The genus Myrtus is a member of the Myrtaceae family and includes about 20 to 40 species. It is found in the wild in almost all continents, namely in the United States in Florida, in Europe near the Mediterranean Sea, in West Africa and in North America. The genus is represented by low evergreen trees or shrubs. The entire, supratennially arranged leaf laminae are leathery to the touch. Flowers grow from the axils of the leaves, they are collected in short, brush-like inflorescences, they may be part of bundles or grow singly.
This plant is very popular among florists, and it is also used in medicine and perfumery - essential oil is extracted from the stems and leaves. If the myrtle is cared for correctly, it will grow for a very long time in domestic conditions. Another interesting thing is that the culture has a phytoncid effect.
Brief description of cultivation
- Flowering. In the first half of summer.
- Brightness. Light should be bright but diffuse.
- Temperature. In spring-summer, from 18 to 20 degrees, and in winter the room should be no warmer than 10 degrees, but it is better if it is about 5 degrees.
From spring to fall, the plant should be watered abundantly as soon as the top layer of the soil mixture in the container has dried out. With cold wintering, watering should be very sparing and infrequent, but full drying out of the ground ball should not be allowed.
- Humidity of the air. Throughout the growing season, systematically moisten the bush with lukewarm water from a sprayer. It does not need to be sprayed during the winter.
- Fertilizer. In spring and summer, the myrtle is regularly fertilized once every 7 days, using a complex mineral fertilizer. It does not need to be fertilized in winter.
- Dormant period. Observed in winter time.
If the bush stands in the northern part of the room, the duration of the dormancy period will be about 3 months, and when placed in the southern part of the apartment, its duration is about 6 weeks.
- Trimming. Formative pruning is done every year at the beginning of the growing season.
- Transplanting. Young bushes should be transplanted every year, with mature specimens once every 2 or 3 years.
- Mixed soil. Sand, peat, clay, sod and humus soil in a 1:2:2:2 ratio. And for planting you can also use a substrate consisting of sand, peat, humus and turf soil, taking all components in equal proportions.
- Raising. By cuttings and by seed.
- Pests. Whiteflies, mealybugs, scabs, thrips and spider mites.
- Diseases. Problems when growing myrtle can occur if irrigation rules are not followed or if the air is too dry.
Myrtle is considered a medicinal plant that can compete with antibiotics in its effectiveness.
Home care for myrtle
Because myrtle needs a lot of bright light that must be dispersed, it is recommended to grow on a window sill to the west or east. If it will grow on a north-facing window, its flowering will be more sparse. And if it is placed on a southern window sill, then in the warm season the bush will have to shade from direct sunlight. In the summertime, the flower can be moved outside, and he should choose a place that will be protected from the midday scalding rays of the sun.
Myrtle is accustomed to bright light gradually.
Throughout the spring and summer period the bush should be kept in a cool place (18 to 20 degrees), because the culture reacts negatively to heat. In winter the myrtle should be kept in a cool place (not higher than 10 degrees) and at this time it feels best at around 5 degrees. If the shrub is in a warm place during winter (above 10 degrees), it may lose all of its leaves. The room where the flower stands must be systematically aired.
Water only soft water, and it must also be well settled (at least 24 hours). In spring, summer and autumn, the crop needs abundant watering as soon as the top layer of substrate dries out. If the winter is cold, watering should be reduced, but make sure that the clod of soil in the pot does not dry out in any way. Also make sure that liquid does not stagnate in the soil mixture. If the clump still dries out, the pot with the bush is dipped into a container of water.
The crop needs increased air humidity and therefore the bush is systematically moistened in spring, summer and autumn with a sprinkler using well-drained and soft water. During the cold winter season it is not necessary to humidify
Fertilize myrtle regularly in the spring and fall; indoor plant fertilizer is used for this purpose. Regular fertilization should be once every 7 days.
If myrtle is growing on a northern window sill, then the resting period will be 3 months. If it is grown on a southern window, however, the dormancy period will be shorter, about 6 weeks to be exact.
The crop needs regular pruning. If the bush is not trimmed at all, its shape will be pyramidal, if the side shoots are trimmed, a tree is formed, and if the upper shoots are trimmed, the myrtle will have a bush shape. Specialists do not recommend, very often cut side shoots the fact that the trunk of the plant is quite weak, and with frequent pruning flowering becomes more sparse. As a houseplant, it grows very fast and in just two years you can achieve a massive, showy plant. Repotting myrtle
Young plants are usually transplanted systematically every year.
And mature specimens are transplanted less frequently, to be exact, once every 2-3 years. When transplanting, do not cover the base of the trunk with potting soil. Several different substrates may be used for planting and transplanting:
- Sand, humus, clay and sod soil, taken in a 1:2:2:2 ratio;
- combine sand, sod, mulch and peat soil, taken in equal proportions;
- plain greenhouse soil.
MIRT: transplanting, cuttings, care.
Make a good drainage layer at the bottom of the pot to avoid stagnant fluid in the plant's root system.
Sensitive people can get nausea and headaches from the leaves of common myrtle.
Growing from seed
Fill a container with soil mixture, spread seeds evenly on its surface, which should be covered with a thin layer of the same substrate. For sowing use a soil mixture consisting of sand and peat or peat and vermiculite. Seeds are sown into the soil mixture, which is pre-watered and then sprinkled with a solution of a fungicidal drug. The seeds are covered with glass (film) from above, they are systematically aired, watered if necessary, and kept in a cool place (about 19 degrees).
The first shoots should show after 7-15 days. And when they form the first pair of true leaf plates, they should be pricked into separate pots, which are filled with a substrate consisting of peat, turf and humus soil, and sand (1:1:1:1). After picking, the growth of seedlings may stall for a while, but then everything will normalize. When the root system of plants will be cramped in pots, they are transplanted by the method of transplanting into larger containers, and then they provide the same care as the adult plants. The first flowering will not begin until they are five years old.
Raising myrtles with cuttings
Cuttings can be done twice a year: in January and July. For this, half-ripe cuttings, which can vary from 50 to 80mm in length, are prepared and more than half of the leaf blades should be trimmed, but those that remain should be shortened in order to reduce evaporation. For better rooting, it is recommended to treat the cut place with a product that stimulates root growth. For rooting, cuttings are planted in boxes or pots that are filled with an earth mixture consisting of leaf soil and coarse sand. Container with cuttings covered with glass (film), they are removed to a shady place and provide them with regular watering and airing.
For better rooting, the air temperature is maintained at 18 to 20 degrees. In cuttings grow roots after 20-30 days, then they are planted in separate pots, which in diameter reach 70 mm, which are filled with a substrate consisting of peat, turf and humus soil, and sand (1:1:1:1). To stimulate flowering, the myrtle will need abundant watering and pruning. After the root system of the grown plant becomes very cramped in the pot, it should be transferred to another container, which should be a little larger than the previous one. The first flowering of a bush that has been grown from cuttings can be expected after 3 or 4 years.
The easiest and safest way to propagate myrtle.
Leaves yellowing, falling off and curling up13>. If the myrtle lacks light, its shoots become elongated and the foliage grows faded and shallow. If the light is too bright, then the leaf plates will lose their luster, turn yellow and curl. Leaves can fall off if the plant is placed in a room that is too warm and poorly lit.
Leaves fall off. If the clump of earth in the pot dries out completely, all the leaves may fall off the shrub. In this case shorten the stems by half, moisten regularly with a sprinkler and give as much water as possible to the shrub. After about half a month, new foliage will grow.
If the shrub is constantly kept warm, it can become infested with mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, spider mites and scaleworms.
What is myrtle good for?
Myrtle exterminates bacteria and germs, even tubercle and diphtheria bacilli cannot escape it. This culture makes the air cleaner and it also exterminates Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus. It is used during the treatment of flu and acute respiratory infections.
Myrtle. Features of myrtle tree care
Myrtle species with photos and names
Myrtle common (Myrtus communis) with a short branching trunk covered with peeling bark scales of red-brown color is most commonly grown in home flowering.
Leaves are green, oval-lanceolate, glossy, leathery, nicely scented. Flowers are white or pale pink with projecting stamens; fruits are red-black berries. Blossoms from June to August. Popular cultivars: Tarentina, a compact shrub with smaller berries than the original form, but much more numerous than the common myrtle; the variegated variety has a creamy white pattern on its green leaves.
The myrtle opulent (Myrtus apiculata), a bush or tree with peeling brown bark under which the trunk is creamy white, is also interesting.
The leaves are dark green, ellipse-shaped, matte. White solitary flowers bloom in July-August, the black-red fruits are edible.
Tree with shiny green leaves with a wrinkled edge. This species is the most persistent of the myrtles.
A erect bush with pinkish-colored flowers and red edible berries.
Has a mottled variety with a white-cream border around the edge of the leaves.
Myrtle. Myrtle care at home.