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Myrtle cuttings

I would like to know how to grow myrtle (Myrtus communis) from a cutting. I have tried various times but have never been successful.


The True Myrtle (Myrtus communis) has a very long history in gardens, and was well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans.  It is a small evergreen tree with perfumed white flowers in spring, followed by edible berries.

Cultivation is either by seed or cuttings. Cuttings can be quite challenging, but if done correctly should have a high success rate.

Two methods seem to be quite successful in our glasshouse. 

In the first, take cuttings (7-10 cm long) from good healthy current growth in late summer or autumn.  Dip them in semi-hardwood rooting hormone and plant in pumice sand or the like. We find that bottom heat from a heating pad increases root formation.  We have our cuttings in a mist unit. If you do not have one of these, then a plastic bag over the pot and regular misting with water would be helpful.  Cuttings seem to be more successful if the base is just starting to get woody.  Heel cuttings can also give good results.

The second method takes mature wood cuttings (7-10 cm) in late autumn.  Dip them in a stronger rooting hormone mixture (hardwood) and treat as in the first method.

Be patient whichever method you try.  Rooting can take several months and it may be 9 months before you can plant out your new myrtles.

Some cultivars seem to be more successful than others.

Good luck!

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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