Myrtus communis or True Myrtle is an evergreen shrub or small tree with dense foliage. The 2-inch lanceolate leaves are strongly scented when crushed. Myrtles have been cultivated for centuries and their native habitat is unknown.
Blooming Time: Summer. The ¾ inch white flowers are sweetly scented.
Culture: Myrtus communis do best in light shade to full sun. We use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part course sand or perlite. The plant is highly drought tolerant. The soil should be allowed to dry in-between waterings. Tip chlorosis is a problem if the soil does not drain well. Fertilize monthly during the growing season. Trim in early spring to keep a desired form.
Propagation: Myrtus communis are propagated by cuttings of partially ripened wood with a bottom temperature of 70° and by seed in spring.
Myrtus communis was featured as Plant of the Week May 11-17, 2001.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.