The Q&A Archives: Dying Eucalyptus

Question: I planted 3 Eucalyptus polyanthemos (silver dollar)last spring. One started wilting and dropping leaves and I discovered that the sprinkler watering it was off. So I turned it on and it respoonded and started to get new growth. I thought the problem was solved. But after about 2-3 weeks I noticed it wilting again and thought it was due to the heat - avg 104 (but the other 2 trees are doing great). When I got online I see that these trees don't like to be over watered either. So if I have done that hhow can I save it. Should I stop watering it to let the soil dry out a bit? Should I get it any vitamins? I am hoping there is something I can do.

Answer: At this point, I would turn off the sprinkler watering that particular plant and water it by hand. Eucalyptus likes well draining soil and deep watering once each week. By watering by hand, you can control the amount of water your tree gets. The easiest way to water a single plant is to make a watering well or watering basin beneath the tree or shrub, radiating out about 12" from the trunk. When it's time to water, fill the basin, allow it to drain, then fill it a second time. This will concentrate the moisture directly over the root system and allow it to trickle down and wet the entire root mass. Do this once each week and you should see your tree perk up within a few weeks. Once it is healthy and growing well, you can either keep watering by hand or you can reconnect the sprinkler head.

Best wishes with your garden!

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