Eucalyptus gunnii

The cider gum, is a species of flowering plant in the family Myrtaceae, endemic to Tasmania. It occurs on the slopes of the central plateaux to around 1100 metres. Temperatures at high altitude can drop severely, so this plant is quite cold resistant. (-20°c is no problem).

Leaves are stalked, elliptical to ovate, to 8 cm long and 3 cm broad, concolorous, grey-green and thick. The foliage will change as the tree matures from a round leaf of waxy blue colour to a more elongated rich green foliage in the older tree but if maintained as a shrub the juvenile foliage will be retained.

White flowers are produced in midsummer.

E. gunnii is very fast growing and could eventually grow into a tree of at least 35 meters high !! But if regularly trimmed, it is easy to keep its size under control;Virtually indestructible and happy with very diverse growing conditions. Best is to plant them in a sunny spot, and with adequate access to water. Soil should be acidic and humus rich.

This is one of the most important foodplants to phasmid breeders.

It is evergreen, extremely fast growing and exceptionally nutricious to phasmids. A lot of phasmid species thrive on this plant. And there are many that will only accept Eucalyptus.

Watch out though, because once cut off from the plant, stems and leaves don't really stay fresh for long periods, after 4 days or so, leaves might still appear fresh, but will be completely dried out. These cuttings soak up so much water, water-containers should be checked regularly. You probably need to add fresh water daily. Also, the water in the container fouls easily when holding Eucalyptus... If the branches are still fresh, it is definitely worth taking the branch out, rinse out the container and add fresh water. Then cut off a cm or 2 from the stem of the branch, this helps the branch to soak up water like when it had just been cut off. Don't try to grow these indoors-they will die.

If these plants are grown in pots, it is best to put them in a sheltered place during the winter, even a plastic greenhouse will provide enough protection from the elements.

Propagation by clippings (cloning) is only possible in Laboratories.

Growing them from seeds is an option, after stratification and a cold period at least 50% of the seeds should germinate.

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