When and How to Plant Common Myrtle Shrubs

Common myrtle shrubs (Myrtus communis) make fantastic additions to almost any garden, especially smaller plots. Myrtle flowers are small and white, produce a sweet, fresh scent, and bloom from summer until fall. Here are my essential tips on when and how to plant common myrtle shrubs in your garden.

When and How Do You Plant Myrtle Flowers?

What Conditions Do Myrtle Flowers Need?

Common myrtle plants (Myrtus communis) are native to the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. Myrtle shrubs also grow in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. As such, myrtles require warm temperatures and mild winters.

Myrtle shrubs thrive in USDA Zones 8 to 10 because these areas have a similar climate to the Mediterranean. In my experience, despite their preference for warm climates, myrtle shrubs are relatively drought-tolerant and cold-hardy. They can survive winter temperatures as low as 10ºF.

When Do You Plant Myrtle Flowers?

I find that fall and early spring are the ideal times to plant myrtle shrubs. Planting a myrtle in the fall gives it ample time to establish its roots before the spring. Planting a myrtle shrub in the spring allows it to grow before the winter comes. Once you’ve planted a myrtle, water it thoroughly to help it acclimatize.

Where Should You Plant?

Myrtle plants in bloom surrounded by green leaves against a blue sky with scattered white clouds

For optimal growth, myrtle shrubs need locations with full sun or partial shade. In mild climates, I recommend planting myrtles in areas that receive about six hours of full sun daily. In hotter regions, I plant myrtles somewhere that provides partial shade during the afternoon. South or west-facing areas are ideal for myrtles, in my experience.

Myrtles also need sheltered areas that protect them from cold winds. They require well-draining soils that still hold some moisture. Myrtles prefer slightly acidic soils with a pH range between 5.0 and 6.5. Soils that are too alkaline can damage myrtle shrubs.

Although myrtles are drought-tolerant, these plants prefer to stay moist but not waterlogged. If the soil is too dense, mix in some grit, sand, or organic matter to improve drainage.

How to Plant Myrtle Flowers

Here’s a quick guide detailing how to plant myrtle flowers in your garden:

  1. Choose a sheltered area of your garden that receives full sun or partial shade.
  2. Check that the soil drains well but holds some moisture. If necessary, add some grit or sand to the soil to improve drainage.
  3. Dig a hole as deep as your myrtle’s root ball and twice as wide.
  4. Position your myrtle in the hole and tease out some of its roots.
  5. Make sure that the myrtle is level before filling in around it with soil. Firm the soil down once you’ve filled in the hole.
  6. Water your myrtle shrub thoroughly to help it acclimatize to its new location.

How to Care for Myrtle Flowers After Planting

A myrtle branch covered in green leaves and tiny white to yellow fluffy flowers

Newly planted myrtles need lots of water and nutrients to help them establish a robust root system. Water your myrtle shrub once weekly for the first two years, ensuring the soil stays fairly moist.

Fertilize your newly planted myrtle once a month during its first growing season. Use liquid fertilizers and dilute them according to the instructions on the packet.

Myrtle shrubs take a couple of years to become fully established. After that, reduce watering to approximately once every 2 to 4 weeks. Fertilize established myrtle plants once every spring using slow-release granules.

As your myrtle grows, prune it to shape it and keep it healthy. The best time to prune myrtles is during the fall after they finish flowering. Remove any dead or damaged branches and thin out the inner stems to improve air circulation.

Planting Myrtle Flowers FAQs

Where Does Myrtle Grow Best?

Myrtle plants grow best in Zones 8 to 10 because they need warm temperatures and fairly mild winters. Myrtles prefer sheltered locations that receive full sun or partial shade. Myrtles grow best in well-draining, slightly acidic soils that retain some moisture.

Is Myrtle a Hardy Plant?

Myrtle shrubs are reasonably hardy plants as they’re both drought-tolerant and cold-hardy. These plants can survive winter temperatures as low as 10ºF but need protection from cold winds.

How Long Do Myrtle Plants Live?

Myrtle plants live for decades or even centuries in the right conditions. Some of the oldest recorded myrtles reached 150 years old.

Wrapping Up

Myrtles are surprisingly hardy evergreen shrubs that grow best in Zones 8 to 10. They require sheltered locations in full sun or partial shade. Myrtles also need well-draining, slightly acidic soils that hold some moisture. Plant myrtle shrubs in the fall or early spring.

Further reading: The amazing uses and benefits of common myrtle.

Contributing Editor | edd@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.

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