Myrtle - a symbol of peace and tranquility
Among the ancient Greeks, myrtle was considered a symbol of youth, beauty and chastity. Even then, the beneficial effects of essential oils were noted. Water infused on myrtle was washed by noble citizens. Wine infusion on the fruits of myrtle was used as an elixir of health and vitality. Excreting volatile, myrtle destroys pathogenic microbes, even in extremely small doses, volatile kills tuberculosis and diphtheria bacilli and other bacteria. A plant with a total leaf area of 1.5 m² can purify 100 cubic meters of air by 40-50%, kills up to 22% of streptococci and up to 40% of staphylococci. Helps to cope with the flu and ARI.
Myrtle (lat.Myrtus) - a genus of southern evergreen woody plants with white fluffy flowers and dark green leaves containing essential oil. Myrtle was also called a wreath of flowers and leaves of such a tree or its branch - a symbol of silence, peace and pleasure.
Myrtle is a fragrant evergreen tree. He has dark green, as if polished leaves, beautiful flowers. The leaves of myrtle contain essential oil, which was used to make incense. Myrtle was a sign of glory and good deeds. Myrtle wreath with roses in ancient times was a favorite wedding decoration.
Mythology of Myrtle
In ancient times, myrtle was an attribute of the goddess Venus and her three maidservants - three graces. During the Renaissance, the evergreen myrtle began to symbolize eternal love, especially marital fidelity.
During the Renaissance, the evergreen myrtle began to symbolize eternal love, especially marital fidelity.
The very word "myrtle" is of Greek origin. Legend has it that the nymph Mirsina, whom Athena herself admired and admired, defeated this supreme goddess of Olympus in running competitions. Envy overshadowed the admiration of the beloved, and Athena killed the nymph in revenge for the hurt pride. But having come to her senses, she was horrified and began to beg the advice of the Olympic gods so that they would leave her at least some memory of Mirsin. The gods took pity, and a graceful plant, like the nymph herself, grew from the body of the deceased - a myrtle.
According to legend, Aphrodite was crowned with a wreath from myrtle during the famous dispute, due to which Paris gave her his apple. Since then, myrtle has become a favorite flower of the goddess of love and beauty, sometimes she even called herself Mirthea. A lot of myrtle bushes were planted around the temples of Aphrodite, and during the annual festivities in honor of this goddess everyone was decorated with myrtle wreaths.
Features of growing myrtle
Bloom: usually in summer and until mid-autumn.
Growth: myrtle grows rather slowly: annual growth of 10-15 cm.
Shine: bright scattered; the plant is able to tolerate a certain amount of sunlight.
Temperature: in spring and summer, moderate or slightly lower than moderate, 18-20 ° C; in the winter months, the myrtle tree is best kept at a temperature of 5 ° C and not higher than 8-10 ° C.
Watering: from spring to autumn, regular and abundant (as the top layer of the substrate dries up), in winter - limited.
Air humidity: From spring to autumn, the plant is sprayed.
Top dressing: from spring to autumn, myrtle is fertilized weekly with flower fertilizer.
Cropping: plants tolerate pruning and shearing, so they can be given any shape.
Rest period: in winter; the plant is kept in a cool, light (5-10 ° C) place, watering limitedly.
Transfer: young plants are transplanted every year in spring, without deepening the stem base into the soil, in the future, transplantation is carried out if necessary after 2-3 years.
Reproduction: the plant propagates by seeds, cuttings.
Myrtle loves bright diffused light, tolerates a certain amount of direct sunlight. Suitable for cultivation in the western and eastern windows. At the windows of the southern direction in the summer, it is necessary to provide the plant with protection from the midday sun. It can grow on the north window, however, flowering will be less plentiful. In winter, myrtle is placed in the most lit places.
In summer, myrtle can be exposed to the open air, in a place where protection from direct midday sun is provided. The plant should be accustomed to a new level of illumination gradually. Some gardeners for hardening plants for the summer bury a pot of myrtle directly into the ground.
Myrtle loves coolness, in spring and summer he needs moderate or slightly lower than moderate temperature (18-20 ° C). In the winter months, the myrtle tree is best kept at a temperature of 5 ° C and not higher than 8-10 ° C. At a higher than optimal winter temperature, the plant can discard foliage.
Myrtle needs an influx of fresh air.
Myrtle is watered from spring to autumn regularly and abundantly (as the upper layer of the substrate dries up), in winter with limited, soft, settled water. In no case should not be allowed even a short-term drying of the soil. If, however, the substrate is dry, apply watering by immersing the pot in a container of water. At the same time, care must be taken that the water does not stagnate in the sump.
Care should be taken to monitor air humidity. Although in the natural environment of myrtle growth, air humidity rarely exceeds 60%, in rooms with central heating it is usually less than half. From spring to autumn, the plant should be sprayed regularly. For spraying, it is necessary to use only soft, settled or filtered water. In winter, with cool contents, the plant is not sprayed.
From spring to autumn, myrtle is fertilized, as already noted, weekly with flower fertilizer.
Myrtle has a pronounced period of rest. Depending on the position in the room, the myrtle is at rest from 3 (on the north window) to 1.5 (on the south) months.
Myrtle easily tolerates a haircut, and you can give it a very bizarre shape. Several methods of plant formation are given: “If the myrtle (this is what myrtle was called in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century) is left to itself, then the plant will take the form of a pyramid. If you trim the top shoot, then the shape of a bush, if you finally cut the side shoots, then the myrtle takes the form of a crowned tree and branches up. ”
However, the author does not recommend too much getting involved in pruning side shoots, especially in young plants, since the myrtle stem is not strong enough. Also, one should not pinch young shoots too often - this reduces the intensity of flowering. Therefore, when caring for myrtle, it is necessary to decide which is preferable - highly branching compact bushes or beautifully flowering specimens with a loose crown.
Young plants are transplanted every year in spring, without deepening the stem base into the soil, in the future, transplantation is carried out if necessary after 2-3 years. The following mixtures are recommended as a substrate: 1) turf-humus-peat land and sand in equal shares; 2) ordinary greenhouse soil; 3) clay-sod-peat-humus soil and sand (1: 1: 1: 0.5). The pH of the substrate should be in the region of 5-6. At the bottom of the pot provide a good layer of drainage.
Myrtle is propagated by seeds and cuttings.
Myrtle propagation by seeds
For sowing, we make a mixture of peat and sand in a ratio of 1: 1 (you can mix peat with vermiculite (1: 1)). Moisten the substrate (you can shed the substrate with fungicide).
Seeds are distributed on the surface of the substrate, sprinkled with a thin layer of the substrate. The container with seeds is covered with glass or a transparent bag (can be cling film). The temperature is maintained not lower than + 18..20 ° C. Periodically aired, removing the shelter. The substrate must be kept moist; try not to over-moisten or over-dry.
Seedlings usually germinate after 7-14 days. When the seedlings grow two real leaves, they are dived into pots of the appropriate size. The substrate is made up of turf land - 1 hour, humus - 1 hour, peat - 1 hour and sand - 1 hour. After transshipment, seedlings can freeze in growth for some time, after a while they usually again grow.
On braiding a coma of earth, transhipment is done by the roots. Further care is like for adult plants.
Myrtle grown from seeds blooms in the 5th year of life.
Myrtle propagation by cuttings
Myrtle is propagated by semi-lignified cuttings in January-February and in summer in July. Cuttings are selected from the lower and middle parts of the crown, the size of the cuttings is 5-8 cm; to reduce evaporation, half of the leaves are cut, and the remaining ones are shortened. It is useful to treat the section with growth stimulants. N. Tsybula et al. Recommend the use of heteroauxin in a mixture with ascorbic acid (0.25% 0). Rooted in crates, bowls, wide low pots in a mixture of sheet earth and coarse sand, or sphagnum and sand in a cool (16-20 ° C) shaded place.
Cuttings are watered, sprayed and covered with glass or plastic wrap. Occasionally, the soil is ventilated to prevent rotting of cuttings and acidification of the soil. Cuttings root within 20-30 days. Rooted cuttings are planted in 7-centimeter pots. Water abundantly. Pinch young plants in order to stimulate flowering. On braiding a lump of earth with roots, transshipment is given. A plant from cuttings blooms for 3-4 years.
To the family Myrtle (Myrtus) belongs to 16 to 40 species of the myrtle family. Species of the Myrtle genus are widespread in North Africa, Western Asia, on the islands of the Caribbean, in Florida (USA), on the Azores, in Europe (Mediterranean region).
In culture, one species is widely known - Myrtle ordinary M. communis.
Myrtle ordinary (Myrtus communis). It grows in the undergrowth of evergreen oaks and pines and in thickets of shrubs in the Mediterranean region, on the Azores, in North Africa. Trees or shrubs up to 3-4 m tall; shoots are 4-faced, small-haired, round, bare. Leaves are opposite, sometimes collected in 3, ovate, lanceolate, 2-4 (up to 5) cm long and 1-2 cm wide, pointed, leathery, whole-edge, smooth, glabrous, glabrous.
If you look at the leaf of myrtle in the light, you can see small dots filled with essential oil, thanks to which the plant produces a pleasant aroma. The most fragrant are the white flowers of the plant. They are medium-sized (up to 2 cm in diameter), five-petalled, located one at a time on long pedicels. Numerous golden stamens give them a special originality.
In nature, myrtle reaches a height of 3-5 m. In culture, the plant is low (about 60 cm), rarely reaches 1 m.
Myrtle ordinary has many cultural forms, differing in leaf position and ability to bloom.
Possible difficulties in growing myrtle
If there is not enough light, the stalks are pulled out, the leaves fade and turn pale, in case of its excess, they grow dull, turn yellow, the edges curl. In a dark room with high temperature, the plant discards leaves.
The plant suffers greatly due to overdrying and overflow of the substrate. If the plant has dropped leaves due to overdrying or waterlogging, cut the shoots to half and continue watering (in case of waterlogging - watering very carefully) and spraying. Two weeks later, young leaflets may appear.
If placed too warm and dark, leaves may fall. If suddenly myrtle leaves began to fly around, then the problem is in the wrong watering: it is either insufficient or excessive. In this case, it is possible to recommend a dried plant to immerse in water, and transplanted waterlogged. However, most often the plant cannot be saved.
Pests primarily affect old specimens. Too much air temperature in winter also contributes to this.