The Q&A Archives: Eucalyptus Mulch

Question: What is the effect of composted eucalyptus on garden plants? Will the oil that leaches out harm any plants? Since nothing much wants to grow under the tree, I'm afraid to use the mulch. Does it have any odor left after it composted?

Answer: The University of California did a study a few years ago with different mulches including one made with eucalpytus, because there were so many anecdotal stories about it. They found that the eucalyptus was not detrimental to another plant's ability to grow. They used all the same type of plants, with no mulch, and several different types of mulch, and the plants with the eucalyptus mulch had some of the best growth rates. I don't know about the odor after composting--that wasn't part of their study!

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