Similar to citrus trees, the myrtle variety is usually a small tree or shrub that’s native to the Mediterranean and parts of northern Africa meaning it doesn’t fare well when kept outdoors in the UK.
Instead they make wonderful indoor plants and have done for many years, the fragrant white blossom a welcome addition to any room.
Read this care guide to find out how to care for myrtle trees indoors.
Myrtle Tree Care Indoors
Myrtle trees have been cherished across the globe by people such as the ancient Romans and the Greeks. For them it was a symbol of love, unity and marriage, you can read more about myrtle tree symbolism on our blog.
Myrtus communis is an evergreen dwarf variety which means it holds its leaves year round and stays at a manageable size. It blooms in late summer with fragrant white flowers closely followed by blue-black berries in the autumn. Although the berries are edible, they are rarely eaten and more often used in the creation of a delicious liqueur known as Mirto. Find the mirto recipe on our blog.
Myrtle Tree Location
Due to the UK’s cold and unpredictable weather, it’s best to keep your myrtle tree indoors for most of the year. In summer, if the weather is due to stay warm and mild, you can place your tree out on the patio but ensure to bring it back safely indoors if the weather is due to change and drop below 10 degrees.
Myrtle trees flourish when in a location where receives plenty of light, try to aim for around 6 hours of good, indirect sunlight a day. Your tree will also benefit from good air circulation, bright airy conservatoires or unheated rooms are perfect. Avoid placing near central heating.
Watering Myrtle Trees
Like with most indoor plants, keep the soil of your myrtle tree moist but don’t over water so that the compost is soggy or left standing in water. Simply water when the top layer of soil begins to feel dry and don’t allow it to dry out too much. Water thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain away.
If left standing in water for too long your tree may start to experience root rot, when caught early this can usually be fixed with some fresh compost and root trimming but if left too long it will be fatal.
Try to use rainwater or distilled water where possible when watering your tree. If tap water is the only option, fill a jug and leave on the side for a couple of hours before watering. This allows the water to warm up to room temperature and lets some of the chemicals such as chlorine evaporate.
Myrtle trees can be sensitive to the high concentration of lime found in tap water so if you start to notice any issues switch up the water.
Feeding Myrtle Trees
Start feeding your myrtle tree in early spring as the growing season starts. Add a balanced liquid fertiliser each week throughout spring and summer, following the feed packet instructions. This will help to give your tree extra growing power through the summer.
Add the last of the feed in autumn time as your tree begins to slow down ready for winter. Don’t add any fertiliser through the winter months as this is the time for your tree to rest, while it’s not completely dormant the tree is not pushing out any new growth.
Pruning Myrtle Trees
The best time to prune your myrtle tree is just after the flowering period is done. You will notice lots of lovely new growth but don’t pinch these back just yet.
Wait for new growth to develop at least 6-8 leaves and then pinch back. Aim to take it back to a pair of leaves and in the future this is where new buds will begin to grow.
Repotting Myrtle Trees
Your young myrtle tree will need repotting every couple of years or when the tree has outgrown its current pot. Older trees need repotting less often but can be done every 4-5 years to replenish soil and keep the tree healthy.
Repotting your trees not only lets them grow larger but it also replenishes the nutrients in the pot that have been used up / lost over time.
When choosing the next pot, go for a size that is no more than 2-3 inches bigger than the current one. Make sure that the new pot has great drainage with holes in the bottom and repot using a free draining, lime free compost
Top tip - Myrtle trees that are slightly rootbound produce more flowers!
Myrtle Trees Pests and Diseases
Dry air, low light conditions and lack of air circulation can leave indoor myrtle trees susceptible to some pests and diseases. The most common of these include mealybug, scale and white flies.
Making sure your tree is healthy and keeping it in the right conditions will keep any issues to a minimum but if you do notice anything then it’s best to treat with a non toxic, natural treatment possible.
Send a myrtle tree as a gift
Myrtle trees make a wonderful, lasting gift alternative for a wide variety of occasions including birthdays, anniversaries and many more. Order one today and our devoted gardeners will hand select the best tree before carefully hand gift wrapping it to send it on it’s way to a new home.