Indoor myrtle - delicate aroma and exquisite silhouette
The delicate aroma of myrtle leaves and its strict classical appearance captivate the hearts of gardeners for more than a century. And flowering, animating graceful silhouettes, seems like an amazing surprise. Despite the fact that myrtle are quite capricious and suitable only for experienced gardeners, they are always popular. The ability to shape the silhouette of your choice and resistance to drafts make myrtle a unique green accent not only for the interior. And the ability to improve the air of myrtles should not be evaluated only as a pleasant bonus. After all, there are simply no plants equal to it in the content of essential oils.
Myrtle most often grown by those who in the summer can afford to take plants to fresh air or looking for a luxurious frame decoration for the garden and terrace. These are recognized garden and room favorites. Long-lasting and fast-growing, myrtle grows more beautiful with age.
Myrtle Ordinary, or Adam's Tree (Myrtus communis) - evergreen indoor or garden-indoor shrubs and trees that are valued not only for the combination of evergreen foliage with unexpectedly abundant and aromatic flowering. First of all, luxurious classics of myrtle attract attention with their graceful silhouettes. The dense branching appears even without their formation, and the light bark and thin branches create a unique contrast with the densely arranged greens.
Myrtle leaves with their impeccable elliptical-lanceolate shape, pointed tip and up to 5 cm long with a special shade of grayish-green tone look elegant and delicate. Leathery, glossy and opposite, they will not exceed 5 cm in length and only 2 cm wide.
The ordinary myrtle in the rooms is represented by varieties, which are better to choose according to the shape and size of the leaves. Most often, the choice comes down to small-leaved and large-leaved options, but some varieties deserve special attention - “twisted” lanceolate ‘Boetica’, as well as flaunting a very dense crown and unusual berries ‘Flore Pleno ’, ‘La claps ’, ‘Tarentina ’, ‘Alhambra ’. Variegata prefix in the name always indicates the variegated foliage.
Myrtle flowers are solitary, very elegant due to their long pedicels, with beautiful golden stamens and whitish-fawn petals. They are very fragrant. After spring or summer flowering with cross-pollination, decorative fruits-berries of blue-black, white or purple color ripen.
Unique phytoncide properties are inherent in the world. Essential oils secreted by leaves are an excellent way to prevent colds and infections and are a natural antidepressant. The aroma of myrtle calms, promotes relaxation and healthy sleep.
Growing conditions for indoor myrtle
Myrtle can simultaneously be overly capricious and amazingly hardy, problematic and durable. It all depends on the conditions: in an ideal environment, myrtles seem almost the easiest to grow woody. But it is worth deviating from their requirements, as problems begin to arise in the development of plants.
Lighting and placement
For indoor myrtle, both growing "freely", and formed in a bonsai, only one lighting mode is permissible - a lot of light, but without direct sun. Shading will not allow the development of even very old and hardy bushes. For the winter, it is advisable to increase the lighting (or organize a backlight).
Temperature and ventilation
Myrtle heat is tolerated only with constant access to fresh air. Even in the summer they prefer coolness, the indicators are not higher than 20 degrees, but by airing and carrying out to the balcony or to the garden any temperature increase can be compensated.
A cool wintering for myrtle is not just desirable, but required. And not only for flowering: in the heat, the myrtle will begin to deform and become much more vulnerable to misses in care, pests and diseases. The maximum allowed is 15 degrees Celsius, but it is desirable that the temperature does not rise above 13 degrees with an optimal range of 5 to 8 degrees Celsius (but not lower than 0).
Any myrtle needs airing even in winter. All the warm season, he even prefers to be outdoors. It is worth avoiding the proximity of heating appliances, near which shoots and leaves will begin to dry out.
For all the previous restrictions, myrtle prepared a pleasant surprise - they are not only not afraid of drafts and temperature differences, but also more actively release essential oils in an unstable environment. If you protect them from freezing air, there will be no problems either indoors or in the garden. The only exception is bonsai myrtle. These beauties are much more sensitive to changes in content indicators.
Myrtle care at home
This plant is for experienced gardeners, able to track all plant signals in time and create a stable environment for it. Any slip reduces the stability of the myrtle and affects the appearance. Special attention should be paid to watering.
Watering and humidity
The almost unchanged moisture content of the substrate is ideal, but the ideal is difficult to achieve. Myrtle trees require a special approach to irrigation and are afraid of even a single drying out of the soil or overflow, immediately starting to drop the leaves. To find the perfect strategy for them, you can install indicators or manually check the condition of the soil, allowing it to dry no more than 2-4 mm from the top.
Water from pallets should be drained immediately, protecting the plant from any risk of decay. In case of accidental drying of the soil, you can try to rehabilitate the myrtle only by immersing it for several hours in water. For myrtle, watering with hard, cold or too warm water is unacceptable.
Myrtle will prefer air humidity from 55 to 65%. Spraying is usually enough, they are carried out at a temperature above 18 degrees in the early morning or evening.
Fertilizing and fertilizer composition
It is not worth experimenting with this plant with either the frequency or the composition of the fertilizer. Top dressing can be applied only in liquid form, preferably one day after heavy watering. You can fertilize the soil only during the period of active growth - every 2 weeks - and additionally after each crop, the standard dose recommended by the fertilizer manufacturer.
For myrtle, universal fertilizers are used for indoor plants with a complex composition of macro- and microelements. They will not tolerate organics, artisanal or concentrated fertilizers of long action.
Myrtle pruning and shaping
Myrtle trees grow so fast that regular pruning is indispensable. This is a unique plant that tolerates a haircut at any age and at any phase of development, except for the rest period. But for the formation will have to "pay" meager flowering or lack thereof, so the choice of compactness is a matter of taste.
You can cut myrtle:
- only once a year, in the early spring, after the emergence of signals of regrowth;
- several times over the summer, adjusting the shape.
Pinching, trimming for a third, half or more cardinal haircut - myrtle can be given any silhouette and shape as you wish.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Myrtleles transship, not transplant, and only as necessary - when the plants really have nowhere to develop. In years without transplantation, 5 cm of soil is changed from above. For them, it is critical not to deepen the root neck.
Myrtle require high-quality, "breathing" containers with a depth exceeding the width, with large drainage holes that provide a normal outflow of water. For bonsai choose the deepest models. Pots should be compact, without a strong increase in volume and excess free soil (the golden rule is the diameter of the tank, equal to half the diameter of the crown).
The substrate can be used universal, slightly acidic or neutral - provided that additives are used to preserve friability (perlite, coconut fiber, sphagnum, etc.). A high drainage layer (up to ⅓ pot height) is required.
Diseases, pests and problems in the cultivation of myrtle
Myrtle - one of the favorite plants of scale insects. Spider mites and aphids are also not uncommon on them, but even more often they lose their decorativeness due to improper conditions of detention. Deformation of the plant indicates insufficient lighting, curl of the leaves indicates its excess. And the lack of a cool winter leads to the dropping of leaves.
Myrtles are not the fastest, but still easily propagating plants. They can be grown both from seeds and propagated vegetatively. Seeds require unusual shallow sowing for wood and stable greenhouse conditions with a cool temperature.
The most popular method of propagating myrtle is cuttings. Semi-lignified shoots of a plant root for about a month under a cap in light shading.