Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Mary Blair
Posted on: March 23, 1999

Can you please tell me if there is a secret to growing myrtle, I purchased plant from you approximately one year ago (for the second time). It seems to really thrive, than all of a sudden, the leaves start to dry out and I cannot seem to save the plant. This is the second plant that has done this to me. Not over or under watered at any time. Cannot seem to find too much info on this plant as far as ideal growing conditions.

Myrtle is one of the plants that must never be allowed to dry out completely, because that kills the roots. Since that plant has leathery leaves, it takes quite a while for the death of the plant to become obvious. By that time you will have long forgotten that the plant did dry out at one point. If you notice it in time you could try to root a cutting or enclose the plant in plastic until new roots form.

Myrtle also requires good light. Again, because the leaves are slow to respond to adverse environmental conditions, they can make you think that the plant is thriving but in fact it may be suffering. Myrtle needs direct sunlight for a minimum of 4 hours a day, and better would be supplementary artificial light as well natural sunlight, if you are growing it in the house.

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