The common myrtle shrub is native to the Mediterranean, where it grows up to 4 meters in height. The plant is known as a symbol of prosperity, family happiness and love. Unfortunately, the climate of temperate latitudes is not suitable for this shrub, so it is not found in gardens or parks. But ordinary homemade myrtle took root well in the apartments of compatriots. And how to properly care for him, you will learn by reading the article.
Description of the plant
Myrtle (myrtus) belongs to the genus of evergreen southern trees. During flowering, the bush is covered with fluffy white flowers. The dark green leaves contain a large amount of essential oil. The plant is fragrant and releases phytoncides, which have a detrimental effect on the pathogens of tuberculosis, diphtheria. Dried parts are used as a spice in cooking. The popular spice clove is obtained from the buds of a variety of myrtle.
A plant grown indoors does not exceed 1 meter in height. Common myrtle (communis) and Saharan (nivellei) are found at home. Firstis a small tree or shrub. The leaves are glossy, small, and the flowers are white, exuding a strong aroma. In the photo below, ordinary myrtle can be clearly seen.
Varieties of the species have different colors, shapes and sizes:
- Boethics - leaves are large, green, very rich in color, height does not exceed 7 cm.
- Variegata is a variegated variety with yellow-green leaves.
- Compacta is a low-growing variety with a dense crown.
- Tarentina is a small shrub.
- Alhambra is an unpretentious variety, small elongated leaves.
In the photo below you can see the Tarentina variety.
Greece - the birthplace of myrtle - gave the world many myths and legends. The hero of the article is also found in them. In Greek legend, the nymph Myrsina is mentioned, whose beauty Athena herself envied and killed the nymph. Coming to her senses, Athena regretted her act and asked the gods to leave her something that would remind her of Mirsina. The gods responded to the request, and the body of the deceased became a beautiful graceful tree - myrtle. According to Roman mythology, myrtle was a satellite of Venus, the goddess of beauty, prosperity and fertility.
The common myrtle plant needs special conditions of detention, although it is considered unpretentious. First of all, it concerns high humidity. As for the air temperature, myrtle needs it to be moderate - within 20-23 ℃. Often during warm seasonsa pot of myrtle is taken out to the balcony, to the gazebo or garden. Here, under direct sunlight, the plant feels great, but in the midday heat it is still worth hiding the crown from the scorching sun.
In the cold season, it is recommended to keep the myrtle tree in a cool room (7-10 ℃), which will contribute to abundant flowering in the summer.
If the ornamental shrub will be kept in a warm room in winter, watering and spraying is carried out in the same way as in summer.
Moisture and watering
The plant requires high humidity, so during the period of activity provide abundant watering. If there is not enough water, the tree will shed its leaves. Make sure the soil in the pot is always slightly damp. Common myrtle responds well to regular sprays and warm showers.
Water is better to use soft and settled. However, this rule applies to any houseplant. It is also important to ensure that there is no stagnation of moisture, which will lead to decay of the root system.
Under natural conditions, the myrtle tree receives the necessary substances from the soil, which is constantly enriched by other plants and insects. The full development of common myrtle at home and caring for it are impossible without regular top dressing. Suitable liquid complex fertilizers for indoor flowers. Nutrients are added every 10-12 days during the period of plant activity - in spring and summer. In winter, there is no need for top dressing. If the plant is kept warmindoors, feed once a month.
Pruning and crown shaping
The plant responds well to pruning, but it should not be carried out too often - this will lead to a weakening of the shrub. Myrtle is a fertile material for the embodiment of the creative ideas of the grower. The crown is formed in the form of a sprawling tree or trimmed in the form of a bonsai.
To give density to the crown, pinch the tips of the branches of the tree. Pruning is carried out either in the spring before flowering, or after flowering.
Propagation by cuttings
There are two ways of propagation of common myrtle: seeds and cuttings. Experienced flower growers often resort to seed propagation, and the second method is popular at home. The cutting technology is not very complicated and includes the following steps:
- The procedure is carried out twice a year: in the middle of winter and in the middle of summer.
- Cut cuttings from the middle part of the plant 6-8 cm long.
- Leaves are removed or slightly shortened, which will not lose moisture.
- The cut site is treated with a growth stimulator.
- The soil for the cuttings is a mixture of moss and sand, but leafy soil is also suitable.
- The cuttings buried in the soil are kept at a temperature of +15 to +20 ℃.
If these rules are followed, a young plant will bloom in the 3rd-4th year.
Growing myrtle from seeds is long and troublesome, so amateur flower growers rarely use this method. Only fresh seeds are used for sowing.
Growing technology from seeds:
- Seeds are soaked in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for 1.5-2 hours.
- Prepare the soil from a mixture of peat and sand, it should be light and breathable.
- Plant seeds and moisten crops, it is good to use a spray bottle for this.
- The container is wrapped in foil and placed in a bright, warm room.
- The film is removed only when shoots appear. This will come in about 1.5-2 months.
- The grown sprouts are transplanted into separate containers.
- When the sprouts reach 20 cm, they are pinched to stimulate the lateral branching of the future shrub.
When grown from seed, myrtle usually blooms in the fifth year.
Diseases and pests
Infrequently exposed to disease plant myrtle ordinary. Care performed according to the rules is a good prevention of diseases and pests. Violations in irrigation lead to the following consequences:
- falling leaves with a lack of moisture;
- damage to the root system due to excess moisture.
Sometimes myrtle is damaged by spider mites, scale insects, aphids. As soon as the first signs of pests appear, treat the crown and trunk with soapy water or garlic infusion, wipe the foliage with alcohol, and sprinkle with tobacco. If the situation is neglected, they use special products that are bred and used in accordance with the instructions.
Spider mite is located at the bottom of the plant. It is determined bythe presence of a white web and drying of the leaves. Shchitovka selects any part of the tree. The pest is detected as brown spots of small sizes. In a damaged shrub, leaves fall and dry. Aphids are found at the bottom of the plant. If curled leaves are found on inspection, as well as leaf fall and yellowing, this is most likely a sign of the presence of aphids.
Like any houseplant, myrtle needs to be repotted. The soil in the pot gradually becomes poorer, and the plant lacks nutrients. The frequency of transplants depends on the age of the bush. A young tree is transplanted once a year, then less often. When choosing a new pot, make sure that it is not too large. The amount of soil should be such that it does not dry out quickly when watering, but retains moisture for several days. When transplanting, make sure that the trunk is not completely covered with earth, it should be visible.
The pot is taken with a hole for draining water. After removing the bush from the old pot, the roots are freed from the ground and immediately placed in a new pot. 5 cm of drainage is pre-filled at the bottom of the pot, and the soil mixture is formed from soddy soil (half the volume), sand, humus and peat, taken in equal proportions.
Useful properties of myrtle
Besides its decorative appearance, common myrtle is valued for its healing properties. By growing myrtle at home, you get good help during periods of flu and cold epidemics. Phytoncides secreted by the leaves have an antiviral effect. Myrtle is used in folk medicine. Myrtle tincture gives activity and energy. Possessessimilar to tea or coffee effect. A decoction of the leaves of myrtle is used to treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Myrtle is also used in cooking as a seasoning for fish and meat.
The sun-loving myrtle plant grows well in an apartment or office. The southern tree will please the owners for a long time with a he althy look, if you follow the rules of care and conditions of detention. Among the varieties, the grower will select a bush that suits him in size and shape. The luxurious crown is given different shapes, and the useful properties of the tree are a nice bonus to the decorative look. A beautiful legend about the origin of myrtle can entertain guests and inspire them to acquire a spectacular and useful representative of the flora.