Saturday, November 10, 2012


Q: I have an indoor Myrtle which is about 12" tall. I have had this plant for almost two years now and it is starting to look like it's on its last straw. The leaves are drying up and while most are still on the branches, a good shake will drop quite a few leaves. I have kept it in indirect sunlight and with moist dirt. There is some new growth off the top branches, but there are just a few leaves. I don't see any mold or bugs on it and I'm not sure if the plant needs a larger pot, or if it needs the dirt to be replaced every so often, as I have not done so for over a year. Also, a few months ago, I trimmed the top off of the plant and am not sure if its decline was due to over trimming.

A: A Myrtle always suffers indoors over winter. They're not truly an indoor plant. Our dry homes over winter coupled with very low light levels makes it a tough one to have success with. Find a cool room to keep it in now until late May at which time I would suggest placing it outdoors for the summer. Trim whenever you want as this won't affect the plant at all. Bring the plant back indoors in fall and find a cooler room with a big window to keep it. You can keep it indoors with success over the summer months but for recuperation purposes, this year I would put it outside for the summer as they'll recuperate faster outside. Transplant it if and when you know that it is going to survive. Remove any dead branches and ensure that the plant doesn't go dry. One really bad drying out and the plant will almost be guaranteed to loose over half of its leaves.

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