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We have already talked about what a wonderful house plant myrtle is on the pages of our Encyclopedia. Here we will talk about how to grow myrtle from a cutting to an adult tree.
Myrtle tolerates pruning and pinching well at any time of the year, with the difference that in an adult wintering plant that is in the dormant stage, without signs of growth, you can painlessly cut one branch per cutting, well, if you really need it, two, no more. And for a growing myrtle that continues to grow, you can safely cut the crown radically. The best time to cut myrtle branches for rooting is spring, late winter. If you cut off the twigs from the "sleeping" myrtle, they must be immediately transferred to conditions suitable for vegetation: warm (20-25 ° C), humidity not lower than 50% and light (additional lighting if necessary) - several hours of direct sun in the morning or evening.
For rooting, you can use twigs from 7 to 15 cm, the optimal length is not measured in centimeters, but a piece of the stem - rooting occurs at the semi-lignified tip of the cutting. It is clear that a 5 cm branch still has a green stalk, it will simply fade. In a cut cutting, the lower leaves should be cut off and placed in water or wet vermiculite for rooting.
As you can see, in the first version, there is one stalk in the cup, it is supported by a circle cut out to the diameter of the cup made of polyethylene foam and cut to the center. It not only supports the stem, but also prevents the water from evaporating too quickly. You can cut such a circle out of foam rubber.
In the second version, many cuttings are rooted in one jar. Not all of them will give roots.
What is the difference and how best to root? The fact is that if you got one single cutting, you must do as shown in the first photo. Moreover, the water must be very clean, boiled. Observe carefully for the first two days - if the water remains clear, everything is fine, you just have to wait for the roots to appear. If the water becomes cloudy, replace it with fresh one, and add the secret component to it. There is such a drug in the pharmacy Polyphepan - it is an adsorbent (black powder looks like dry earth) that will not allow water to deteriorate, prevents the development of bacteria, but does not interfere with the rooting of cuttings. You need to add half a teaspoon to half a glass of water.
Yuri Aleksandrovich Markin (YUM) shares his many years of experience: If everything is in order with the water and the viability of the cutting, the roots are formed quite quickly - callus is formed in the first week (white cones at the tip of the stem), and good roots grow in 2-3 weeks. When they reach at least 5 cm, more can be done, it's time to transplant the cutting into the ground.
In the photo you can see strong roots and the beginning of the growing season at a rooted cuttings of myrtle, but it must be planted carefully in order to minimize injury to the delicate root processes. Therefore, Yuri Alexandrovich ties the handle to a peg. The peg, stuck into the ground, reliably holds the cutting, without deepening the root collar.
If the roots of the myrtle are strong, they instantly take root, and grow very quickly in conditions of high humidity. Thickened plantings in a common container require good ventilation of the room and timely planting in separate pots. Perhaps it is more correct to immediately plant the cuttings of myrtle in separate containers, depending on the desired shape of the adult plant. If you plan to grow a dense bush, you can plant 2-4 cuttings together, if you plan to grow myrtle with a stem or as a potency, then each cuttings have a separate pot. Another option is the fusion of trunks, it also implies planting several cuttings in one container, but it requires some skill and preparation.
Can myrtle roots be pruned when transplanting rooted cuttings?
Yes, it is possible, in the event that the root system is well developed, has many lateral roots of the upper part, then you can painlessly cut the elongated roots. After cutting the roots, sprinkle them with a crushed tablet of activated carbon or ground cinnamon.
Dimensions of myrtle transplant pot
How you choose the right pot for planting a cutting depends on its health, growth rate and appearance. Many tend to take pots with a large margin, but if the pot is large, after watering the earth will dry for a very long time, as a result, a salt effusion forms on the surface - a whitish or reddish bloom of calcium and magnesium salts. In this case, the acidity of the soil shifts to the alkaline side, in such an environment some nutrients are poorly absorbed and there is a high probability of root rot. In a pot that is too small, especially when planted in clean peat, on the contrary, the root system of the plant can be very dry.
Here is an example, planting a rooted branch (the thickness of the stem was originally 2 mm), which has long grown, and the height has reached 75 cm from the ground.
Myrtle grew in a glass (200 g) for about two years. The stem thickness at the root collar reached 6 mm. The earth lump is almost completely taken over by the roots. If the roots of your cutting have grown only in the lower part, formed a "beard", or crawled out of the drainage holes, and the upper part of the pot is not mastered by the roots, it makes sense when transplanting to cut off those roots that protrude from the holes of the pot, or those that curled on the bottom in a spiral, displacing all the soil. After that, you need to transplant the young myrtle back into the old pot. You can transplant into a new one only when the roots fill the entire space of the pot.
The formation of the myrtle tree is ongoing. Trimming the ends of the shoots can be carried out several times during the spring-summer season. You can grow a myrtle tree in a completely free style, with a shaggy bush. You can form a stem or other style. But first you need to imagine the image you want to strive for.
A myrtle tree blooming with pink buds (on the right in the photo, Pavel Karpenkov) is so beautiful not because of its extreme unpretentiousness, but because it is grown in ideal conditions for it: it stands in an area where the illumination is close to sunny, the humidity is 90% and the temperature is 24 ° C. It is watered every 2-3 days (does not dry out and does not fill). Planted in a mixture of akadama with sand and some soil for seedlings. The drainage is high - myrtles do not like swampy roots. It must be sprayed every day.
Important: when wintering in cool and, even more so, cold conditions, spraying is not required, and watering is scarce.
With the help of a wire, branches can be pulled in the right direction, they are quite plastic even in adulthood. But old branches covered with brown bark can be bent gradually, smoothly, over several months.
Pay attention, while the myrtle tree is gaining trunk thickness, it does not need to be planted in a bonsai pot, the pot space is needed for the plant to accelerate the trunk.
From personal experience, Borya: My myrtle grows on the northwest window, but I cannot form a spherical crown without additional lighting. I use this technique: as the branches lengthen, I tilt the largest of them to the sides almost to a horizontal position, and fasten with wire. Then, along the entire length of the branch, new shoots begin to appear from dormant buds (before that they were in the shade), and the whole branch turns out to be densely leafy.
The size of the pot should correspond to the size of the root system and grow as the earthen coma is woven. It all depends on how many roots the myrtle has. In my opinion, it is better to take a cramped dish than a spacious one, since in the second case, part of the earth may sour and become unusable even before the roots have time to penetrate it.
I prefer to plant myrtles in a mixture of some kind of peat soil with coarse sand, in a 1: 1 ratio. From the purchased, you can, in my opinion, use the 'Cactus' mixture, as the most porous and suitable for most plants.
What you need to do to make myrtle look like a tree from a cutting
From personal experience, Borya: You need to choose the largest, central, and, most importantly, the branch of the bush that you like most and cut off all the rest. This can be done conveniently with small nail clippers. On it, you need to remove the leaves and side shoots from the bottom to the height of the proposed trunk. This will create an even trunk that will slowly grow fat.
Since during the growth of a 'bush' the branches touch and, as it were, a little 'propping up' each other, then, 'being left alone', this twig can bend for any reason (from accidental grazing, or as a result of tilting towards the light, for example). Therefore, a support in the form of a peg stuck next to it is desirable for it.
As a result, shoots begin to grow on the upper leafy part. Those shoots that do not appear on the 'crown', but on the stem, must be removed (otherwise the bush will turn out again). When the stem reaches a thickness of about 0.5 cm, the support can be removed.
Bamboo skewers (3-4 mm thick and about 30 cm long) are very suitable for the role of sticks for props. The peg should be located, in relation to the plant, from the side of the room or to the side, so as not to shade.
Myrtle - bonsai
Many people want to have a miniature myrtle tree in a bowl, but before the trunk of the myrtle gains thickness (from 1.5 cm or more), there is not even a question of transplanting into bonsain plants. And all the plant material with which the work is carried out on the formation is called Potensai.
An example of such work from Yuri Alexandrovich Markin:
Bonsai Sokan style
And this is Potensai - Sokan style "Twin Trunks". Used 2-3 year old plants grown from rooted cuttings. Rearranged from wintering to prepare for spring vegetation - pruning and shaping for bonsai styles. The skeleton and trunks of the first Potensai specimen are shaped in the Sokan style with ligature and stretch marks applied. Finished workpiece height - 28 cm:
Formation work continues. Myrtle has its own subtleties, says Yuri Alexandrovich - fragile wood and loose bark, although, when broken, it grows together remarkably.
Before all the manipulations, I do a long shower to soak the tissues. When bending the vertical and rather plump branches at an angle of 90 °, I kind of knead the near-trunk section between the fingers - I wrinkle it like a joint on a finger.
Next, I begin to apply the ligature to the trunk and bring in the wire on the bent branch. Then, the branch, together with the wire entwined with two turns, begin to bend slowly. You can substitute a screwdriver under the branch and create an emphasis at the bend. After bending the branch more than 90 °, I rewind the ligature with the branch fixing in the desired position.
You can also perform a directional bend, i.e. break a branch and wrap it with raffia, and then apply a ligature (the main subtlety is not to break it at all when applying raffia and a ligature, skill and a sensitive tactile sensation of the material is required).
There is another way to apply it to thick branches. Make a crescent cut under the branch, in the place of the intended bend, to the middle or 2/3 of the branch thickness. The cut is made in thin sections with adjustment (bending and refining the position of the branch in the final form), if it is not enough, then another thin fragment is removed from both sides (like slices).
Further according to the scheme - wrapping with raffia and applying a ligature. If it is difficult to bend copper wire in insulation with a cross section of 2.5 mm, then you can impose two wires of 1.5 mm each or several wires of an even smaller cross section stacked together - for example, the photo above (lower left corner), a coil of wire in the photo with myrtle. This wire can be used for both ligatures and stretch marks.
Bonsai style Ikadabuki
Another example of work on the formation of myrtle bonsai in the style of Ikadabuki from Gennady Boronin (Genn). The author also modestly calls it just an attempt to form: "2 years trying to become a bonsai." The height of the myrtle tree is 27-30 cm.
All details and photos in the topic I'm trying to grow bonsai.
Used photographs and materials: Yu. A. Markin (YUM), Borya, Natali, barsuchok, Alexander, P. Karpenkov (beomaster), G. Boronin (Genn).