Common myrtle, abundant fragrant flowers

Common myrtle, a flowering shrub

Common myrtle is a small, original, flower-bearing and very ornamental shrub.

Basic common myrtle facts

Name – Myrtus communis
Family – Myrtaceae
Type – shrub

 – 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters)
Exposure – rather sunny
Soil – ordinary, well drained

 – evergreen
Flowering – June to October

Many find it appealing all year round for its blooming, its fragrance and berries.

Planting common myrtle

Myrtle is a plant native to the Mediterranean area, and it finds cold weather unbearable, especially over long periods of time.

It’s preferable to plant common myrtle in fall to favor root development and renewed growth in spring.

It is also possible to plant common myrtle in spring but then you must be in a position to water it all summer long the first year after you’ve planted.

  • Common myrtle prefer locations with high exposure to sunlight.
  • It likes rich and well drained soil, that is where it flowers best.
  • Adding soil conditioner when planting enhances settling in and root development.
  • Water well during the first 2 years after planting.

Common myrtle in pots and containers

You can also plant common myrtle in pots outside as long as you avoid both below-freezing temperatures and hot weather.

Potted common myrtle is ideal for regions where winters are harsh, because since it can moved around, you can bring it in a greenhouse or unheated lean-in over the winter.

Propagating and preparing common myrtle cuttings

Common myrtle is quite easily multiplied by preparing cuttings from its semi-hardened sprigs, it is the simplest propagation method.

Prepare your myrtle cuttings in spring or at the end of summer, on soft-wood growth, that is, wood that is not hard yet, nor has grown brown bark, but is in the process of hardening.

  • Collect myrtle stems that are about 6-inches (15 cm) long.
  • Remove the lower leaves so that only the topmost one or two pairs of leaves are left.
  • Plant the cuttings in special cutting soil mix or a blend of peat and river sand.
  • Keep the substrate a little moist.

Protect your cuttings before winter

  • Protect your common myrtle cuttings with a tunnel greenhouse, a greenhouse or any other solution that is able to keep them at a temperature of at least 40°F (5°C).

Transplant in spring

  • When the last frosts are past, towards mid-May, transplant in nursery pots one size larger.
  • Planting of your myrtle cuttings in the ground will take place in the following fall.

Read also: understanding the technique for cuttings

Pruning and caring for common myrtle

Although not pruning at all will suite the shrub fine since it rarely exceeds 16 feet (5 m) in height, you can balance or reduce the breadth of your common myrtle at the beginning of spring, pruning delicately.

To keep a compact appearance, prune the year’s new shoots back to half their length after the blooming.

You can increase the blooming by often adding liquid organic fertilizer, especially as an indoor plant when the soil tends to quickly lose its nutrients.

Learn more about common myrtle

common myrtleOther names for this plant are “Nerte” or “Lagui herb”, and common myrtle is native to the Mediterranean area.

It shares a cute summer blooming that is white in color and usually lasts from June to October with a delicate fragrance.

The flowers then turn into dark berries that is used to make liquor, especially in Corsica and Sardinia.

Common myrtle has acknowledged therapeutic benefits that have long been known, specifically as a tonic and antiseptic.

Its leaves are used in infusions to treat wounds and ulcers as well as urinary and digestive disorders.

Smart tip about common myrtle

You must water regularly in summer but not too much, choosing to water in the evening to reduce evaporation.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Wispy flowers by Solfaroli Renzo under Pixabay license