Here's Exactly How to Dry and Use Eucalyptus As Décor

five opaque vases filled with dried eucalyptus stems against white background

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There’s nothing better to brighten up your home in the wintertime than fresh greenery, but it’s a sad day when those lush leaves inevitably fade. No need to worry, though: you can preserve eucalyptus—one of our favorite kinds of foliage to use in home décor, floral arrangements, and even home spa treatments—so that a single bunch can beautify your home for months or even years. 

Types of Eucalyptus

There are more than 700 species of eucalyptus, most of which are native to Australia. They range in size from small shrubs to towering trees. However, a handful of varieties are widely available to purchase for décor and arrangements. 

Silver Dollar and Gumdrop eucalyptus have round or oval-shaped leaves in sage green and may be sold with attractive sprays of seeds among the foliage for texture (look for “seeded eucalyptus”). The leaves of Willow and Feather varieties are long and thin with pointed tips. Baby Blue, another popular variety, features quarter-sized round leaves growing close along tall, straight stems, and it gets its name from the slightly blue cast to its foliage. 

three ceramic vases with dried eucalpytus on wooden table in front of sofa and wall with framed photos

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Where to Find Fresh Eucalyptus

Keep an eye out for bunches of eucalyptus at your local florist or the floral section of your local supermarket. Trader Joe’s is one of the most notable and affordable places to find them, as they're always in stock.

Depending on where you live and the time of year, local flower growers may sell bunches of eucalyptus at a farmers’ market in your area. You can also purchase fresh eucalyptus from online flower shops and sites like Etsy and Amazon. 

Do I Dry or Preserve Eucalyptus?

There are a couple of different methods you can use to dry eucalyptus, and they’re all pretty straightforward. One is super simple to do with no prep and no special equipment or ingredients. The other is slightly more involved, but still a very easy at-home project. 

How to Air Dry Eucalyptus

white vase with dried eucalyptus leaves on windowsill with books, teapot, succulent in pot, and wool blanket in front of white shutters


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If you’ve dried flowers or herbs at home before, you probably used this method. It’s popular because it’s so easy and straightforward, and you get lovely, straight, and tall stalks of dried eucalyptus when you’re done. The air-drying method is ideal if you want to dry eucalyptus without any special ingredients and very little prep time.

The leaves may discolor slightly and will be somewhat fragile and easily breakable when dried. For this reason, you’ll want to display your air-dried eucalyptus in a place where it won’t be bumped or disturbed by kids, pets, or passersby.

What You Need

  • Fresh eucalyptus stems 
  • Gardening shears or scissors
  • A length of string or twine

Instructions

  1. Trim your eucalyptus stems to the length you prefer. Check stems and remove any dead or discolored leaves.
  2. Tie a length of string or twine snugly around the base of a bunch of fresh eucalyptus leaves. 
  3. Hang the bunch upside down by the string in a cool, dark, dry place. A place with good air circulation, like an attic or outdoor shed, is ideal. 
  4. After two to three weeks, cut down the bunch of eucalyptus and display it as desired. 

How to Preserve Eucalyptus

Coffee table and white ceramic vase with eucalyptus twigs

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There’s another method that allows you to keep the bright color, softness, and flexibility of fresh eucalyptus: allowing the stems to absorb vegetable glycerin, which will preserve their original color and texture. This method gives the eucalyptus stems an elegant droop, since they bend slightly down as they dry in the vase.

Preserving eucalyptus is the best method for arrangements, as the leaves will be less brittle and likely to break while you handle them, or for displaying in high-traffic areas of your home.

What You Need 

  • Fresh eucalyptus stems 
  • Gardening shears or scissors
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • A hammer 
  • A jar or vase large enough to hold the eucalyptus

Instructions

  1. Trim the bottoms of your eucalyptus stems at an angle and remove any dead or discolored leaves. 
  2. Bring a small amount of water to a boil. 
  3. While the water is heating, use the hammer or another heavy object to smash the bottom ends of each eucalyptus stem. This will help the stems absorb the glycerin solution. 
  4. Combine two parts boiling water with one part vegetable glycerin and stir until the glycerin is dissolved.
  5. Allow the solution to cool for a few minutes and pour the glycerin solution into the vase or jar.
  6. Add the eucalyptus stems and arrange them so that the bottom ends are submerged in the solution. 
  7. Place the container of eucalyptus stems in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. The preserving process can take two to six weeks as the stems absorb the glycerin solution. 
  8. When the eucalyptus leaves have darkened slightly and they feel soft, smooth, and pliable, the preserving process is complete. Remove the stems from the jar, discard any remaining solution, and trim the stems to your desired length. 
  9. Display the eucalyptus bouquet in a dry vase on its own or use the stems in an arrangement with other dried flowers. 

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