Self-Care Shower

Why Doesn't My Eucalyptus Plant Smell in the Shower?

Why Doesn't My Eucalyptus Plant Smell in the Shower?

So, you’ve been reading about the multitude of reasons to add eucalyptus to your shower and decided to make the leap and try it out for yourself. There’s only one problem: after a bit of time, you can barely detect the fragrance or worse, you don’t smell it at all. But don’t lose hope! There are several easy tactics to test out that can help preserve and prolong that special fragrance in your shower.

eucalyptus bundle hanging from showerhead

Why can’t I smell my eucalyptus in the shower?

First, let’s talk about why you can’t smell your eucalyptus in the shower. Assuming that you don’t currently have a cold (or Covid-19), there are two main reasons that you can’t smell your eucalyptus anymore. First, if you are using a eucalyptus bundle, it is likely that the eucalyptus has dried out to the point that it is no longer releasing any odor. The eucalyptus scent is released through the oil glands populating the surface area of the eucalyptus leaves; these glands must have sufficient moisture in order to continue releasing their fragrant eucalyptus oil and scent. While the steam from your shower will provide some stimulation, it is not sufficient to last for weeks on end without a bit of extra work on your end. At a certain point, the cutting will inevitably become too dry to continue producing the oil; however, this expiration can arrive prematurely when the cutting is not treated properly from the start. If this is the culprit, your bundle is likely dry and brittle to the touch. Don't panic; all is not lost! Although eucalyptus bundles do have a lifespan, if yours is within first couple of weeks, you can easily revive it with a few simple steps. 

Second, if you are using a potted eucalyptus plant in your bathroom, you may want to consider the possibility of nutrient deficiency that could be robbing your plant of its scent. To solve this problem, consider using a fertilizer high in potassium to rejuvenate your plant. For more tips on growing eucalyptus indoors, check out this article from WhyFarmIt. You may also need to take into account factors such as the general health of your plant. Is it getting enough sunlight? The proper amount of water? All of these details can contribute to the long-term health of your eucalyptus plant. 

view of glamorous bathroom filled with plants with window and bathtub at the end

Additionally, there is one final possibility to consider as to why you can no longer smell your eucalyptus plant. You may have simply grown accustomed to the smell that it no longer makes an impression on you. While this is less common, if you have a relatively weak sense of smell, the eucalyptus may just not be making an impression on you anymore. An easy way to test whether or not this is the culprit is by getting someone else to see if they can smell the eucalyptus in your bathroom.

What should eucalyptus smell like?

Perhaps you have been struggling with a lackluster fragrance, or total lack thereof, from your eucalyptus for so long that you have forgotten what exactly it should smell like. Maybe you have never been able to get a eucalyptus plant or cutting to smell. Either way, let’s have a quick refresher on what eucalyptus should ideally smell like. 

While it’s a difficult scent to describe exactly, many characterize it as having a minty quality combined with a slightly sweet, woodsy scent. Some even ascribe a slight honey-like component to it. The pure scent is fairly strong in a small setting; after all, some of eucalyptus’ chemical compounds make it toxic to ingest and dangerous to even apply directly to skin, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it has a relatively powerful smell. 

eucalyptus cutting lying on wood table

The scent of eucalyptus does far more than simply be pleasant to your nose; it can also be used for aromatherapy and as a way of lessening anxiety, congestion, and other ailments. In short, you definitely want to be able to smell your eucalyptus in order to fully appreciate its benefits. 

How long does the scent of eucalyptus last in the shower?

Fresh eucalyptus bundles last between 2-4 weeks depending on a variety of factors such as sunlight, heat, humidity, placement, and other unique conditions. While some of those things are out of your control, you can take steps to maximize the scent and lifespan of your eucalyptus cutting. Hopefully, an indoor eucalyptus plant will last indefinitely as long as it is well cared for.

How can I make the scent of eucalyptus last as long as possible?

Now that you know that you can help your eucalyptus scent last longer, you’re ready for the specifics on how to accomplish just that. 

boxed eucalyptus bundle

Provided that you are working with fresh eucalyptus, there are a few steps to follow for optimal results. Once you receive your eucalyptus, make sure to take it out of the box immediately. It doesn’t do the bundle any good to sit in a box longer than it has to. Next, trim the stems a short amount, such as one inch or so. By doing this, you are reopening the plant to receive water and nutrients by removing air bubbles and creating a fresh passageway. The next step is to place your bundle in cool water to allow the plant to drink up and stock up on water in order to release its scent for as long as possible. Remember how the leaves require moisture in order for the glands to release their fragrant oils? This is where you stimulate that. Leaving the stems in water overnight is a good length of time for the process to take place. 

The above steps are the exact same ones that you should take if you're looking to refresh your bundle that has grown dry or non-scented. While it will have decreasing effectiveness the older that the bundle grows, it should still breathe new life into the leaves and release a stronger, more relaxing, scent.

If you are planning to hang the eucalyptus in your shower, you will need to take a few additional steps to maximize the eucalyptus scent. After trimming the stems, roll out the eucalyptus leaves in order to release the oils within the leaves which hold the familiar fragrance. While this will slightly shorten the life of the eucalyptus bundle, it will prepare your bundle well for its placement in a wet environment like the shower. When it comes time to place your bundle in the shower, make sure to place it outside of direct water flow. While eucalyptus needs moisture to live up to its potential, it doesn’t like to be doused in water frequently. Coming into frequent contact with water will make your eucalyptus bundle lose its scent more quickly.

person rolls out eucalyptus leaves with rounded object

You may also choose to take a different route of display with your eucalyptus. Rather than hanging it in the shower, you could opt for a vase or other container. If you go this route, make sure to periodically change out the water and trim the stems for an easy refresh. Also, make sure to avoid putting the vase in direct sunlight; it may look pretty in the window, but it will dry out faster that way.

To increase the longevity of the eucalyptus scent in your bathroom, you can lightly mist your eucalyptus to help it remain hydrated. To boost the eucalyptus scent even more, you can add a drop of eucalyptus essential oil to the mister or even add it directly to the leaves. You may be interested in trying out eucalyptus spray in tandem with a eucalyptus cutting or bundle in order to maximize the eucalyptus scent in your bathroom.

As time goes on, you may find that you need to repeat the beginning steps of trimming the stems and placing the stems in water overnight. This will refresh the eucalyptus and help it to last as long as possible and continue to enhance your bathroom. This will help keep your bundle fresh for as long as possible! 

What are other fragrant options besides eucalyptus?

eucalyptus and rosemary bundles side by side

While the smell of eucalyptus is certainly refreshing enough on its own, it also pairs well with other calming and earthy aromas such as lavender and rosemary.You can explore combination bundles such as the lavender and eucalyptus bundle or the rosemary and eucalyptus option. You may choose to rotate through these scents every few months to keep things lively in your bathroom or you may want to try a combination or pairing of these fragrances. No matter what you choose, you can bring the winsome scent of eucalyptus into your bathroom with a Self-Care Shower eucalyptus bundle, sustainably hand-picked and grown in the United States!


Image Sources

Kushal Gopal // Pexels

Self-Care Shower Stock Photo

Ksenia Chernaya // Pexels 

Self-Care Shower Stock Photo

Self-Care Shower Stock Photo

Self-Care Shower Stock Photo

Self-Care Shower Stock Photo



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