Myrtle tree: mythology, cultivation and care

Myrtle tree: mythology, cultivation and care

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The name "myrtle" comes from the ancient Greek "Myron" and means balsam, myrrh. Baltic girls decorate their wedding wreaths with leaves from their own-grown myrtle trees.


  • History of the myrtle tree. Myths and legends about myrtle
  • Useful properties of the myrtle tree
  • Most Acceptable Conditions for Myrtle Tree
  • Growing a myrtle tree at home

History of the myrtle tree. Myths and legends about myrtle

Myrtle is an evergreen shrub with small white or pink flowers of an amazing aroma. He came to us several centuries ago from southern countries located in the Mediterranean basin. In natural conditions, it grows up to three meters in height. In room conditions, it reaches no more than one meter.

According to legends, Adam, expelled from paradise, took with him a single green twig as a keepsake of his carefree and joyful life. It was a sprig of evergreen myrtle. The paradise plant has taken root on a sinful earth as a reminder of lost happiness.

In Roman mythology, the goddess of fertility, health and innocence, Faunia, once suffered at the hands of her father Faun. Seeing her drunk, he whipped the poor girl with a myrtle branch. Since then, myrtle and wine have been considered unacceptable in the temple of this feminine goddess. However, there is no place for men either. In ancient Rome, a representative of the strong half could pay with his life for entering the temple of Faunia.

The ancient Greek myth says that the myrtle tree grew on the place where the nymph Mirsina died, who became a victim of the wrath of Athena herself. The mighty goddess, who dearly loved Mirsina, still could not forgive her for the victory in the race and killed her in the heat of anger. Later, having come to her senses, she began to ask the gods to save at least something reminiscent of the poor nymph. This is such a reminder that myrtle became, which took root from the body of Mirsina.

Myrtle was considered a sacred tree of the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite. According to legend, it was thanks to the myrtle wreath with which the goddess was adorned that Paris recognized her as the first in the dispute between the goddesses about the primacy of beauty. And today the Greeks put a twig of myrtle under the pillow for a newborn girl in the hope that she will grow up as beautiful as Aphrodite herself.

It was in the shadow of the myrtle that the sea Aphrodite emerged from the foam and promised eternal life to her beloved Adonis. Therefore, myrtle is also considered a connecting link between the living and the dead; it is often used in rituals of communication with the other world.

Thanks to Greek myths and legends, the custom of giving a myrtle tree for a wedding has passed to us. Indeed, in Greece it is a symbol of loyalty and family happiness. In many countries, there is still a custom to plant a branch of myrtle from the bride's bouquet in the courtyard. This means that love in this house is eternal, like greenery on a plant.

Useful properties of the myrtle tree

The branches, leaves, especially myrtle flowers contain a large amount of essential oils that are used in the treatment of:

  • infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract
  • colds
  • infections of the genitourinary system
  • varicose veins and various types of phlebitis
  • some dermatological problems
  • depression

The myrtle tree located in the room perfectly cleans the air from all kinds of pathogenic microbes. The aroma of flowers and the plant itself, which is clearly felt during spraying, has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, relieves fatigue and irritation. The scent of the myrtle tree growing in the office increases efficiency and helps fight stress. The plant in the bedroom promotes sound sleep and good rest.

Most Acceptable Conditions for Myrtle Tree

The climate in which wild relatives of myrtle feel comfortable is different from the microclimate in our apartments. Therefore, you should adhere to some rules, thanks to which the plant will have a healthy appearance:

  1. Lighting. Myrtle is a light-loving plant. Even slight shading can provoke a slowdown in its growth. You should not keep the plant in the back of the apartment, no matter how great it looks in the far corner. The best place for myrtle is the windowsill. In winter, when daylight hours are very short, it is advisable to use additional lighting in the form of fluorescent lamps.
  2. Temperature. The plant is also demanding to the air temperature. The most acceptable temperature in summer is 20-25 degrees. In winter, myrtle needs cooler air. At temperatures above 10-12 degrees, he can shed his leaves. If he has to winter at temperatures above fifteen degrees, then in the spring he will not bloom.
  3. Air humidity. High humidity required. It is necessary to spray it frequently with water. Dry air, especially in winter, can cause loss of foliage. With very low humidity in the room, you need to put the flowerpot in a tray with water. The moisture evaporating from it will maintain the necessary microclimate in the immediate vicinity of the plant.
  4. Watering. Tap water is categorically unacceptable for myrtle. It should be watered with rain or melt water. Watering is abundant in spring and summer, moderate in winter. The earthen coma should not be allowed to dry out, myrtle is very sensitive to a lack of moisture. But even a flooded plant will not feel good. Most likely, its roots will rot. Therefore, when planting, it is worth taking care of good drainage by pouring expanded clay on the bottom of the flowerpot.
  5. Fresh air. In the summer, it is better to take the myrtle tree out into fresh air. If possible. You just need to make sure that it is not in direct sunlight and its soil does not dry out in the heat.

Growing a myrtle tree at home

  1. Soil and fertilizer. A soil suitable for citrus plants is suitable for myrtle. Top dressing should be carried out only during the period of active growth, in spring and summer, with complex fertilization no more than twice a month.
  2. Reproduction. Myrtle propagates by cuttings or seeds. Lignified cuttings are soaked in any root former and planted in the soil under a film. A tree grown from a cuttings blooms in the second year, from seeds - in the third. Good germination is given by seeds collected from still soft fruits. It is enough just to pick the berries when they have reached purple color and plant them in the ground. Each fruit contains up to seven seeds. Within a week and a half to two weeks, the planted seeds will give green growth.
  3. Transfer. Every year, before the myrtle reaches the age of five, it should be transplanted into a larger pot. The difference between old and new flowerpots shouldn't be too big. This procedure should be carried out in the spring. After five years, replanting the myrtle tree every three to four years is sufficient.
  4. Plant formation. In natural conditions, myrtle is a shrub. The young growth is given by the roots, not the plant. And therefore, if it is necessary to form a tree at home, all newly grown sprouts should be periodically removed.
  5. Crown formation. Produced at any time. Do not just overdo it with the frequency of haircuts, otherwise the tree may not bloom. But even without a haircut, you should not leave the plant. Otherwise, over time, the branches will become bare and the tree will take on a not very presentable look.
  6. Diseases and pests. Spider mites, scale insects, aphids. To combat these pests, special insecticides are used. Spraying with soapy water can be used if the localization of the pest is insignificant or chemical preparations are unacceptable.

Today there are about a hundred species of myrtle tree. Exported to Europe several centuries ago, myrtle has taken root well in homes and feels great. You just need to pay a little attention to it, so that a beautiful plant with such an amazing and rich history pleases the eyes, strengthens well-being.

Reproduction and pruning of myrtle on video:

Watch the video: Topiary + New Garden Helper! Hows It Growing? (May 2022).


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