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Myrtle family. Homeland - Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania. In nature, there are about 50 species of evergreen shrubs or trees. As a houseplant, only one species is grown, which is quite demanding to care for.
Leptospermum rod-shaped Leptospermum scoparium is a small shrub with profusely branching pubescent stems. The leaves are alternately arranged, petiolate, and very often sit on the stems. The leaf shape is oblong or lanceolate, with a thin point at the end. Leaves about 1 cm long, up to 3 mm wide, with well-visible venation, the lower part of the leaf is covered with pubescence. The leaves contain a fairly large amount of essential oils, which is especially noticeable if you rub the leaf between your fingers. Flowers are single, axillary, small - about 1 cm in diameter. Fruit is capsule.
Leptospermum - care and cultivation
Temperature: Normal in summer, optimally 24-26 ° C, in winter very cool content is needed, at a temperature of 7-8 ° C, but not higher than 12 ° C, with very limited, poor watering.
Lighting: Like all myrtle, leptoospermum is photophilous, it needs a certain amount of direct sun, shading is generally not required, but in the spring it is gradually taught to the bright sun. In the direct sun in summer, leptoospermum suffers not from sunlight, but from heat, so it is better to rearrange the plants in a cooler place.
Watering: Abundant from spring to autumn, after the topsoil has dried. In winter, they rarely watered, but without allowing the earthen coma to completely dry out. If the soil is too dry, the plant may die. Leptospermum does not tolerate hard water, so use boiled or filtered water. A sign of the need for watering in Leptospermum will be the drooping of the tips of the shoots - they become lethargic, but after watering the turgor is restored. Long-term overdrying, as well as waterlogging, does not tolerate.
Fertilizer: From March to August, myrtle is fed with fertilizer for azaleas or bonsai. Top dressing every two weeks.
Air humidity: In spring and summer it needs humidification.
Transfer: Annually in the spring. The soil should be slightly acidic or acidic. Mixture: 2-3 parts of turf, 1 part of peat land, 1 part of humus, 1 part of sand. You can use ready-made potting mix for azaleas and rhododendrons. The soil must be sufficiently loose and breathable.
Reproduction: Cuttings in spring and summer, seeds. The cuttings are stuck directly into the pots, into the soil (a mixture of vermiculite and peat), covered with a jar on top or the pot is tied into a bag, aired twice a day for 30 minutes. Cuttings root better in February-March for 1-1.5 months. It is very important for rooting to uniformly moisten the soil - so that it does not dry out, but also does not be waterlogged. To do this, instead of a bag, it would be better to use a cap from a cut plastic bottle (cut off the bottom, remove the lid). It is necessary to remove the shelter gradually, gradually accustoming young plants to drier air.
Leptospermum is well formed by pruning. With the end of the dormant period in February, you can form a crown. Plants can be pruned several times during the growing season. Leptospermum is formed in different styles, including a standard tree. As a bonsai crop, Leptospermum is prized for its abundant branching, small leaves, and the tendency of the bark to crack.