Myrtle is a wonderful houseplant, famous for its medicinal properties. You can grow myrtle in the house, observing certain conditions. Find the right location for the tree, water and feed on time, do not be afraid to cut and form a beautiful bush. And you can not only admire a plant, but also use its healing leaves: add it as a seasoning to dishes, prepare infusions and compresses and just enjoy the amazing delicate aroma and wholesome atmosphere. Now get acquainted with the properties of myrtle and its application. In books on floriculture, myrtle is not given much space, but it is worth paying attention to.
Conditions for growing myrtle
Myrtle grows best in winter in cool, bright rooms, where it perfectly cleans the air, and in summer - on a balcony or in a garden. The earth for it is prepared from peat and soddy soil and sand, taken in equal measure. Pruning forms rounded bushes, garlands or trees with a stem and crown.
The plant loves light and well-moistened fresh air.
The pot is best placed near a bright window, in a cool and well-ventilated area.
In cold winter, since the air becomes too dry indoor because of heating, the myrtle can lose its foliage.
A mixture of turf, humus, leaf soil and sand in equal parts is suitable.
The soil reaction should be slightly acidic.
Myrtle does not tolerate lime in the soil.
Watering and feeding
It is necessary that the soil is constantly moistened, while it is important to prevent stagnation of water in the pallets.
Myrtle should be regularly sprayed and periodically give it a warm shower.
It does not tolerate overdrying of the soil.
In winter, watering is limited.
From spring to autumn, once every 1-2 weeks, myrtle is fed with a complex fertilizer for flower plants.
During the period of active growth, from spring to autumn, Myrtle needs timely abundant watering. In winter, with the onset of a dormant period, watering is reduced.
If it so happened that you didn’t water the Myrtle in time, the soil dried up and the tops of the shoots drooped, take it to the bathroom and give it a warm shower. Thus, the plant will quickly receive the necessary moisture and recover.
Myrtle is propagated by seeds or cuttings.
Semi-woody cuttings 6-8 cm long are deepened 2 cm into a mixture of peat and sand (1: 1),
cover with a glass jar and place in a bright place without direct sunlight.
Cuttings need about a month for rooting.
Young plants are transplanted annually in the spring, then transplanted every 2-3 years.
The flowering of myrtle, subject to the conditions, begins from 4-5 years. Pale white flowers with five petals and sepals and many stamens develop from the axils of the leaves on long pedicels. When the flowers are pollinated, black berries with a strong aroma are formed. Not only the flowers are aromatic, but also the leaves. When examining the leaves in the light, it seems that they are as if pricked with a needle. These are cavities filled with transparent essential oil.
When transplanting, the root neck should not be deepened, as this can lead to damage to the plant by diseases and rot.
Transplant Myrtle into a pot slightly larger than the one it was in. The root system during transplantation should not be much disturbed. It is enough just to remove the soil that is easily removed without touching the roots. Drainage should be poured at the bottom of the new pot. The new soil for myrtle should be with a neutral ph, loose, pass water well and dry out evenly, avoiding water stagnation.
The young plant is transplanted annually in spring or summer.
Myrtle loves spraying, as well as watering from the shower. To increase the humidity of the air, you can put the myrtle on a pallet with wet expanded clay.
Fertilize Myrtle once every two weeks in spring, summer and fall.
Rest period and wintering
Myrtle has a pronounced dormant period, and he needs to provide a cool wintering. The dormant period begins in mid-autumn and lasts until January. At this time, his foliage begins to fall off, and by the end of the year there may be very little of it left on the plant. However, you should not worry, since young leaves begin to appear from mid-January.
In the spring, Myrtle actively starts growing.
Trimming and pinching
Cardinal pruning and crown shaping is best done in early spring. You can pinch the shoots during the entire growing season of the plant. Pinching off the shoots will make the tree thicker.
Useful properties of myrtle
It is known that the tree literally creates a healing atmosphere in the house, because it releases useful essential oils into the air - phytoncides. It is worth putting 1-2 pots of myrtle in the room so that the number of pathogenic microbes in the room is halved.
In ancient times, they washed themselves with water infused with myrtle, believing that it gives freshness to the skin.
Wine infusion of the fruits of myrtle was considered an elixir of health and vigor.
Even a branch of myrtle, plucked along the way, seems to give vigor and strength to the traveler. That is why in the old days, going on foot on a long journey, they took with them a branch of myrtle or put a ring made from it on their finger.
The spectrum of the medicinal use of myrtle is very wide.
Myrtle is used against influenza, for its prevention, as well as for the treatment of complications after influenza, as it acts gently on the body.
It is especially good to give to children with allergies, when antibiotics are contraindicated.
Given the excellent phytoncidal, bactericidal, immunostimulating properties of myrtle, its infusions, tinctures and dry leaves are successfully used for the following diseases:
diseases of the heart, blood, throat, bones, brain, including epilepsy,
treatment of many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including dysbacteriosis, diseases of the abdominal organs, especially those of the lower abdomen, such as cystitis, prostatitis, pyelonephritis, hemorrhoids.
The most effective myrtle in the treatment of:
diseases of the blood, intestines,
with diseases of the bronchi, lungs.
The positive effect often appears quite quickly.
Myrtle: recipes and uses
Herbal preparations from myrtle in compliance with dosages can be used even in the treatment of children. As a medicine, myrtle is used in various forms.
1 part of myrtle leaves, pour 5 parts of 70% alcohol,
keep in a dark place for 5 days.
Take tincture 3 times a day 20 minutes before meals, 25-40 drops.
This remedy acts as a very effective antibiotic, while it does not cause allergies and disbacteriosis and increases the body's resistance.
You can also make lotions from tinctures for purulent wounds, burns, problem areas of the skin with acne.
The infusion also has a high antiviral activity - it helps to get rid of herpes.
In the south of France, it is customary to drink myrtle infusion to preserve youth. A recipe for making medicinal myrtle wine is known:
Usually take 50-100 g of black myrtle berries (you can also use leaves or flowers instead)
pour 0.5-1 liter of red wine,
keep at least 15 days.
Drink for 30-50 g.
Decoction of myrtle leaves
Pour 1 teaspoon of myrtle leaves with a glass of boiling water.
A warm decoction is instilled into the eyes if conjunctivitis, cataracts.
Fresh myrtle leaves
For colds, flu, acute respiratory infections, chew 3-4 leaves of myrtle several times a day after meals.
With a strong cough, bronchitis, tracheitis, wet myrtle leaves are rubbed with fingers near the face, inhaling a healing smell.
This procedure also helps relieve depression and insomnia.
Myrtle oil compresses
With varicose veins, a compress of 6-7 drops of myrtle oil, diluted in a spoonful of oil, is applied to the sore spot.
Scientists say that in the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, the birthplace of myrtle, tumors are 100 times less common than in others, and perhaps this is due to the fact that myrtle is a constant seasoning for food, which strengthens the immune system.
Adding a couple of myrtle leaves to food is not difficult at all, especially if the tree grows right in your kitchen.