No products in the cart.

How to Grow

Your complete guide to timing and starting eucalyptus seeds indoors for gardeners living in Northern regions with short growing seasons.

When & How To Start Eucalyptus Seeds In A Short Growing Season

by on November 14, 2023
This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

Eucalyptus is one of those magical plants most gardeners dream of having in their garden. It’s whimsical, unbelievably fragrant and great as both a cut flower or boarder flower in the garden. After trying my hand at growing eucalyptus myself here in our Zone 3 Canadian garden, I can tell you it is definitely possible to grow eucalyptus in cold climates…but it does take a little extra work. This post will walk you through how to grow eucalyptus in Canada and other short growing seasons plus when exactly to start your seeds indoors.

This post covers:

  • Can You Grow Eucalyptus In A Cold Climate?
  • Can You Grow Eucalyptus in Canada?
  • Where To Buy Eucalyptus Seeds In Canada
  • How Long Does It Take To Grow Eucalyptus From Seed?
  • When To Start Eucalyptus Seeds Indoors
  • How To Start Eucalyptus Seeds Indoors
  • How Long Does Eucalyptus Take To Germinate?
  • Will Eucalyptus Overwinter In Canada?

Can You Grow Eucalyptus In A Cold Climate

The answer is YES!

You can definitely grow eucalyptus at home if you live in a cold climate and/or somewhere with a short gardening season. Whether you’re a Northern gardener with just a few short months of growing time or you experience a challenging micro-climate in your garden, you can still grow eucalyptus at home.

The wonderful thing about growing eucalyptus in a cold climate is that you can bring your plants in from the garden when the temperatures drop and continue growing eucalyptus as a houseplant inside.

Can You Grow Eucalyptus In Canada

Yes, while it isn’t necessarily easy to grow in all climates, you can grow eucalyptus in Canada in a home garden.

I’ve seen gardeners across Canadian provinces successfully grow eucalyptus. Of course, gardeners located in warmer grow zones, such as on the coasts of Canada, will have an easier time growing eucalyptus as it requires more than 150+ days of growing time.

Plus, eucalyptus is hardy as a perennial to Zone 8 and can be overwintered.

With that being said, as long as you start your eucalyptus seeds indoors by early Winter you should be able to grow eucalyptus in any grow zone.

Here in my Zone 3 garden in Manitoba, Canada I’ve been able to grow a large bundle of Silver Dollar Eucalyptus in our garden as well as in our DIY backyard greenhouse. While it does take some planning, time and extra care to grow eucalyptus in Canada, it’s definitely possible to do so.

Where To Buy Eucalyptus Seeds In Canada

While you might find eucalyptus seeds are somewhat expensive to buy in Canada (they typically start at $25.00 for 100 seeds) there’s a few trustworthy seed suppliers you can purchase from.

My preferred seed provider for buying eucalyptus seeds is West Coast Seeds because they have a high germination rate and great customer reviews.

Here are a few other Canadian seed providers that sell eucalyptus seeds in Canada:

How Long Does It Take To Grow Eucalyptus From Seed?

Eucalyptus is a slow growing perennial shrub that requires anywhere from 120-150 days of growing time. Therefore, it takes about 4-5 months in total to grow eucalyptus from the time you start your seeds until you harvest your flowers.

For some Northern gardeners, this could be your entire growing season so it’s important to be a little strategic when planting your eucalyptus.

If you live in Zone 3-4, it might be best to plant your eucalyptus in a warm greenhouse and/or containers that can be brought inside when the temperatures drop.

Alternatively you could plant your eucalyptus in containers or grow bags that can be easily moved around as needed to extend their growing time.

Here in Zone 3, I’ve personally found that it isn’t until September-October that my eucalyptus plants are tall enough to harvest for cut flower bouquets.

When To Start Eucalyptus Seeds Indoors

Small silver dollar eucalyptus seedling

Start your eucalyptus seeds indoors anywhere from 12-16 weeks before your last frost date. I’ve personally found the earlier I start my seeds indoors, the better.

So count back from your last frost date for your unique grow zone and plan accordingly.

When To Start Eucalyptus In Zone 3-4

For my Zone 3 garden, I start my eucalyptus seeds indoors by mid December.

This timeline provides my eucalyptus seedlings a generous amount of growing time inside under growlights that by the time I transition them outdoors they are well-established little plants.

When To Start Eucalyptus In Zone 5-6

Following the timeline shared by the flower farmers at Dahlia May Flower Farm in Zone 5 Trenton, Ontario, start your eucalyptus seeds indoors by mid January.

When To Start Eucalyptus In Zone 7-8

For gardeners in warmer grow zones like Zone 7-8, you can start your eucalyptus seeds indoors as late as mid-February to early March.

Alternatively, you can direct sow your eucalyptus seeds after your last frost date in May and plan for a late Fall harvest or the potential to overwinter your eucalyptus plants if properly protected.

How To Start Eucalyptus Seeds Indoors

To start your eucalyptus seeds indoors, first start by setting up your seed starting station. If you’re new to this, give my Complete Seed Starting Guide a read!

You’ll need these seed starting tools & supplies to start eucalyptus indoors:

5 Easy Steps To Starting Eucalyptus Seeds Indoors

If you prefer video, head over to Instagram for my eucalyptus seeding reel.

Step 1:

Begin by filling your seedling plug tray with your seed starting soil mix. Be sure to moisten your soil first before filling your plugs and pack them tightly.

Step 2:

Carefully remove your eucalyptus seeds from the seed package. You’ll find that they are extremely fine and tiny, almost like grains of salt! They can be difficult to handle with your hands, so try using tweezers instead. With your tweezers, place 1-3 seeds per plug.

Step 3:

Take a small amount of soil and sprinkle it on top of each plug tray. You want to just gently cover your eucalyptus seedlings, they should not be buried in soil.

Step 4:

Use a spray bottle to gently moisten the top of each plug tray. Then cover your trays with their humidity domes. If the domes have vents, be sure to keep them open so there is some air flow going to your trays during the germination process. This can reduce the chances of eucalyptus damping off.

Step 5:

Place your covered tray on a heat mat under your growlight. Your growlight should be 2-3 inches at most above your humidity dome.

How Long Does Eucalyptus Take To Germinate

Eucalyptus is very slow to germinate and can take anywhere from 15-30 days to sprout.

So don’t stress if a few weeks go by and you don’t see any growth! This is totally normal.

During this time, be sure to keep your growlights on for 8-12 hours/day and to keep the soil moist but not wet by using a spray bottle.

Will Eucalyptus Overwinter In Canada?

Yes, you can have success overwintering eucalyptus in Canada if you garden in a Zone 6 or warmer.

Unfortunately, here in my Zone 3 garden it’s simply too cold and too long of a Winter for my eucalyptus plants to survive outside in the ground.

However, if you live in a colder zone you may have success overwintering eucalyptus if you keep it in a greenhouse and have it well insulated with a thick layer of straw mulch. If you do give it a shot, comment below and let us know!

And there you have it!

You now know when to start eucalyptus seeds in a cold region and how to start eucalyptus seeds indoors.

I hope this post has inspired you to try your hand at growing eucalyptus this season even if you live in a cold region with a short growing season.

And if you have other eucalyptus-starting advice for fellow gardeners, please comment below. Or drop your questions. I love hearing from you and answer all comments!

For more organic gardening advice, you can follow me on PinterestTik Tok & Instagram.

Happy planting, gardeners!

More Organic Gardening Blogs:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Comments

  1. February 22, 2024

    Hi! I appreciated your post on growing eucalyptus from seed. Wondering if you could tell me how long after sowing seeds your pictures were taken so I have an idea of growth rate from a) seed to b) tiny sprouts picture until c) size it is in bigger peat pot?

    — Monica MacPhail
  2. February 23, 2024

    Hi Monica, thanks for the comment! I’ve found eucalyptus is a slow grower. I start my seed indoors between December – January and don’t pot them up until about March…so they put on very little growth for the first 12+ weeks and then tend to shoot up once they’re transplanted into their long-term home in a container or garden bed. In my Zone 3 climate, I don’t harvest my Eucalyptus until early Fall…so that’s almost 9 months of total growing time. Hope that helps!

    — Maggie
  3. March 17, 2024

    Thank you for your article!
    I have an indoor eucalyptus plant and it is struggling (stems are drying/browningfrom the bottom up). Do you have any care tips for the plants while waiting to bring them outside?

    — Elizabeth Smith
  4. March 20, 2024

    Hey Elizabeth! I’d definitely try fertilizing with compost and/or an organic all-purpose fertilizer. I love the Evolve Organic brand. Good luck 🙂

    — Maggie
  5. April 12, 2024

    Johnny’s Seeds is an American company. Otherwise, thanks for the information.

    — Holly