The genus Myrtus is a representative of the Myrtle family and unites approximately 20 to 40 species. In the wild, Myrtus can be found on almost all continents, namely: in the USA in the state of Florida, in Europe off the Mediterranean coast, in West Africa and in North America. This genus is represented by low evergreen trees or shrubs. Solid opposite leaf plates leathery to the touch. The flowers grow from the axils of the leaves, they are collected in short racemose inflorescences, they can be part of the bundles or grow alone. Such a plant is very popular among flower growers, and it is also used in medicine and perfumery – essential oil is extracted from stems and foliage. If you take care of Myrtus correctly, it will grow for a very long time at home.
Brief description of cultivation
- Blooming . In the first half of the summer period.
- Illumination . The light should be bright but diffused.
- Temperature conditions . In the spring-summer period – from 18 to 20 degrees, and in winter the room should not be warmer than 10 degrees, but it is better if it is about 5 degrees.
- Watering . From spring to autumn, the plant must be watered abundantly immediately after the top layer of the soil mixture in the container dries out. During cold wintering, watering should be very scanty and rare, but complete drying of the earthen coma should not be allowed.
- Air humidity . Throughout the growing season, systematically moisten the bush from a sprayer with lukewarm water. It is not necessary to spray it in winter.
- Fertilizer . In the spring-summer period, Myrtus is regularly fed once every 7 days, for this they use a complex mineral fertilizer. There is no need to feed him in winter.
- Rest period . Observed in winter. If the bush is in the northern part of the room, then the duration of the dormant period will be about 3 months, and when placed in the southern part of the apartment, its duration will be about 6 weeks.
- Pruning . Formative pruning is carried out every year at the beginning of the growing season.
- Transplant . Young bushes need to be replanted every year, while adult specimens – 1 time in 2 or 3 years.
- Soil mixture . Sand, peat, clay, sod and humus soil in a ratio of 1: 2: 2: 2: 2. And for planting, you can use a substrate consisting of sand, peat, humus and sod soil, while all components are taken in equal proportions.
- Reproduction . By cuttings and seed method.
- Harmful insects . Whiteflies, mealybugs, scale insects, thrips and spider mites.
- Diseases . Problems when growing Myrtus can arise when irrigation rules are violated or because of excessively dry air.
- Properties . Myrtus is considered a medicinal plant that can rival antibiotics in its effectiveness.
Caring for myrtus at home
Due to the fact that Myrtus needs a large amount of bright light, which must be necessarily diffused, it is recommended to grow it on the western or eastern windowsill. If it grows on a north-facing window, then its flowering will be more scarce. And if it is placed on the southern windowsill, then in the warm season the bush will have to be shaded from direct sunlight. In the summertime, the flower can be transferred to the street, while he needs to choose a place that will be protected from the midday burning rays of the sun. Myrtus is gradually taught to bright light.
During the spring-summer period, the bush must be kept in a cool place (from 18 to 20 degrees), because the culture reacts negatively to heat. In winter, the Myrtus is placed in a cold place (no higher than 10 degrees), while the plant feels best at this time at a temperature of about 5 degrees. In the event that during the winter the bush is warm (above 10 degrees), all its leaves may fall off. The room where the flower stands must be systematically ventilated.
For irrigation, use extremely soft water, and it must also be well settled (at least 24 hours). In spring, summer and autumn, the culture needs abundant watering, which is carried out as soon as the top layer of the substrate dries out. During cold wintering, watering should be reduced, but make sure that the lump of earth in the pot does not dry out in any case. Also, make sure that no liquid stagnates in the soil mixture. In the event that the earthen lump is still dry, the container along with the bush is immersed in a container with water.
The culture needs increased air humidity, in this regard, in the spring, summer and autumn, the bush is systematically moistened from a spray bottle, using well-settled and soft water for this. During cold wintering, it is not necessary to moisten it
In the spring-autumn period, the Myrtus must be fed regularly; for this, fertilizer for indoor plants is used. The regularity of feeding should be 1 time in 7 days.
If the Myrtus grows on the northern windowsill, then the duration of the dormant period will be 3 months. If it is grown on the southern window, then the dormant period will be shorter, or rather, about 6 weeks.
The culture needs regular pruning. If the bush is not cut off at all, then its shape will be pyramidal, when trimming the side shoots, a tree is formed, and if you trim the upper shoots, then the Myrtus will have the shape of a bush. Experts do not recommend, very often to cut off the lateral shoots, the fact is that the trunk of the plant is rather weak, and with frequent pinching, the flowering becomes more scarce. When grown indoors, the culture is very fast growing; in just 2 years, a thick and spectacular plant can form from a small bush.
Young plants are transplanted systematically every year. And adult specimens are transplanted less often, or rather, once every 2-3 years. During transplanting, do not cover the base of the trunk with soil mixture. Several different substrates can be used for planting and transplanting:
- sand, humus, clay and sod soil are taken in a ratio of 1: 2: 2: 2;
- connect sand, sod, humus and peat soil, which are taken in equal shares;
- simple greenhouse land.
In order to avoid stagnation of liquid in the root system of the plant, make a good drainage layer at the bottom of the pot.
Insensitive individuals, Myrtus foliage can cause nausea and headache.
Growing from seeds
Fill the container with soil mixture, on its surface, it is necessary to evenly distribute the seeds, which are sprinkled with a thin layer of the same substrate. For sowing, a soil mixture consisting of sand and peat or peat and vermiculite is used. Sowing seeds is carried out in a soil mixture, which is pre-watered, and then spilled with a solution of a fungicidal preparation. The crops are covered with glass (film) from above, they are systematically ventilated, if necessary, watered and kept in a cool place (about 19 degrees). The first shoots should appear after 7-15 days. And when they have the first pair of true leaf plates, they should be cut into separate pots, which are filled with a substrate consisting of peat, turf and humus soil, as well as sand (1: 1: 1: 1). After a pick, the growth of seedlings may stop for a while, but then everything is normalized. When the root system of the plants becomes cramped in the pots, they are transplanted by transferring them into larger containers, after which they are provided with the same care as adult plants. The first flowering will begin only at the age of five.
Propagation of Myrtus by cuttings
Cuttings can be carried out twice a year: in January and in July. For this, semi-lignified cuttings are harvested, the length of which can vary from 50 to 80 mm, more than half of the leaf plates must be cut off, while those that remain are shortened, this will reduce the evaporation of moisture. For better rooting, it is recommended to treat the cut site with an agent that stimulates root growth. For rooting, cuttings are planted in boxes or bowls, which are filled with an earth mixture consisting of leafy soil and coarse sand. The container with cuttings is covered with glass (film), they are removed to a shaded place and they are provided with regular watering and airing. For better rooting, the air temperature is maintained at 18 to 20 degrees. In cuttings, the roots grow back after 20-30 days, then they are planted in separate pots, reaching 70 mm in diameter, which are filled with a substrate consisting of peat, sod and humus soil, and also sand (1: 1: 1: 1). To stimulate flowering, Myrtus will need abundant watering and a pinch. After the root system of the grown plant becomes very cramped in the pot, it must be transferred to another container, which should be slightly larger than the previous one. The first flowering of a bush that has grown from a cutting is observed after 3 or 4 years.
Myrtus leaves turn yellow, fall off and curl . If the Myrtus lacks light, then its shoots become elongated, and the foliage grows faded and small. If the lighting is too bright, then the leaf plates will lose their shine, turn yellow and curl. The foliage can fly around if the plant is in a room that is too warm and poorly lit.
Myrtus leaves fall . If the earthen lump in the pot dries up completely, then all the foliage can fly from the bush. In this case, cut the stems in half, regularly wet the bush with a sprayer, and increase the watering rate. After about half a month, new foliage will begin to grow.
If the bush is constantly warm, then mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, spider mites and scale insects can settle on it.
How is Myrtus useful?
Myrtus destroys bacteria and microbes; even tuberculosis and diphtheria bacilli cannot escape from it. This culture makes the air cleaner, and it also destroys streptococcus and staphylococcus. It is used during the treatment of influenza and acute respiratory infections.
Types of Myrtus with photos and names
In home floriculture, common Myrtus (Myrtus communis) is most often grown with a short branched trunk covered with peeling red-brown bark scales. The leaves are green, oval-lanceolate, glossy, leathery, with a pleasant aroma. The flowers are white or pale pink with protruding stamens, the fruits are red-black berries. Blooms from June to August. Popular cultivars: “Tarentina” – a compact bush with smaller berries than the original form, but there are much more of them than common Myrtus; the variegated variety has a creamy white pattern on green leaves.
Lush Myrtus (Myrtus apiculata)
Lush Myrtus (Myrtus apiculata) is also interesting – a bush or tree with peeling brown bark, under which the trunk is creamy white. Leaves are dark green, elliptical, matte. White single flowers bloom in July-August, black-red fruits are edible.
A tree with shiny green leaves with a wrinkled edge. This species is the most resistant to Myrtus.
An erect shrub with pinkish flowers and edible red berries. It has a variegated variety with a white-cream border around the edge of the leaves.