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Big O Cold Hardy Eucalyptus Tree - Eucalyptus neglecta

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'Big O' Hardy Eucalyptus Tree
Eucalyptus neglecta 'Big O'

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6b-11  Find Your Zone

Note:  For our customers who live and garden north of USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6b, where this Eucalyptus tree variety is not reliably winter hardy, you'll be happy to know it can be grown in containers that can be brought indoors during winter and placed back outside when temperatures warm up in spring.



Special Attributes

'Big O' is one of the most popular of the Southern Eucs series of cold hardy eucalyptus trees. Development of the Southern Eucs began in 1997 when an English botanist working in Atlanta, Georgia realized that there was little winter temperature difference between the native locations of many eucalyptus species he had collected in his explorations and colder regions of the United States. The team at Southern Eucs carries on this legacy by expanded explorations to find and test-trial all the varieties of eucalyptus trees that will thrive in colder regions of the United States. 

Eucalyptus neglecta 'Big O' is quickly becoming one of the most popular eucalyptus in the United States. It was named "Big O" for its unique, large, rounded leaves. Juvenile foliage is vivid blue with red highlights, fragrant, and a stand out in any floral or dried flower arrangement. The juvenile leaves are large and round and on square stems, and usually persist for 7-15 years before any adult leaves are seen, which are elongated. In a cool, moist climate the foliage assumes a fabulous purplish hue. The bark is rough, fibrous and grey on the trunk, turning smooth grey and green above. Big O is highly rated for its cold hardiness.  All grown up Big O could reach 20' in height with an equal spread.


Cold Hardiness

Because of its seed provenance, Big O can handle temperatures down to -10 F. In Atlanta, Georgia, 10 month old trees had minimal leaf damage and looked great after a brutal winter (2013/14) where temps reached 6 degrees. In Western, NC, 10 month old trees - that froze to the ground at -10 degrees - are growing vigorously from their base.




Landscape Uses

Growing to 20 feet tall with an equal spread, 'Big O' is a fast growing but smaller Eucalyptus tree that will beg to be planted as a focal point in your garden. It is one of the best Eucalyptus in the shade. Can also be useful as an evergreen hedge or screen.

Suggested Spacing:  8' for privacy screen;  22' or more for space between trees




Cultural Preferences

Big O Eucalyptus isn't too picky about soil type. It will grow in well-drained soil but can also handle waterlogged soil It will grow in full sun but is also quite shade tolerant. It is also very heat resistant and we've seen no problems with insects or disease. Responds well to pruning so size is easy to control. With all these attributes, it's no wonder this variety is a favorite!




Helpful Articles

Click on a link below to find helpful advice from our experts on how to plant and care for Eucalyptus trees.






Plant Details

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6b-11  Find Your Zone
Plant Type:  Evergreen Tree
Height at Maturity:  20-30'
Width at Maturity:  15-20'
Spacing:  8' for privacy screen;  22' or more for space between trees
Growth Habit / Form:  Bushy, Broad, Upright
Growth Rate: Fast initially then slowing down
Flower Color:  White
Flowering Period:  Summer
Foliage Color:  Blue Green, new leaves are Purple-Bronze to Pinkish
Fragrant Foliage:  Yes, strong typical Eucalyptus aroma
Sun Needs:  Sun or Shade
Water Needs:  Average, Low when established
Soil Type:  Clay (Amended), Loam, Sand, Silt 
Soil Moisture / Drainage:  Well Drained Moist to Boggy, Dry when established
Soil pH:  5.5 to 6.5 (Moderate to Slightly Acid)
Maintenance / Care:  Very Low when left in it's natural form
Attracts:  Visual Attention, Songbirds
Resistances:  Boggy Soil, Deer, Disease, Drought (when established), Heat, Insect, Wet Soils



Plant Long & Prosper!

Questions?  Contact Us!


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