Do you like myrtles? (Myrtus) Would you like to grow more in your home, but don’t want to go bankrupt in the process? You’re lucky. Many times you can propagate plants from their mature counterparts. This allows you to create more of the same plant without spending more money. If you’re interested in propagating myrtles, you’ve come to the right place. I will share with you how to propagate and grow Myrtle.
Ideal conditions for growing myrtle
Before you consider propagating and growing Myrtle, you need to make sure you have the right growing conditions for this plant.
If you already have a mature crape myrtle growing around your property, this could be old news. However, if you received a cutting from a friend, it is important to let you know.
Crepe myrtles are hardy in temperate zones, can withstand cold winters, but will not produce leaves or flowers during this season. However, it should grow back once the winter has passed.
Myrtles need full sun. That equates to about six hours of sunshine a day or more.
Once the plants are established, they can handle periods of drought, but be sure to plant them in well-drained soil and water them regularly to build strong root systems.
Locate the right spot in your home to grow crape myrtle to ensure everything is set up for this plant when it begins to grow.
How to propagate myrtle from a cutting
For propagation, take a cutting (stem) from the new growth of the plant. This cutting should be about 6 inches long, have three or four nodes, and a few leaves.
The cutting should come from a part of the plant that separates from the main branch of the myrtle.
A good time to take such a cut is in the fall or spring. When you have it, place the tree stump in a well-drained container and well-drained growing medium.
Sand is a good choice as a growing medium when propagating plants. Place the container in a shady spot and make sure the growing medium stays moist.
To do this, regularly spray the soil or sand with a spray bottle. This will maintain moisture without saturating the cutting.
It is also advisable to cover the container with plastic wrap or a bag. This causes a greenhouse effect and helps the cutting retain moisture. The cutting should take root in a month or two.
Once the plants have taken root, they are ready to be transplanted during their dormant period. This happens during the fall or winter months.
How to Plant a Myrtle
Be sure to find a planting spot with all of the specifications listed above.
From there, dig a hole four times wider than the base of the plant. Do not dig the hole deeper than the container (or bed) in which the myrtle was growing.
Spread the roots of the plant and place it in the hole. Cover the base of the plant with soil and press down firmly to ensure that air does not reach the roots.
From there, mulch the plant and water it thoroughly. This will help it develop stronger roots and also reduce the amount of work you have to do on your end.
To begin with, myrtle needs constant watering. The secret is to make sure the soil is not soggy. If this happens, you are asking for root rot to become a problem for your plants.
This can be avoided by planting in well-drained soil. You should also use the deep watering method. This method consists of watering fewer days and longer.
This ensures that the plant receives the right amount of moisture during a watering session without becoming soggy.
The time between waterings allows the plant to absorb moisture. Mulching around the base of the plant should help retain moisture longer.
Annual application of a slow-release fertilizer to the plant should be enough to keep it healthy.
You can even reapply fertilizer around the base each spring when it wakes up from its dormancy. This will help provide a nutrient supply and ensure that all the nutrients the plant used in the previous growing season are replenished.
It is important to prune crape myrtle only in winter. This plant blooms only from new shoots. If you wait for the plant to produce new growth, you will eliminate that year’s blooms.
Therefore, prune the plant while it is dormant. When pruning, your goal is to shape the plant. It may not need it every year, but if it starts to look messy, use scissors to cut it into the shape and size you want.
Plagues and diseases
Although the crepe myrtle is a beautiful, low-maintenance tree, it does have pests and diseases to watch out for.
Aphids are the biggest pests that gardeners should be aware of. Not only do they feed on plant sap, but they can also cause disease. Watch: 5 recipes to fight aphids naturally.
Sooty mold is caused by aphid droppings. The best way to deal with both aphid infestation and sooty mold is to spray your crape myrtle plants with an insecticide. Repeat the treatment as needed.
Crepe myrtle is prone to fungal diseases. Some of the biggest concerns are powdery mildew and leaf spots. Powdery mildew looks like powdered sugar that has been dusted all over the plant. Watch: How to fight and prevent powdery mildew on plants.
Leaf spot begins as dark spots on the plant’s foliage. It eventually devours your plant as black mold. Both diseases can be treated with a fungicide.
The last disease to be aware of is root rot. This forms when your plant is not placed in well-drained soil. To defeat this disease, choose a suitable location for your myrtle.
It may also be interesting to read: How to grow Croton and its care.
By choosing a suitable planting location, keeping an eye out for pests, and dealing with early signs of disease, you should have a positive gardening experience.
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