Myrtle cuttings

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Myrtle cuttings

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:16 pm

It looks as though I can't get hold of a dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis) starter, & I keep killing them anyway. Wed. night we had an Ikebana workshop and I brought home some myrtle branches. Any suggestions on growing this species from cuttings?
Iris

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Re: Myrtle cuttings

Post  GaryWood on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:06 pm

Hi Iris, I think this is one of the most under utilized trees for shohin. Great material! They root very easily and throw LOTS of roots. They like a lot of water and don't tolerate drying at all. Impressive nebari can be built even on rather young plants if it is grown hard for a few years before "styling"
Wood

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Re: Myrtle cuttings

Post  fiona on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:28 pm

Gary/Iris,

What temperatures can they tolerate? I lost a lovely piece last winter and I'm not sure if it got too cold in the glasshouse over the winter or if in fact it got too dried out.

Your advice would be most welcome as I have a source for a replacement piece.

Many thanks in advance.

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Re: Myrtle cuttings

Post  GaryWood on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:46 pm

Fiona, they are not very hardy. They can tolerate light freezes, either F or C Laughing But they don't do well below 25f or 26F.and then not for an extended period. They really don't like to dry out.
Wood

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Myrtle cuttings

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:08 pm

Like most Mediterranean natives, Myrtus communis is listed for USDA Zone 8 in the ground (10 to 20 F, -12 to -6 C), so Gary's estimate of 25 F (-4 C) in a pot is about right.
They are finicky about moisture, can't stand it too wet or too dry.
Iris

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Myrtle cuttings

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:15 am

Thanks for the encouragement, but you folks didn't provide any details.
What is the best rooting medium?
What temperatures work best for myrtle cuttings, cool or warm?
Do I need a baggie?
Do they respond to Rootone?
What is the optimum light?
Iris

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Re: Myrtle cuttings

Post  GaryWood on Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:43 am

Iris, I can only give my experience, Hormone and mist in early summer under 50% cloth, 100% take. That tells me they are easy and should be a big latitude of technique. How your propagating set-up is arranged will be different and you can make adjustments. If indoor and bagged, then bright indirect light. If outdoor protect from wind and mist frequently and dappled shade. Whatever your conditions are warm temps are best. Any good rooting medium should work. I use 90% pumice and 10% peat. Hope this helps.
Wood

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Re: Myrtle cuttings

Post  jwatson on Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:49 am

I picked up a sweet little one at a local nursery last year in the herb section. You might try a nursery that has a pretty extensive herb section. Also, Well Sweep Herb Farm in New Jersey has them, and they will ship - http://www.wellsweep.com/Catalog_2011.pdf. Most of their plants are in 2 inch pots, but I can vouch for the health and vigor of their stock. They're a great place!

I've not tried to root any cuttings, so afraid I can't be of much help there.

I'm in zone 8a (coastal Carolina); last winter we had temps in the 20s. Kept the myrtle in the outside greenhouse, in the center of the shelf and surrounded by other bigger plants, and it did really well all winter.

Am still shaping mine, but it's quite a pretty little plant, and grows like crazy!

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Myrtle cuttings

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:33 pm

Thanks. I'll let you know how I make out.
Iris

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Re: Myrtle cuttings

Post  GerhardGerber on Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:13 am

Hi

I bought one at a normal nursery about 2 weeks ago, cleaned it up a bit, now I'm just looking at it for the rest of our (mild) winter.
I think with the flowers and friuts this could be a very nice tree some day.

If I may throw in a question - can they be bare rooted, hoe carefull do you need to be?

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Myrtle Cuttings

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:12 pm

Aargh. No Sad
That's a sore subject. I don't know how many myrtles I've killed from being careless with the roots. When you repot, just shake off the excess soil without root pruning. If it lives long enough, you can prune the roots a little on a mature plant to keep it in the same size pot.
Learn from my sad mistakes. study
Don't repot right after styling. Let it rest a few weeks & start growing again.
Iris

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Re: Myrtle cuttings

Post  GerhardGerber on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:15 pm

Hi Iris

Thanks, it's my stated intention in life to learn from the mistakes of other Laughing

I don't always succeed! Rolling Eyes

Thankfully we are practically in what passes for winter here, so I'm (mostly Twisted Evil ) leaving everything alone.
I fertilized a bit as well so there is indeed new growth since the trim, but I'll follow your advice in August.

Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Myrtle cuttings

Post  Pola on Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:18 pm

Hi Iris!
I've been able to root myrtle cuttings in plain coarse soil with regular misting and without any hormone.Even cuttings of about an inch and a bit bigger have rooted well. I think you'll be able to get them to root pretty easily...

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Re: Myrtle cuttings

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