Author Topic: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?  (Read 670 times)

SHV

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Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« on: December 03, 2022, 03:28:31 PM »
Hello all, Iím looking for suggested subtropical fruiting plants that will survive (thrive?) under a eucalyptus canopy in Southern CA?  I have been unable to find anything that grows well under Eucalyptus of any type here.  I have a fence line that Iím attempting to plant alongside for privacy, so a hedge plant would be ideal, but I am happy to plant large trees as well.  My neighborís giant eucalyptus overhang the fence and kill anything planted in its leaf litter. 
Thanks in advance for your ideas!

pagnr

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2022, 04:33:36 PM »
The obvious thought is other Australian species as they are adapted. But it can be a problem even here too in Australia. Some Eucalypt species are more problems than others.
The leaf litter has inhibitory chemicals that keep the competition at bay as it breaks down into the soil. Not sure if getting rid of that would help, or raised beds / large pots with fresh soil and keeping the leaves out in future.
If you know the Eucalypt species you are growing, you could research the natural community it comes from, and what is the understory.
Davidsonia plums are known to be common under Eucalypts, but of a particular species/habitat. You may be able to fudge it ?

Have you tried any Australian gardening sites for tips. ?

https://www.anpsa.org.au/APOL34/jun04-4.html
https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/how-to/gardening-under-gums/9431582
These came from goooooogling 'Gardening under Eucalypts',  there were a fair few more too.

There is also a pretty famous Australian Folk Song, that goes " Give me a home among the Gum Trees, with lots of Plum trees".
Not sure if the plum trees are actually under the gum trees in that one ?

pineislander

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2022, 05:21:31 PM »
Very difficult to establish trees under large dominant trees, oaks, pine, whatever. They are called "dominant" for a reason. Ironically, some eucalypts are being used as nurse trees, while young, to good effect because of their extreme fast growth and coppice ability. The dominance hasn't taken place and frequent hard pruning seems to stop allelopathy.

tru

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2022, 11:01:07 PM »
Idk if these would work but large trees usually provide a nice little microclimate anyway,

any small jungle dwelling plant comes to mind, those that have naturally evolved to only get dappled sunlight. Off the top of my head I think of chocolate and many garcinias
« Last Edit: December 03, 2022, 11:03:34 PM by tru »

Eggo

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2022, 02:41:14 AM »
Two of the most aggressive fruit trees I've seen has been figs and mulberries.  Have you tried those two?  If they failed, I'm not sure if you have much hope, ahah.  Depending on how large the eucalyptus are have you thought about pruning any branches that crosses over to your yard, in addition to also root pruning anything crossing over?  I once read that they don't even recommend composting eucalyptus leaves, not only do their allelopathic compounds effect plant growth but reported to even kill earthworms.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2022, 02:43:11 AM by Eggo »

SHV

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2022, 01:07:01 PM »
Thanks all.  Itís not so much the shade or root competition that is the problem, but the allelopathic effect as mentioned by Eggo.  Mulberry is an interesting suggestion as they seem to thrive out here and I have some Thai dwaft mulberries that need a home in the ground.  Not a huge fan of figs so one tree on my property will suffice. I will try the mulberry and report back. I was hoping there would be more experience from SoCA growers that had success with growing under eucalyptus in our climate.

spaugh

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2022, 08:05:47 PM »
I have seen one guys videos on youtube where he has a bunch of euclyptus trees all around and avocados planted under then.  Seems like they were fine.  Ive also never had issues using euclyptus mulch on avocado trees.  Ive used a few truck loads of it before.  If you have a tractor maybe you could dig up a big hole and get the eucalyptus roots out and put some really aggressive avocado variety in.

Bananas maybe also?

Or if you just want something for privacy try some succulents.  Those sticks of fire are bomb proof.  Also regular large euphorbia is pretty bomb proof.  Or maybe some blue webber agaves. 
Brad Spaugh

tru

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2022, 09:50:20 PM »
I tried doing some research and have found conflicting information. Some sites say that eucalyptus stops all growth underneath it, but a bunch of australian gardening websites say that you can plant whatever you want underneath it. What seems universal though, is that eucalyptus stops seeds from germinating.

So, perhaps you can start plants elsewhere, and transplant them under the eucalyptus?

Finca La Isla

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2022, 06:17:58 PM »
I have seen coffee grown commercially under whatís called rainbow eucalyptus.
Peter

ScottR

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2022, 06:43:04 PM »
I've used eucalyptus mulch for thirdy years on my orchard acually on my 2.4 aceres and never have a problem. I have Jabo,4-cherimoya and grumichamba and mex. lime under rainbow eucalyptus with no problem.

vall

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2022, 07:25:47 PM »
I had stone fruit, dragon fruit and a veggie garden under the canopy of eucalyptus in San Diego. It was definitely not my best spot in the yard but everything grew slowly and produced fruit. I also had tons of jade right next to the tree trunks, that I cut back. Once I started cleaning up the leaves, I suddenly had weeds growing there too.
- Val

pagnr

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2022, 02:19:25 AM »
I tried doing some research and have found conflicting information. Some sites say that eucalyptus stops all growth underneath it.

That is definitely not true, I am in Australia and there are plenty of species that grow as understory to Eucalypts. Note that most of these are in distinct plant communities, so some species won't be found there and others only found there. On top of that, what is found in one Eucalypt forest say (River Red Gum ), will be different to what is found on a sand dune of Mallee Eucalypts. That would be due to plant community interactions as well as environmental ( river vs arid ) reasons.
I think it would be fair to say that Eucalyptus forests have a less diverse understory or mix of species than non eucalyptus forests, and you would usually find more interesting tree and shrub species in other forest types. Even in arid areas there are a lot of close relatives to rainforest species, and often these are found in distinct plant communities.
Possibly the tropical savannah type Eucalyptus forests are more diverse, with more fruiting species.

Another possible competition factor is that many Eucalypts have water storing lignotuber roots, so can be heavy water users.  Introduced species of Eucalypts to other areas are known to dry out marshes by pumping out water, sometimes with positive results, often not so great long term.

I have seen coffee grown commercially under whatís called rainbow eucalyptus.
Wow that must have been spectacular, a beautiful tree from as far North as the Phillipines and one of the few non Australian species of Eucalypt, ( and apart from another few in PNG, Timor and Indonesia ).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2022, 02:36:39 AM by pagnr »

fruit nerd

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Re: Growing subtropicals under eucalyptus- plant suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2022, 04:53:26 AM »
Mango? Plenty of mango growing near eucalyptus in Far North Queensland, Australia. I have one large eucalyptus on our property. I have a couple of coconuts growing nearby that are doing fine, though still quite young.

 

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