it’s so easy to preserve fresh eucalyptus – and the results are beautiful!

I “may” have bought a bit too much eucalyptus.

As I’ve mentioned before, when embarking on a new recipe or DIY I tend to overbuy ingredients and materials, on the chance that something goes wrong. This was the case as I stood in Trader Joe’s, gathering eucalyptus for my shower post.

And I’ll admit, it might have had something to do with the fact that a fresh box had just come out, and the bunches looked (and smelled) AMAZING. At $3 a bunch I could afford to splurge, so I picked up three.

I wasn’t sure how long the bunch in my shower would last, and worried that the other two would be dried up when I went to use them. So I did a little research and decided to preserve them instead. They were so pretty, and I couldn’t bear the thought of them getting dried up.

How to Preserve Fresh Eucalyptus l

Turns out, preserving the branches could not be simpler!

How to Preserve Fresh Eucalyptus l

All you need is two parts boiling water to one part vegetable glycerin. Combine the two in a jar or vase and add your eucalyptus (for reference I used two cups of water and one cup of glycerin here). In about two weeks you’ll notice that the leaves will have softened, and turned darker in color. Trim the ends if needed and enjoy! I love them in this vintage pitcher from Sfuso Stuffs, but they’re also beautiful attached to a simply wrapped gift, or as a wreath or garland.

Much like forcing branches, you’ll get the best results if you smash the ends of the branches to increase the area that will be absorbing the glycerin mixture. And try to keep them out of direct sunlight if you can.

How to Preserve Fresh Eucalyptus l

I love the way these turned out and they actually smelled quite fragrant for several weeks!

One note: I used the glycerin pictured because I had a few bottles left over from another project I (ahem) overbought for. Click the link above for a more economical option!

How to Preserve Fresh Eucalyptus l

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  1. Lori Ann Castaneda on April 22, 2020 at 8:48 am

    I love the eucalyptus too, thank you

    • sherisilver on April 22, 2020 at 8:51 am

      It’s so good, right? I’d have it all over the house if I could! 🙂

    • kristina on August 25, 2020 at 7:25 am

      How long do they last after you preserve them?

      • sherisilver on August 25, 2020 at 8:01 am

        Forever! It’s just like drying flowers except this process results in more supple leaves. You could just hang the bunch upside down to dry but the leaves will be more brittle.

  2. Beth on September 8, 2020 at 2:24 am

    Should I change the water and glycerin at some point or will it stay fresh for the whole two weeks?

    • sherisilver on September 8, 2020 at 8:02 am

      Hmm – that’s up to you. The water will turn brownish but that’s to be expected. I’ve never changed it myself but if it becomes super icky you might want to. Sorry to not have a more scientific answer for you!!!

      • Jennifer Chang on October 19, 2020 at 4:48 pm

        Thanks for the idea and information.
        I hang the bunch upside down to dry for about 20days in a dark place but the leaves dried all upside down:(
        After arranging into a vase they do not look pretty.
        Any suggestions or advice? But the smells good ^___^

        • sherisilver on October 19, 2020 at 7:30 pm

          That’s why I like preserving – the leaves stay soft! Give it a try! 🙂

  3. Anin on September 9, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    If I wasn’ta nice green color to my eucalyptus stems, should I be adding green food color in the glycerin solution, or perhaps submerging the leaves in dye + glycerine solution after the preservation process is over, or painting/spray painting them after preserving?

    • sherisilver on September 10, 2020 at 8:03 am

      I’ve never done any of those – I’d love to know if you do and how it works out! My leaves have turned anywhere from brown to bronze to silver – I love the colors so haven’t thought about changing them up!

  4. Josue Chahin on September 12, 2020 at 8:36 am

    They most accessible glycerin I can find is a CVS glycerin, not marketed as vegetable glycerin. It’s this ok? It’s still a liquid clear solution and I saw in your leaf preserving post that you didn’t specify vegetable glycerin – just glycerin. Would it still work? Thank you!

    • sherisilver on September 12, 2020 at 10:55 am

      Yes! I believe that when the label reads just “glycerin” that it could be derived from animal or vegetable sources. But it should work exactly the same!

  5. Jackie VanZant on October 12, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Does eucalyptus need to be dried before putting it in glycerin water or can fresh eucalyptus be used?

    • sherisilver on October 12, 2020 at 11:39 am

      DEFINITELY fresh! Dried eucalyptus will not take in the glycerin mixture and will simply stay dried. The fresh eucalyptus draws the mixture up into its leaves and the leaves turn soft and supple!

  6. Sari Berry on October 12, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Is there a way to maintain or care for the eucalyptus once it is preserved?
    I’d like to preserve some ahead of time for a wedding (that keeps getting postponed with covid!) and want to keep the preserved leaves looking nice. How can I do this?
    Thank you so much, and your eucalyptus is lovely!! 🙂

    • sherisilver on October 12, 2020 at 4:07 pm

      Ugh! That’s so frustrating! There’s no real care needed once the leaves are preserved. They simply stay as is. You might want to keep them covered so they don’t get dusty, OR since they only take 2 weeks you can do this right before the wedding! Good luck!

  7. Leslie on October 14, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Where do you find eucalyptus for $3 !!!

    • sherisilver on October 14, 2020 at 1:49 pm

      Trader Joes! Always these huge and super-fresh bunches!!!

  8. Jen on October 17, 2020 at 5:30 am

    Is there any substitute I can use for the vegetable glycerin?

    • sherisilver on October 17, 2020 at 8:04 am

      I’m not sure – why can’t you use it? Maybe I can help find an appropriate substitute!

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