Aromatic plants

Myrtle plant

What is myrtle and when to irrigate

The myrtle plant belongs to the genus Myrtus, which includes about 100 species of shrubs or small trees with aromatic foliage and white and pink flowers. Commonly grown plants at home are varieties of the small Mediterranean species Myrtus communis. Although this species in its natural habitat can grow up to 5 meters high, at home it usually reaches about 60 cm in height. As far as cultivation techniques are concerned, a lot of attention must be paid to irrigation: for example, during the vegetative period, it is necessary to wet the specimens a lot. During the rest period of the plant, however, the water supplies must be reduced, so as to wet only enough to moisten the soil well. At the same time, the top must be allowed to dry between irrigations.

Some tricks for cultivation

The cultivation techniques to follow to successfully cultivate the Myrtle plant are few and simple. These plants always need a lot of light, especially if they are grown indoors. If they are placed more than 30 or 60 cm from a very sunny window, they develop poorly. It is advisable to turn the pot regularly to prevent the plant from developing asymmetrically. Although Myrtus communis prefers relatively cool environmental conditions, all Myrtle varieties grow well at normal room temperatures. If possible, however, it is good that the plants have a period of winter rest and are placed at about 8 ° C. In environments where the air is relatively hot and dry, the Myrtle plant loses its leaves easily. Fresh and pure air during the vegetative period reinforces the development, therefore it is good,

Fertilization and repotting

As for the fertilization of the plant Myrtle, it is necessary to distinguish between the specimens that are grown in the ground and those that grow in pots. In fact, these plants should not be fertilized until they have been in the same container for more than 3 months. When this period of time has elapsed, a liquid fertilizer is administered every two weeks, only during the growing season. On the other hand, the specimens grown in the garden are fertilized in spring and summer with the same product about once a month. When potting and repotting specimens of myrtle in pots, common soil is used, with the addition of a third of leaf or peat soil. The base mix should be limescale-free, as Myrtle prefers a neutral or slightly acidic substrate. When the plants grow, they are transplanted, preferably in spring, into larger and larger pots, increasing one size at a time. It is important to compress the soil around the roots well and place these plants in the new pot, at the same level as the previous pot.

Myrtle plant: Diseases and pests

Myrtle has a very branched shrub habit and has densely packed lanceolate leaves, dark green and shiny. When squeezed, they emit a distinctive scent. The flowers are also fragrant, have a diameter of 2 cm and are composed of a mass of small yellow stamens that hide five small white or pale pink petals. The flowers bloom solitary on short flowering stems in late summer. This plant is characterized by being very resistant to pest attacks. On rare occasions, during the summer, cochineal infestations may occur; if the specimens are grown in greenhouses, they can be attacked by leafhoppers or whiteflies. In the event that water stagnations are present in the soil, the plant Myrtle can be affected by root rot.

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