Whenever we can find myrtle topiaries we try to get plenty, as they’re not always available. Many moons ago we had a small specialty grower in Georgia who supplied us with these pretty plants regularly. She spoiled us! When she retired, we found another supplier and still carry these special plants. They now come to us in 5” pots, perfect for dropping into your favorite cachepot.
Myrtle, myrtus communis, was an integral part of Roman gardens and is widespread in Mediterranean regions where it is cultivated as a large ornamental shrub. The topiaries we carry are a dwarf myrtle, Myrtus communis ‘Compacta’, and are happiest grown outside in containers through the summer in a sunny to partly sunny spot. Kept watered regularly, the long, hot summers will bring on small flower buds that open to white blooms. With fall and cooler temperatures, it’s best to trim it for the winter and place it indoors in a bright, sunny room. The glossy and pleasantly aromatic leaves are a beautiful shade of green, and the entire plant takes to shaping very well – simply trim it when it becomes shaggy.
Myrtle Topiary Care
Give them plenty of light – they prefer to be in sun in their native habitat, so a dark room indoor won’t give them the light they need. If you know you don’t have enough light where you really want them (on a mantel in a dark room) you may need to swap them out periodically, placing them in a sunny spot to grow well, then moving them back and forth.
Water! It’s important not to let them dry out, but be careful they’re not sitting in water too. If your topiary is root bound, it will need more diligent watering. Repot it in the spring if, when you pull it out of the pot, you see a mass of roots. Myrtle is a plant that will not recover if left too long between watering.
During the growing season, March through September, fertilize your topiaries with a 20-20-20 fertilizer every couple of weeks. When you bring it in for the winter, cut back feeding to once a month.
When you trim your topiary, it’s best not to shear the tips. Try to cut back a bit into the plant. Remember wherever you cut, two stems will grow, creating a nice full head of foliage.
Note: We get many calls from people from around the country asking us to ship our myrtle topiaries when we have them in stock. Unfortunately we are not set up to ship at this time.