How To Grow And Care For Common Myrtle

Common crape myrtle

Common Myrtle, also known as Myrtus communis, is a popular evergreen shrub that is commonly grown for its sweetly scented flowers and aromatic leaves. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region but has now spread across the world due to its adaptability and hardiness. It can be easily grown in gardens or containers and requires minimal care, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to grow and care for Common Myrtle. We will cover important topics such as soil requirements, watering needs, pruning techniques, and pests and diseases that may affect this plant. By following our instructions, you can ensure that your Common Myrtle grows healthy and strong while providing a beautiful addition to your garden or patio. Whether you are looking to cultivate this plant for personal pleasure or as part of a landscaping project, our guide will equip you with all the necessary knowledge to successfully grow and care for Common Myrtle.

Overview Of Common Myrtle

Common myrtle, also known as Myrtus communis, is a small evergreen shrub that belongs to the Myrtaceae family. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region and can grow up to 5 meters in height. Common myrtle has fragrant white flowers and dark green leaves that are glossy and elliptical in shape.

Uses and Benefits: Common myrtle has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Its essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy for its ability to promote relaxation and relieve stress. It is also used in traditional medicine to treat respiratory ailments, digestive issues, and skin conditions. In addition to its medicinal uses, common myrtle is also used in cooking as a flavoring agent for sauces, meats, and desserts.

Cultivation Techniques: Growing common myrtle requires well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. It prefers full sun exposure but can tolerate partial shade. The plant should be watered regularly during the growing season but should not be overwatered as this can lead to root rot. Fertilizer should be applied twice a year during the growing season to encourage healthy growth.

Transition: Now that we have an overview of common myrtle’s uses and benefits as well as cultivation techniques let us explore the climate requirements needed for optimal growth.

Climate Requirements

Common myrtle is a popular shrub that is commonly grown for its fragrant foliage and attractive flowers. Interestingly, this plant has been cultivated since ancient times and was once considered sacred by the ancient Greeks. Today, it is still highly valued for its ornamental qualities and is widely cultivated in gardens across the world.

If you’re planning to grow common myrtle, it’s important to choose the best locations for optimal growth potential. This shrub prefers full sun or partial shade and well-draining soil. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types, but it prefers moist soils that are rich in organic matter. Common myrtle can also be grown in containers, making it an excellent choice for small gardens or balconies.

When planting common myrtle, make sure to space them at least 3 feet apart to allow enough room for growth. Young plants should be watered regularly until they establish themselves in their new environment. Once established, common myrtle requires little maintenance besides occasional pruning to maintain shape and promote healthy growth. With proper care and attention, your common myrtle plant will thrive for years to come.

Moving on to the next section about soil quality, it’s important to note that common myrtle can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions but prefers moist soils that are rich in organic matter. Let’s explore more about the ideal soil requirements for growing healthy and thriving common myrtle plants.

Soil Quality

Soil Quality:

The common myrtle plant requires well-draining soil to thrive. The ideal soil type for this plant is a loamy soil that is rich in nutrients but not too heavy. The pH level of the soil should be slightly acidic, around 5.5 to 6.5, which can be achieved by adding peat moss or other organic matter to the soil.

Improving drainage is crucial for the growth and care of common myrtle plants. To achieve this, it is recommended to mix sand or gravel into the soil before planting. This will help water move through the soil more easily and prevent water from pooling around the roots, which can lead to root rot.

Testing pH levels regularly is another important aspect of caring for your common myrtle plant. If the pH level is too high or too low, it can affect the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and lead to stunted growth or nutrient deficiencies. Soil testing kits can be purchased at most garden centers and are a simple way to monitor your soil’s pH levels.

Soil TypepH LevelDrainageFertilizer
Loamy Soil5.5-6.5Well-DrainingBalanced NPK

In summary, ensuring proper soil quality is essential for maintaining healthy common myrtle plants. Improving drainage and monitoring pH levels are two crucial steps in achieving optimal conditions for this plant species. By incorporating these methods into your care routine, you can create an environment that supports healthy growth and longevity for your common myrtle plants.

Moving on to watering frequency…

Watering Frequency

Myrtle plants require a consistent watering schedule to ensure their hydration needs are met. Overwatering or underwatering the plant can lead to its demise, so it’s necessary to strike the right balance. As a general rule, watering should occur when the soil is slightly dry to the touch.

During periods of drought or high heat, it may be necessary to increase the frequency of watering sessions. In contrast, during colder months or rainy seasons, you may need to reduce watering frequency. To determine whether your myrtle needs water, check the top inch of soil; if it’s dry, then it may be time to water your plant.

To avoid root rot and fungal diseases that can occur from overwatering, make sure that your pot has adequate drainage holes. It is best practice to water in the morning if possible as this allows excess moisture on leaves and stems to evaporate before nightfall when temperatures drop. By following these simple tips for watering your myrtle plant, you can help ensure its long-term health and vitality.

In regards to fertilizing techniques for myrtle plants, choosing the right fertilizer is critical in providing essential nutrients for growth and development.

Fertilizing Techniques

Fertilizing is an essential aspect of growing and caring for common myrtle plants. It can be achieved through the use of organic or synthetic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are derived from natural sources, such as compost, manure, and bone meal. They release nutrients slowly over time, allowing the plant to absorb them gradually. Synthetic fertilizers, on the other hand, are made from chemicals and provide a quick boost of nutrients.

Organic fertilizers have several advantages over synthetic ones. They are environmentally friendly and do not harm beneficial soil organisms. Additionally, they improve soil structure and water-holding capacity, which promotes healthy root growth. However, the downside is that they may take longer to show results compared to synthetic fertilizers. Moreover, it can be difficult to determine how much fertilizer is required for optimal growth.

Synthetic fertilizers are easy to use and provide quick results. They also contain precise amounts of essential nutrients that are readily available to plants. However, excessive use of synthetic fertilizers can lead to nutrient imbalances in the soil, resulting in poor plant health and environmental damage. Therefore, it is crucial to follow manufacturer instructions carefully when using synthetic fertilizers.

Moving forward with your common myrtle care plan involves proper fertilization techniques. Organic and synthetic approaches both have their own advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before application- organic being more environmentally friendly while synthetics offer quicker results but must be applied with caution due to their potential harm towards nature if used excessively. The next step in caring for your common myrtle includes understanding propagation methods which will aid in ensuring a long-lasting plant life cycle.

Propagation Methods

So, you want to add some common myrtle to your garden? Great! That’s a fantastic idea. There are two primary methods of propagating the plant: seed germination and stem cuttings. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s worth considering which one is best for you.

Seed germination is the most straightforward method of propagation. It requires little effort, but it does take more time than stem cuttings. The seeds will need to be sown in a potting mix and kept moist until they germinate. This can take up to six weeks, but once the plants have sprouted, they can be transplanted into individual pots or directly into the ground. However, not all seeds may germinate, and it can take several years for the plant to reach maturity.

On the other hand, stem cuttings are faster and more reliable than seed germination. Take a cutting from a healthy plant in early summer and remove any leaves from the bottom of the stem before planting it in a potting mix. Keep the soil moist and warm until roots form in about four weeks. Once rooted, the new plant can be transplanted into its permanent location. Stem cuttings have a higher success rate than seed germination because they produce clones of mature plants that already exhibit desirable characteristics.

Now that you know how to propagate common myrtle let’s move on to choosing the right container for your new plants without delay!

Choosing The Right Container

After propagating your common myrtle, it’s time to think about choosing the right container. As with many plants, the size of the container matters. A container that’s too small won’t allow for proper root growth and can lead to a stressed plant. On the other hand, a container that’s too large can result in overwatering and waterlogged soil.

When it comes to container materials, there are a few options available. Terracotta pots are popular for their natural look and breathability, which allows for air flow through the soil. However, they can also dry out quickly and break easily if dropped. Plastic containers are lightweight and durable but may not allow for as much air flow through the soil. Ceramic pots come in a variety of styles but can be heavy and may not have drainage holes.

In choosing a container for your common myrtle, aim for one that’s approximately 2 inches larger in diameter than its current pot size. This will allow room for growth without overwhelming the plant with too much space or soil. Consider factors such as material, weight, and drainage when making your decision. Once you’ve chosen your container, it’s important to transplant your common myrtle carefully to avoid damaging its delicate roots.


When to transplant myrtle depends on various factors such as the age and size of the plant, climate, and soil conditions. It is best to transplant young plants in spring or early fall when temperatures are mild and rainfall is abundant. For mature plants, late fall or winter is an ideal time for transplanting because they are dormant during this period.

Before transplanting, choose a location that provides full sun exposure and well-draining soil. Make sure to dig a hole twice the size of the root ball to accommodate the new roots. Gently remove the plant from its container or ground by loosening the soil around it. Avoid damaging the roots as much as possible during this process.

It is essential to water newly transplanted myrtle regularly for at least two weeks after transplantation. This helps them establish their roots in their new location. Proper watering also prevents stress and dehydration, which can lead to wilted leaves and stunted growth. After successful transplantation, you can proceed with pruning and shaping your myrtle plant to maintain its desired shape and size.

Pruning And Shaping

After successfully transplanting your common myrtle, it’s important to consider pruning and shaping techniques to encourage healthy growth and maintain the desired appearance of the plant. Pruning involves removing dead or damaged branches and shaping involves training the plant into a specific form. Both techniques should be done regularly, but avoid pruning or shaping during times of active growth as this can stunt the plant’s development.

When pruning, use sharp, clean shears to avoid damaging the plant and spread a layer of mulch around its base to help retain moisture. Start by removing any broken or diseased branches, working from the bottom up. If you want to shape your myrtle, trim back any branches that grow in an undesired direction and make sure to cut just above a bud facing outward. This will encourage new growth in that direction.

There are several shaping strategies for common myrtle including hedge trimming, topiary training or allowing it to grow naturally. It’s important to choose a strategy based on your preference and the space available for your myrtle. Hedge trimming requires regular maintenance while topiary training may take longer but results in intricate shapes. Regardless of which strategy you choose, make sure to prune and shape regularly for optimal health and appearance of your common myrtle.

Moving forward with dealing with pests, it’s important to identify any potential issues early on before they cause serious damage to your plant.

Dealing With Pests

  1. Common myrtle (Myrtus communis) is a species of flowering shrub that is widely grown in home gardens and in the wild.
  2. It is important to be able to identify any pests that may attack the plant, which may include caterpillars, snails, and aphids.
  3. Organic pest control methods, such as the use of natural predators, beneficial nematodes, and insecticidal soaps, can be used to reduce the presence of pests on common myrtle.
  4. Additionally, good cultural practices such as proper watering and pruning can help the plant stay healthy and reduce the amount of pest damage.

Identifying Pests

Identifying Pests is crucial in the process of dealing with them. When it comes to common myrtle, it is essential to be aware of the pests that could harm it. One of the most common pests that affect this plant is aphids. These tiny insects suck on the sap of the leaves and stems, causing yellowing and curling of the leaves. To identify aphids on your myrtle, look for clusters of small insects on new growth.

Another pest that can damage your common myrtle is spider mites. These pests are not visible to the naked eye, but they leave a web-like substance on the plant that can be seen. Spider mites feed on the sap of the leaves, which results in yellow or brown spots and premature leaf drop. Natural remedies such as spraying a mixture of water and neem oil or insecticidal soap can help control spider mites.

Whiteflies are also known to infest common myrtle plants. They cause damage by feeding on sap and excreting honeydew, which attracts ants and promotes fungal growth. To identify whiteflies on your myrtle, look for small white flying insects around your plant. You can use natural remedies like sticky traps or pest control products like insecticidal soap to get rid of them.

In conclusion, identifying pests early is crucial for maintaining healthy common myrtle plants. By being aware of common pests like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies and utilizing natural remedies or pest control products when necessary, you can keep these pesky critters at bay and enjoy beautiful thriving myrtles in your garden or landscape.

Organic Pest Control

Dealing with pests is a common problem in horticulture that can be solved through organic pest control methods. Organic pest control involves the use of natural remedies and beneficial insects to manage pests without the use of harmful chemicals. Natural remedies include essential oils, insecticidal soap, neem oil, and sticky traps.

Beneficial insects are also a vital part of organic pest control. They prey on harmful insects and help maintain a natural balance in the ecosystem. Examples of beneficial insects include ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises. Encouraging their presence in your garden or landscape can help keep harmful pests at bay.

In conclusion, organic pest control offers an effective and sustainable approach to dealing with pests while minimizing harm to the environment. By utilizing natural remedies and encouraging beneficial insects, you can effectively manage pests in your garden or landscape.

Preventing Diseases

Symbolism is a powerful tool that can be used to convey a message. It is often used in literature, but it can also be used in horticulture to help people understand the care and maintenance of plants. In the case of common myrtle, it symbolizes love and fertility. It is no wonder that this plant has been associated with weddings and other special occasions for centuries.

As with any plant, preventing diseases is essential to maintaining its health. Common myrtle is susceptible to fungal infections such as powdery mildew and leaf spot. These diseases can cause leaves to turn brown or yellow, develop spots or patches, and even fall off the plant. To prevent these diseases from affecting your common myrtle, keep the soil moist but not waterlogged and avoid over-fertilizing.

If you do notice symptoms of disease on your common myrtle, there are natural remedies you can try before resorting to chemical treatments. For example, spraying a solution of water and baking soda on affected leaves can help control powdery mildew. Additionally, removing infected leaves and improving air circulation around the plant can also help prevent the spread of disease. By identifying symptoms early and taking action promptly, you can keep your common myrtle healthy for years to come.

Moving on from preventing diseases, harvesting myrtle berries is an essential step in caring for common myrtle plants.

Harvesting Myrtle Berries

Myrtle berries are usually harvested in the fall when they are ripe and plump. To check if the berries are ready to be picked, you can give them a gentle squeeze. If they feel soft and give in slightly, then they are ripe enough for picking. Use a pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut off the branches that have the most berries on them.

Once you have harvested your myrtle berries, it is important to dry them properly before using them in culinary recipes. You can either air dry them by spreading them out in a single layer on a baking sheet or drying rack, or you can use an oven set at 100°F until they are completely dried out. Properly dried myrtle berries will be hard and crunchy to the touch.

Dried myrtle berries can add a unique flavor and aroma to many different dishes. They are commonly used as a seasoning in Mediterranean cuisine, particularly in Italian and Greek dishes. Some popular culinary uses include adding them to marinades, meat rubs, sauces, and even baked goods such as bread or biscuits. With their versatile flavor profile and easy-to-use nature, myrtle berries are a must-have ingredient for any home cook looking to expand their culinary horizons.

Culinary Uses

After harvesting myrtle berries, it’s time to explore the culinary possibilities of this versatile plant. One popular use of myrtle in cuisine is as a flavoring agent in desserts. The sweet and aromatic taste of myrtle pairs well with fruits, chocolate, and cream-based desserts.

Another interesting way to use myrtle is in cocktails. The herbaceous flavor of myrtle blends well with gin, vodka, and other spirits. A classic example of a cocktail that features myrtle is the Myrtle Sour, a refreshing drink made with fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white, and a few dashes of myrtle liqueur.

Overall, there are many ways to incorporate myrtle into your cooking and mixology creations. Whether you’re making a dessert or crafting a cocktail, the unique flavor profile of myrtle can add depth and complexity to your creations.

Moving forward, it’s worth noting that beyond its culinary uses, myrtle also has medicinal properties that have been used for centuries. From treating respiratory ailments to promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety levels, the health benefits of this plant make it an even more compelling addition to your garden or pantry.

Medicinal Properties

Common myrtle is a shrub that is known for its medicinal benefits. It is a popular choice for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Furthermore, its essential oils are used in aromatherapy. When it comes to cultivating common myrtle, it is essential to provide the shrub with bright light and moist soil, while pruning should be done in late winter or early spring.


Myrtle is a versatile plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The leaves, berries, and essential oils of the plant have various therapeutic properties that have been utilized in traditional medicine. The plant is known for its antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory effects.

One of the most popular uses of myrtle is as a natural remedy for respiratory ailments such as coughs, colds, asthma, and bronchitis. It helps to clear congestion in the chest and relieve inflammation in the airways. Myrtle oil can be added to a vaporizer or diffuser to help alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions.

Another benefit of myrtle is its ability to improve skin health. Its antiseptic properties make it an effective treatment for acne and other skin conditions caused by bacteria. Myrtle essential oil can also be used as an astringent to tighten pores and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

In conclusion, myrtle has several uses and benefits that make it a valuable addition to any home garden or herbal medicine cabinet. From treating respiratory issues to improving skin health, this versatile plant has many therapeutic properties that can aid in overall wellness.


Aside from its therapeutic properties, myrtle also offers several benefits that make it a valuable plant in the world of herbal medicine. One of its most notable uses is its ability to boost the immune system. The plant contains compounds that stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases.

Another benefit of myrtle is its potential as an anti-cancer agent. Studies have shown that the plant’s essential oil has cytotoxic effects on cancer cells, particularly those affecting the breast and prostate. Its antioxidant properties also protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to cancer development.

Furthermore, myrtle has been found to have positive effects on mental health. Its essential oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties, making it effective in treating anxiety and depression. In addition, it can improve cognitive function and memory retention due to its ability to increase blood flow to the brain.

Overall, myrtle has several benefits that go beyond just medicinal purposes. From boosting the immune system to potentially preventing cancer and aiding in mental health, this versatile plant can provide numerous advantages for overall wellness.

Common Myrtle In Landscaping Design

To enhance the beauty of any garden, incorporating common myrtle in landscaping design is an excellent choice. This plant possesses a delicate charm that can add character to any landscape. The evergreen nature of the myrtle makes it a perfect option for year-round interest. Its fragrant white flowers and dark green leaves make it an ideal choice for borders or hedges.

Design ideas with common myrtle are vast and versatile. It can be pruned into various shapes, including topiary forms, which can add height and elegance to any garden. Common myrtle’s dense foliage can also create a natural privacy screen or fence that provides much-needed seclusion in outdoor spaces. Additionally, this plant thrives in both full sun and partial shade, making it adaptable to different light conditions.

The landscaping benefits of planting common myrtle extend beyond just its aesthetic appeal. Myrtle is known for its medicinal properties and has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. It can help purify the air by absorbing pollutants and is also drought-tolerant, making it low-maintenance once established. Overall, incorporating common myrtle into landscaping designs not only adds beauty but also brings numerous benefits to both the environment and those who care for it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take For Common Myrtle To Grow From A Seed To A Mature Plant?

The common myrtle is a slow-growing plant that takes several years to reach maturity. The growth rate of the plant depends on various factors such as growing conditions and soil requirements. Generally, it takes about 2-3 years for the common myrtle plant to grow from a seed into a small shrub, and an additional 5-10 years to reach its full height of around 10 feet. For optimal growth, the common myrtle requires well-draining soil that is slightly acidic with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. It also needs full sun exposure or partial shade in hot climates and regular watering during its growing season. To ensure healthy growth, fertilize the plant with a balanced fertilizer once every six months during the growing season.

Can Common Myrtle Grow In Areas With High Humidity?

Like a chameleon changing its colors, the common myrtle (Myrtus communis) adapts to different environmental conditions. This versatile plant is known for its adaptability and can thrive in various soil types, including those with high humidity levels. Common myrtle can grow in shade, but it prefers full sun exposure. When it comes to soil requirements, this plant does well in well-draining soils that are slightly acidic with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5. It is important to ensure proper watering habits to avoid waterlogging and root rot. In summary, common myrtle can grow in areas with high humidity, as long as the soil is well-draining and slightly acidic, making it an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a resilient plant that adds beauty and versatility to their gardens.

Is It Possible To Grow Common Myrtle Indoors?

Indoor growth of common myrtle can be challenging, but it is possible with the right conditions. Ideal indoor conditions for common myrtle include providing bright and indirect light, maintaining a temperature range of 60-75°F, and keeping humidity levels between 40-60%. It is also important to use well-draining soil and water only when the top inch of soil feels dry. Pruning can help keep the plant compact and promote bushier growth. While common myrtle thrives in outdoor settings, growing it indoors requires attention to detail regarding its environment. By following these indoor growth tips, one can cultivate a healthy and thriving common myrtle plant inside their home or office space.

Can Common Myrtle Be Propagated Through Cuttings In Water?

Common myrtle cuttings can be propagated through water propagation. This process involves taking a stem cutting from the parent plant and placing it in a container of water. The cutting will begin to form roots within a few weeks and can then be transferred to soil for continued growth. It is important to use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears when taking the cutting and to remove any leaves from the bottom portion of the stem that will be submerged in water. Additionally, it is recommended to change the water every few days and keep the cutting out of direct sunlight until it has developed roots. Water propagation can be a successful method for propagating common myrtle cuttings, leading to new plants that can be used for ornamental purposes or culinary uses such as flavoring dishes or making tea.

What Are Some Common Pests That Can Affect Common Myrtle And How Can They Be Treated?

Common myrtle, though not prone to many pests or diseases, can be affected by a few common insects like spider mites and whiteflies. Organic pest control methods such as companion planting strategies can help in deterring these pests. For instance, planting alliums alongside common myrtle can repel aphids. Additionally, spraying a diluted solution of neem oil or insecticidal soap on the plant can also help control these pests. Interestingly, studies have shown that companion planting with marigolds has been effective in reducing the population of root-knot nematodes in soil by up to 60%. Therefore, incorporating organic pest control methods and companion planting strategies can help maintain the health and vigor of common myrtle plants in your garden.


Common myrtle, also known as Myrtus communis, is a versatile evergreen shrub that is easy to grow and maintain. It can take up to 3 years for the plant to mature from a seed, but once established, it can thrive in a variety of environments. While common myrtle prefers moderate temperatures and low humidity levels, it can still flourish in areas with high humidity if given proper care and attention.

Indoor growing of common myrtle is possible with adequate light and well-draining soil. However, it is crucial to monitor the plant’s growth regularly to prevent overwatering or undernourishment. Additionally, common myrtle can be propagated through cuttings in water by placing them in a jar filled with water and keeping them moist until roots appear.

Common pests such as aphids and spider mites can affect common myrtle’s growth. To treat these pests effectively, use insecticidal soap or neem oil spray on the affected plants. In conclusion, growing and caring for common myrtle requires patience and dedication but will result in a beautiful addition to any garden or indoor space. As the saying goes, “Patience is a virtue,” and this holds true when cultivating this evergreen shrub.

Image Credits

Avatar of Itamar ben dor

Author: Itamar ben dor

My name is Itamar Ben Dor, and I am passionate about environmental sustainability and the power of plants to improve our lives. As the founder of Green Life, I have assembled a team of experts in the fields of horticulture, design, and sustainability to help us bring you the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *