What do you know about Myrtle (Myrtus)?

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What do you know about Myrtle (Myrtus)?

Post  Tony on Fri May 08, 2009 1:33 pm

Against all my principals I have purchased a NON English Yamadori, it is a Myrtle (Myrtus) and originated in Sicily (South Italy) I am more than aware that the North of England is somewhat cooler than the sunny climate of Southern Italy however the tree will live for most of the year in my green house only coming outside when NO frost or severe weather is imminent.

I will post a photo of the tree in the next couple of days, let’s just say that it is quite a substantial piece of material being 32” around the base and only 12” in height. It has a profusion of new growth.

I believe that the tree has been collected for just over a year, (as there is no evidence of secondary growth) I have cleaned out the tree discovering that it is in fact completely hollow. It is difficult to estimate the age of the tree but I guess it is over 50 years (but I could be way out)

I have NO EXPERIENCE with this variety and welcome any advice from those members who keep Old Myrtles as bonsai. confused

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Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

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Re: What do you know about Myrtle (Myrtus)?

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri May 08, 2009 2:35 pm

Myrtus communis thrives here outside in my garden, but I'm lower down and closer to the warming influence of the ocean than you Tony. I have a few plants that have been thickening up in beds for 15 years. I don't have any as bonsai (yet) but I've found that it is easy to take cuttings from and air layers well. It prefers full sun, well drained compost and never allow it to dry out completely. I've never had any pests on mine at all. It has nice white, daisy like flowers late in the year on the tips of new growth.

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Re: What do you know about Myrtle (Myrtus)?

Post  Tony on Fri May 08, 2009 3:05 pm

Kev Bailey wrote:Myrtus communis thrives here outside in my garden, but I'm lower down and closer to the warming influence of the ocean than you Tony. I have a few plants that have been thickening up in beds for 15 years. I don't have any as bonsai (yet) but I've found that it is easy to take cuttings from and air layers well. It prefers full sun, well drained compost and never allow it to dry out completely. I've never had any pests on mine at all. It has nice white, daisy like flowers late in the year on the tips of new growth.

Thanks Kev, guess I feed as I would any of my other trees but branch creation and ramification, speed of growth etc... any pearls of wisdom?

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Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: What do you know about Myrtle (Myrtus)?

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri May 08, 2009 4:50 pm

They tend to grow all shoots pretty vertically, so you need to select shoots and wire them early. They are very pliable when young but less so once matured and brown. My vigorous one grows untrimmed extensions about 2 feet long each season. I cut these back to a couple of leaves when I get around to it. If I was styling more carefully I'd do this more often and it would ramify quite quickly. I feed exactly the same as any other trees.

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Re: What do you know about Myrtle (Myrtus)?

Post  fiona on Fri May 08, 2009 9:07 pm

Tony - am I right in assuming that your myrtle is the one you got at BoBB last month and therefore the big cousin of the one I got at the same time? If so, mine has been outside since I got it home and has already put on about 4inches of new growth. it shows no signs of suffering in the wet west of Scotland but then again we've had no frost. It is also sitting in the lee of a south facing wall and is already getting a bit of sun. (Yep. It does happen here!). I suspect its biggest threat up here is the wind we've been getting, so I'm keeping it close to the wall under the eaves of the house.


Kev - what do you feed yours with? I tend to use Maxicrop on pretty much all my trees - is this a problem for myrtles?

Cheers chaps.

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Re: What do you know about Myrtle (Myrtus)?

Post  Lee Kennedy on Sat May 09, 2009 10:34 am

I got a lovely italian yamadori last year,apart from the winter hardiness tony i'd treat it similar to an escallonia,apart from a few months shelter in winter,if they do respond similar to escallonia,you will be showing yours next year bounce

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Re: What do you know about Myrtle (Myrtus)?

Post  Tony on Sat May 09, 2009 7:29 pm

This is my Myrtle... show me your fiona


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Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: What do you know about Myrtle (Myrtus)?

Post  fiona on Sat May 09, 2009 8:57 pm

Tony wrote:show me yours fiona

My Mother warned me about men who said things like that.... Shocked

Here is a (bad) pic of my myrtle, fresh from Sicily and bought at Best of British off that intrepid bonsai explorer Mr Pitt (No, not Brad - the other one). Will post a better one tomorrow when the sun shines.


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