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House Plants/Can this happen


Yesterday I went into the den where my mom has a vase that has artificial plants in it as well as eucalyptus branches.  When I got a real strong sniff of the eucalyptus branches I couldn’t catch my breath. We have had this vase with the above arrangement for a long time but I am wondering if the smell of the eucalyptus in the den which is located right next to my bedroom is causing my breathing problems.  

As soon as I got next to the eucalyptus today I couldn’t breathe. I took all the eucalyptus branches out of the vase and I am going to put the eucalyptus branches down the incinerator when I go out this afternoon.  I am also wondering can the eucalyptus branches can deteriorate and make the small worse and seep into other rooms that surround it.

Hi Debbie,

I am sorry to learn you may have had an allergic reaction to Eucalyptus. This plant species is widely used as an antiseptic, disinfectant, insect repellent and deodorizer. As you know, it has a strong aroma. That aroma may become more concentrated if the leaf stems are left in standing water that is not changed regularly. It may also concentrate in a room that does not have good outside air circulation.

I have no medical training so I cannot comment on whether that is the cause of the breathing difficulty you have had. I will say that I have not heard of this reaction before, but that does not mean it cannot happen. You may want to discuss this with a doctor or allergist.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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