Myrtle: planting maintenance pruning and flowering

The common myrtle (Common myrtle), is a slow growing shrub of the family of Myrtaceae. It is appreciated as much for its abundant flowering as for its beautiful evergreen, dense, bright green, especially since it is enough to crumple its leaves to appreciate its pleasant scent, both resinous and honeyed. Its leaves, buds, flowers and fruits are used in cuisine and the Myrtle is just as popular in the field of perfumery. Not very hardy, this decorative shrub native to the Mediterranean basin can be grown in containers in regions with harsh winters. Let’s see how to plant the Myrtle in the ground and in a pot, what its needs are and when to prune it.

Plant a Myrtle

It’s in sunny or slightly shaded position that it is necessary to install this shrub also called Herbe du Lagui, Nerd or even jewish myrtle. It must be planted in a well-drained soil because the excess humidity does not suit him at all. It likes rich soils, but can tolerate ordinary soil or even moderately calcareous soil.

The Myrtle bears up to -5°C. In many of our regions, it is therefore essential to plant it in a container, and in this case, you can opt for a compact variety such as Myrthus common ssp. tarentine for example. The Myrtle is a decorative tree that finds its place perfectly in a dry and fragrant garden. It is used on its own, in a free hedge, in shrubbery, along an alley… Its shape changes over time. Young, the shrub is well trained, then it bends over the years. In adulthood, it measures between 3 and 5 meters in height, but some varieties do not exceed 1.50 m.

here’s how plant a Myrtle in the ground.

  • Dig a hole and amend the extracted soil,
  • Place a good layer of gravel at the bottom to ensure drainage, then part of the earth,
  • Place the Myrtle in the center of the hole,
  • Fill in with the rest of the enriched soil,
  • Tamp down,
  • Water.

Pour plant a myrtle in a potit is essential to opt for a container with a pierced bottom and install on the bottom a drainage layer such as gravel, shards of terracotta or clay balls for example. As far as the substrate is concerned, it is absolutely necessary to choose potting soil. Once planted, the shrub must be watered then installed in a sunny place but care must be taken that in summer the sun’s rays do not burn it. If there is a risk, do not hesitate to move the bin. Finally, we avoid placing a saucer under the container because the water for irrigation and rainwater must be able to flow perfectly so that the roots do not bathe.

Caring for Myrtle

This shrub grows spontaneously in the southern regions. He has then few needs in terms of care.


We proceed to moderate but regular watering during the two years following its planting. This promotes its recovery.

Myrtles grown in pots or trays need more sustained watering, especially in the event of drought or of strong heat. As soon as the substrate is dry on the surface, it is time to water.


In autumn, the arrival of the first frosts must be watched closely because there is no question of the Myrtle taking a cold snap. Outside regions with a mild climate, these shrubs are therefore preferably grown in pots so that they can be overwintered in a bright room like a veranda – provided it is not heated – or in a cold greenhouse.

Pests and diseases

The Myrtle is of a high resistance. He fears neither pests nor diseases. If it is installed in the sun and in perfectly drained soil or in a pot with a pierced bottom, it is unlikely to be affected by rot or cryptogamic diseases.

Prune the Common Myrtle

The size of the Common Myrtle, it is judged perfectly useless by many gardeners. It is however possible to prune this shrub if you want to give it a specific shape, reduce its foliage or balance it. For example, we are content to reduce the length of the shoots of the year by 40%. You always have to settle for a smooth size that we do In early spring only, and not necessarily every year.

Flowering of the Common Myrtle

The Myrtle is a shrub very present in the Corsican maquis. It blooms from June and its flowering continues until october. Its star-shaped flowers, 2 cm in diameter, delicately scented, are immaculate white. Each is carried by a slender stem, the pedicel, and is adorned with a sumptuous bouquet of long stamens.

To take advantage of a even more abundant floweringdo not hesitate to make organic fertilizer inputs in liquid form that can be mixed with water from a watering can. The advice is especially valid for potted myrtles because their substrate devitalizes more quickly than the soil of the beds. It is also essential to carry out repotting or surfacing every 3 years, in the spring, which makes it possible to renew either totally or in part the growing medium.

Finally, after flowering, the Myrtle is covered with a multitude of small berries which turn bluish-black when ripe. Birds love them, but they are also groceries for the man.

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