Myrtus communis (Myrtle topiary)

Myrtus communis (Myrtle topiary)

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Native to the Mediterranean and northern Africa, the common myrtle (Myrtus communis) has been beloved as a houseplant and topiary since ancient times. The ancient Greeks and Romans favored the leaves for their medicinal and culinary purposes and associated the delicate sweetly scented white flowers with love and innocence. Give the plant full to partial sun in a west or south-facing location sheltered from the cold, drying wind. If growing as a bonsai indoors, it will need a lot of light and air. Water the root ball regularly (once a week or more) when the plant is young, but do not soak as this could also contribute to possible iron chlorosis. An older plant prefers a deeper watering every two to four weeks but can do well without water for shorter periods, as well.