winds, but we'll see. Apparently cold wind will dessicate their leaves pretty bady.

The coldest we ever got in the Nashville area was 8 degrees last winter, which is the coldest I could remember. Seems the debeuzevillei are cold hard down to 0 to 5.

I'm fairly new to gardening, and have really come to love it. Any suggestions on how to keep these guys warm on the coldest winter nights? I'm mulching them deeply. But when it gets down in the single digits, I'm not sure how effect sprinkling, milk cartons or the like are going to be. Not really much springs to mind except a propane-heater or the like.

We'll be hoping for none of this single digit nonsense any time soon.


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I've heard of wrapping things in burlap. Are they huge? I have no idea. I have never thought of Eucalyptus as a plant that would be hardy here.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 7:02PM
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I can't give you any input, but I am so glad you asked because I have always wondered the same thing. From what I have read, it seems possible. I have seen them for sale in a couple of local nurseries, calling my name.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:10PM
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My neighbor had a Eucalyptus (maybe a ft. tall) she bought from a plant sale in TN. At that time, we lived just west of Columbia. She had it planted on the east side of her home and got at least 5 hrs of sun. Last time I saw the plant, it was 3ft. in diameter with half dollar size leaves, over a yard tall and many branches. I will call her to ask more questions.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:58PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Nashville hit -16 °F on January 20, 1985 followed by an even lower â17 °F on January 21. Minimum temperatures in the negative range are not uncommon at all. The length of time that the very cold temperatures stay around is also very important.

Microclimates can go a very long way towards allowing borderline hardy plants to survive. Wind exposure, light exposure, and drainage are very important. Below, is a link that discusses these, and related, issues.

I've seen a number of pretty large Eucs (had to have been around for at least a few years) here in Knoxville (all in warmer microclimates). I think one of the most important things to realize is that, even if you get the plant to survive for a few years, it may still ultimately fail. In other words, know that you are taking a chance and just enjoy it while you can. Maybe, if you find just the right eucalyptus and put it in the right spot, you'll be able to keep it for decades.

Here is a link that might be useful: A Discussion of Eucalyptus Cold-Hardiness

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:18PM
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