'Silver Drop' Eucalyptus Plant, sometimes called a "Cider Gum", is a great aromatic herb and has a lovely, small, silvery leaf . These stems work well in any arrangement and can be used both fresh and dried. Add this great filler to your flower garden for its height as a background plant and its unusual but beautiful look. A more cold-hardy variety of the Eucalyptus plant, 'Silver Drop' has thrived on our farm here in zone 7, despite the harsh winters we sometimes get!
Medicinally, the essential oils from Eucalyptus 'Silver Drop' are used to relieve respiratory and sinus congestion and infection, rashes, sores and asthma. These oils are also used in deodorants, bath oils, shampoos and in Aromatherapy products.
Eucalyptus plants are easy to grow and maintain, both in the ground or in a
container. It can be brought indoors to winter over, but be sure to give it lots of sunshine or this Tasmanian native won't grow happily.
Characteristics: Eucalyptus is perennial in Zones 9 -11.
Light: This plants prefers full sun.
Water: Keep this lovely herb moist, but avoid constant 'wet feet.'
Soil: Not very fussy about soil but wants full sun and good drainage.
Use: An ideal filler for fresh or dried arrangements, Eucalyptus dries well and keeps its scent and shape for a long time. Also a beautiful plant for the background of your garden as it has an interesting color and shape, and contrasts nicely with colorful blooms.
One of my favorite plants in the test garden for its rounded leaves that change colors with the season to a slightly pink tinge when cold. A fantastic aroma when picked fresh and crushed.
Drying Eucalyptus is a must! These make long lasting arrangements, and the aroma is quite crisp and fresh. Although the easiest method involves simply hanging them, and air drying, the results are not quite as satisfactory as the glycerin method.
To dry them, simply gather up a group of stems and hang upside down in a well-ventilated, dry and dark space. An attic or basement, but be sure that there is no dampness or humidity as that will encourage mold. Tie the Eucalyptus stems with a rubber band, and give it about 2 to 3 weeks. You will end up with a nice bunch of dried Eucalyptus, but they will be brittle and dry to the touch.
Another method used by commercial growers and florists is to use glycerin. Simply add one part glycerin to two parts boiling water. Place the liquid in a vase, and then insert the fresh cut Eucalyptus stems. The stems will soak up the mixture, and basically gives the branches, stems and leaves more flexibility. They will not be as dry and brittle. In addition, this method seems to bring out a nice blue-green color in the leaves.