Myrtle: growing, reproduction and transplantation, species, photo
Houseplants Published: 02 February 2012 Reprinted: Last edits:
Genus myrtle (lat.Myrtus) belongs to the family of Myrtle plants and has 20-40 plant species. In nature, this plant grows on almost all continents - in West Africa, in the state of Florida in the USA, in North America and off the Mediterranean coast in Europe.
Representatives of the genus are low evergreen shrubs or trees. The leaves on the branches grow opposite, leathery to the touch, whole. Flowers grow from leaf sinuses, gather in short clusters, grow one at a time, and gather in piles.
This is a rather popular plant in indoor floriculture, which is used in medicine and perfumery - the essential oil is obtained from the leaves and shoots of the plant. If you follow all the care recommendations, then the plant will grow well for a long time in indoor conditions. The plant has phytoncidal properties.
Briefly about growing
- Bloom: from early to mid-summer.
- Lighting: bright diffused light.
- Temperature: in spring and summer - 18-20 ºC, in winter - no higher than 10 ºC, but better about 5 ºC.
- Watering: from spring to autumn - plentiful, as soon as the top layer of the potted substrate dries. With a cool winter, it is only necessary that the earthen lump does not dry out completely.
- Air humidity: during the growing season, myrtle should be regularly sprayed with warm water. This is not required in winter.
- Top dressing: from spring to autumn - every week with a complex mineral fertilizer. In winter, feeding is not needed.
- Rest period: in winter. When placed on the north side, the dormant period lasts up to three months, on the south side it is half as long.
- Cropping: the bush is formed annually at the beginning of active growth.
- Transfer: young plants need an annual transplant, and adults - once every 2-3 years.
- Substrate: 2 parts of humus, clay, sod land and peat and one part of sand. Or: humus, turf, peat soil and sand in equal parts.
- Reproduction: seeds and cuttings.
- Pests: whiteflies, mealybugs, scale insects, thrips and spider mites.
- Diseases: myrtle can suffer from low air humidity and improper watering.
- Properties: is a medicinal plant that successfully competes with antibiotics.
Read more about growing myrtle below.
Caring for myrtle at home
Since myrtle needs a lot of bright diffused light, placement on windows from the east and west is considered optimal. On the northern windows, the myrtle flower at home may bloom more poorly, and on the southern windows in the summer it will be necessary to protect the plant from direct rays. In summer, you can expose myrtle to fresh air, providing shade from the midday sun. The plant needs to be gradually accustomed to a lot of light.
In summer and spring, the temperature should be 18-20 ° C, because indoor myrtle needs cool air. In winter, the temperature should not exceed 10 ° C, and optimally should be around 5 ° C. If the plant overwinters at temperatures above 10 ° C, there is a risk of the plant shedding its foliage. The room must be regularly ventilated.
You need to water the myrtle with soft water, and before watering you need to let it settle for a day. In the spring-autumn period, watered abundantly, immediately after the topsoil dries up. In winter, watering is reduced, but at any time of the year it is impossible to bring the earthen coma to dry out, as well as to prevent it from becoming waterlogged. If the soil is dry, then the pot with the plant must be immersed in a container of water.
In the spring-autumn period, the indoor myrtle flower should be regularly sprayed with settled soft water, because the plant needs high humidity. If the plant hibernates at low temperatures, then it is not necessary to spray.
In spring, summer and autumn, the house plant myrtle needs fertilization for indoor plants. The plant needs to be fed at this time every week.
If the plant hibernates on the north side, then the dormant period lasts up to three months. When wintering on the south side, this period is halved.
The plant can and even needs to be pruned. When pruning the upper shoots, the plant will take the shape of a bush; when trimming the side - trees, if not trimmed at all - will be pyramidal in shape. It is better not to carry out frequent pruning of lateral shoots, because the trunk of the plant is not very strong, and frequent pinching reduces the abundance of flowering. In a couple of years, you can grow beautiful lush bushes, because myrtle flower grows indoors rather quickly.
Young individuals require annual transplantation, and older ones every two to three years. When replanting a plant, the base of the trunk is not covered with a substrate. Several soil mixtures are suitable for growing a houseplant myrtle: the first is two parts of peat, clay, humus, sod land and one part of sand; the second - in equal parts, mix humus, sod, peat soil and sand; the third mixture is ordinary greenhouse soil. It is imperative that there is drainage so that the water does not stagnate in the pot.
Growing from seeds
Myrtle seeds are sown over the substrate, after which the same substrate is poured in a thin layer over the seeds. The soil mixture is made up of vermiculite and peat, or peat and sand. Before planting seeds, the soil is watered and treated with a fungicide. After planting the seeds, the container is covered with plastic wrap or glass, periodically watered, ventilated and kept at a temperature of 19 ° C. Seedlings should emerge in one to two weeks, and after a pair of true leaves appear in them, they are dived into individual pots with a mixture of equal parts of sand, turf, peat and humus soil. Seedlings may not grow for some time after transshipment, after which the development of the young plant will resume. The next transshipment is done after the roots have completely filled the pot, after which I take care of the seedlings as if they were adults. At the age of five, home myrtle begins to bloom.
Propagation of myrtle by cuttings
Cuttings can be propagated both in July and January. For reproduction, take semi-lignified cuttings from 5 to 8 cm long, cut off a good half of the leaves, and shorten the remaining ones to reduce moisture evaporation. It will not be superfluous to treat the cut site with a root formation stimulator. Cuttings are planted in bowls or boxes with a mixture of coarse sand and leafy earth. The container with cuttings is covered with foil or glass, placed in the shade, watered and ventilated, and the temperature is kept at 18 to 20 ° C. Within 3-4 weeks, the petioles take root, after which they are planted in individual pots 7 cm in diameter with a mixture of equal parts of sand, turf, peat and humus soil. To stimulate flowering, the plant is abundantly watered and pinched. When the myrtle roots fill the entire pot, it is transferred to a slightly larger pot. Myrtle blooms at home, grown from cuttings, after 3-4 years.
Myrtle leaves can cause headaches and nausea in sensitive individuals.
Myrtle kills germs and bacteria, including diphtheria and tubercle bacilli. The plant purifies the air, kills staphylococcus and streptococcus. Helps with acute respiratory infections and flu.
Diseases and pests of myrtle
Myrtle leaves turn yellow, fall off and curl. In insufficient light, new leaves grow small and pale, and the stems are elongated. With excessive light, the leaves turn yellow, lose their shine and curl. At high temperatures and a lack of light, myrtle can shed its leaves.
Myrtle leaves fall. When the soil dries up, the myrtle sheds its leaves - you need to shorten the shoots in half, spray and water the plant more abundantly. Young leaves will start to appear in a couple of weeks.
Myrtle pests. The maintenance of myrtle at high temperatures contributes to the defeat of the whitefly, mealybug, spider mite, thrips and scale insects.
Common myrtle / Myrtus communis
The most common type in indoor floriculture. Tall trees or shrubs, reaching a height of 4 m. Shoots pubescent with fine hairs or glabrous, rounded or tetrahedral. Leaves are lanceolate or ovoid, grow oppositely on stems, leathery to the touch, glossy, pointed at the top, not pubescent, up to 2 cm wide and up to 5 cm long. The leaves of the plant smell good due to the content of essential oils. Flowers also smell - grow one at a time, have five petals, reach 2 cm in diameter. Under indoor conditions, ordinary myrtle can grow up to 1 m in height.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the family Myrtle
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
- Indoor Plants Information
- Information about medicinal plants
Sections: Indoor plants Beautiful flowering Medicinal Indoor trees Plants on M Myrtle
How to grow and care for myrtle at home
The plant, which came to us from ancient antiquity, brings peace, tranquility and comfort to the house. Myrtle is a resident of the Mediterranean, where in nature it reaches a height of 3-5 meters. In the cultivated version, it is a small tree up to 1 m high.
As an ornamental plant, it is more than 400 years old. They can decorate your home, office and winter garden. Myrtle has amazing healing and disinfecting properties. Various infusions are prepared from it, its leaves have a great ability to purify the air. In short, myrtle not only decorates the house, but also brings undoubted benefits.
How to grow myrtle from seeds?
Another way of dividing is the propagation of myrtle by seeds. This method is more laborious and less in demand among amateur flower growers.
First of all, you need to pay attention to the shelf life of the seeds. If their age is more than a year, then the germination rate is significantly reduced.
Window sill decoration with myrtle bush
To increase germination, stratification is carried out - the artificial creation of a dormant period, after which the plant must come out of hibernation.
To carry out the procedure, take a small container and a plastic bag, pour sand or vermiculite there and moisten. Then mix it with the seeds.
Self-collected seeds must be etched with potassium permanganate (1 g of substance per half a glass of water) for a day. The sand used as a soil should be calcined or also spilled with potassium permanganate or fungicidal preparations for disinfection.
A mixture of inoculum and substrate is placed in a refrigerator for 2 months at a temperature from 0 to + 4 ° C. The container must be ventilated periodically. Some gardeners recommend alternating periods of cooling with heating - keeping the seeds in the refrigerator at night and leaving them on the windowsill for the day.
After the specified period, the seeds of myrtle seasoned in the cold are planted in light soil or peat tablets. On top, you need to pour a thin layer of soil 1-2 mm thick. Myrtle seeds are very light-requiring and germinate in good light.
The soil is moistened, the container with crops is covered with glass or foil and placed on a windowsill at a temperature of +20 to + 25 ° C. The seeds need aeration periodically. Shoots will appear in 1-2 weeks. After the first shoots appear, they need to provide additional lighting.
When the seedlings throw out 2 true leaves, they are picked. The top is pinched, and each sprout is transplanted into a separate container. After 1-1.5 months, the seedlings can be planted in permanent containers.
Myrtle grown from seeds usually blooms only in the fifth year of life.
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After reproduction of myrtle at home, it is important to provide young plants with thorough care, otherwise they may lose their decorative effect, develop slowly or even die.
Myrtle, even after successful rooting, may begin to fade. This manifests itself in yellowing, falling off and twisting of foliage. If you keep a young plant in a poorly lit place, the shoots will begin to stretch out, turn pale, the bush will be weak, with small leaves. It is important to provide the culture with diffused but abundant lighting.
When rooted cuttings of myrtle or seedlings are exposed to direct sunlight, especially in summer, the foliage dries, curls and falls off. There is no way to grow a crop in the west or east window, you need to provide shading at midday.
Although the seedlings do not tolerate cold and draft, it is not worth keeping them in a room that is too warm with musty air. This is fraught with foliage falling, especially in combination with insufficient lighting. Under the conditions described, pests such as whiteflies and spider mites can appear on the crop.
To protect the plant, you need to maintain its immunity and regularly spray the crown.
Rooted cuttings of myrtle do not respond well to lack of moisture. If the earthen lump dries up completely, the plant will lose its decorative effect, because it will begin to shed foliage in order to minimize moisture evaporation.
Planting and caring for myrtle at home
Myrtle is a popular ornamental plant; many growers buy it with pleasure and face such problems as: the leaves curl, turn yellow, or the plant generally discards its foliage. This is not to say that myrtle is unpretentious in care. No, he is quite moody and sensitive in room conditions to the quality of the soil, watering and lighting. Before buying a plant, you need to understand where it grows best, what are the features of care, you can see the photo.
Lighting and arrangement of myrtle
The bush is photophilous, but this does not mean that it will painlessly endure direct sunlight on the foliage, especially in summer. It is so easy to burn myrtle and it will turn yellow. It is better not to place it on the southern windowsill.
The north window is the most unfavorable placement option, here the myrtle will bloom poorly, the buds will be faded and will quickly disappear.
Myrtle does not like to be rearranged from its usual place. If you still had to change its place:
Such measures will help the myrtle to endure the “move” more easily and quickly adapt to the changed conditions.
In summer, myrtle tolerates room temperature well, but the ideal for its well-being is considered to be 18-20 o C. In winter, if you want the tree to bloom next year, it is better to move the myrtle to a cool shaded place with a temperature of no higher than 10 o C.
Of course, myrtle overwinters well in a room at normal temperatures, abundant watering and regular spraying, but it is better not to wait for flowering after a warm winter. Another nuisance of warm wintering is that the plant often sheds foliage. With regular watering, the crown will recover in spring, but many gardeners are injected with such symptoms.
Air humidity and watering
The plant loves cool, well-humidified air, therefore, when kept indoors, it must be sprayed regularly. Myrtle especially needs additional moisture in spring and autumn - during the periods of its greatest activity. It is not necessary to spray the bush during the "cold wintering".
In no case should the soil be allowed to dry out:
- myrtle will start shedding foliage
- may not bloom.
But you shouldn't fill the plant either.You need to focus on the drying of the top layer of the soil, and water in small portions, but often.
It is important to ensure good drainage, stagnant water in the pot will rot the root system and the plant will die. In winter, watering can be done less often, but still the soil needs to be systematically moistened.
This manipulation allows you to give the myrtle the desired shape. If you do not form a plant at all, then it will eventually become a pyramidal tree about a meter high. If you cut off the top, it will turn into a bush. Trimming the side shoots will create a dense crown that can be shaped into a ball if desired. But you need to remember that if you cut and pinch myrtle too often, the number of flowers will decrease.
Do not aggressively shape the newly acquired myrtle. It is worth showing a little patience, only thinning the crown a little in order to allow the plant to grow stronger and in a year and a half to start forming the desired crown and shape.
The choice of fertilizers depends on which plant you want to get as a result, if:
- flowering is important, it is worth choosing fertilizers rich in phosphates
- I want to have a miniature evergreen shrub - nitrogen fertilizers will do.
In general, any complex fertilizers are suitable for well-being.
Falls in the winter, during this period all the vital functions of the plant seem to freeze. Myrtle does not discard foliage (if you do not get carried away with watering and spraying, which is generally better to stop). It is ideal to arrange a cold winter for myrtle, but if this is not possible, just do not disturb the bush, do not cut it and do not feed it.
It is important to choose the right pot for your green friend. Too small - it will be cramped, and the myrtle will stop blooming and may even shed foliage. But in a large pot there will be no trouble. The selected container (after purchasing the plant in the store) should be about 3 times larger than the plant so that the root system does not come out. The period of active growth in myrtle lasts about 5 years and it is advisable to choose a pot with a margin. If it does not provide a drainage hole, you need to pour expanded clay or small stones on the bottom to reduce the likelihood of stagnation of water and decay of roots.
You can grow myrtle yourself (preferably from cuttings, problems often arise with seeds):
- The selected stalk is placed in a glass of water until the roots appear.
- Then they are planted in a suitable pot.
If we are talking about an adult plant, then they are transplanted 1 time in 3-4 years, choosing a new larger pot. If this is a young young plant, then it is transplanted after a cold wintering every year, each time picking up a new pot of larger volume.
You should not actively bury the trunk of the myrtle, it should always be above ground level.
Diseases and pests
If you do not provide the flower with suitable conditions (lighting and watering regime), it is attacked by such pests as:
- spider mite.
It is difficult to see the scabbard in the early stages of the lesion, but it multiplies very quickly and soon affects the entire plant. The appearance of dark spots on the foliage is characteristic.
Aphids first attack the underside of the leaves, but soon spread to the entire plant. Since insects feed on sap from leaves, they dry out quickly and fall off. If you do not take any measures, the plant will die. Insecticides and various folk remedies will help in the fight against parasites, but they must be used with caution.
A spider mite infects a plant when there is insufficient air humidity, it starts on the underside of a leaf and gradually braids its entire surface with a whitish cobweb. To prevent the appearance of the parasite, the plant must be sprayed from a spray bottle. If the spider mite has already hit the plant, you need to:
- rinse the leaves thoroughly
- wipe them and treat with an insecticide.
Problems not related to pests are common. The culture can lose leaves, which indicates a lack of light in the winter. The leaves lose color and become smaller in size - there is also not enough sunlight, but an excess of it, especially in summer, can cause yellowing of the foliage.
Diseases and pests
If the care of the crop is carried out incorrectly, a florist may face a number of problems:
- if the leaves become dull, turn yellow, curl, then this indicates too bright lighting
- if the stems stretch up, and the leaves become smaller, it can be concluded that there is a lack of light
- if foliage falls in winter, this is a sign of dry air (for example, from heating radiators)
- leaves can crumble due to very high temperatures
- lack of flowering indicates too frequent pruning or lack of fresh air (with poor ventilation)
- leaves wither with stagnant water in the soil
- decay of roots is a sign of poor drainage.
However, don't panic if your green pet is dropping its leaves and wasting away. It is enough to determine the cause of the plant malaise in order to understand what to do. If the myrtle is cold or suffering from heat, the pot should be repositioned. If the tree does not have enough moisture, moderate watering and irrigation of the foliage can revive it.
As for pests, this problem is a little more serious. Myrtle can be attacked by aphids and scale insects. In conditions of excessive dry air, a spider mite can threaten the health of the plant. The scale insect appears on the green part of the culture with dark spots. Aphids prefer the underside of leaves, but a tick can be identified by a thin cobweb. If found, the pests are removed with a damp swab. Then the culture is treated with an insecticide.
In conclusion, it should be said that growing this amazing crop can bring a lot of joy to the grower. Beautiful flowers are fragrant, filling the house with a delightful aroma, and the medicinal properties of the plant protect its owners from viruses. The main thing is to pay a little attention to the green "pet" and fulfill the simple requirements for caring for it.
The features of caring for a myrtle tree are described in detail in the video below.