would like to know how to grow myrtle (Myrtus communis) from
a cutting. I have tried various times but have never been successful.
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
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.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH