Can I keep my new Myrtle topiaries alive? That's the big question I'm grappling with at the moment, because in all honesty, I've never been able to in the past (insert sad face here.) I either watered too much or didn't water enough. Myrtle topiaries are a delicate, but hearty plant and regardless of how hard it is for me to keep them alive, I find them to be stunning in any room and I am committed and trying (so hard) to keep them happy!When my kids were younger and I had a babysitter, I'd go over a list of do's and don'ts and then ultimately end up with, "just keep them alive until I get back." The sitter would laugh, but really I wasn't kidding. I kind of feel like that now, because every morning when I wake up, I rush to see how they're doing.
Yesterday, one looked a little under the weather and I panicked! I put it in the sink and watered it (maybe I said a little a prayer or two) and then let it drain into a cup, (to make sure it didn't sit in any water) and people...It worked! Today she is bright and bushy and all smiles. Phew!!!
A few of my readers have said only water once a week and let drain in the sink. They also like a nice sunny window! Okay, I can do this!
Why all of a sudden this obsession with Myrtles? Well, I started following myrtle enthusiast, designer Loi Thai. He and his partner Tom Troeschel have grown myrtles (Myrtus communis 'Compacta') in their Washington, D.C., home for more than 10 years. (If I have these for 10 years it will be a full on miracle!) By the way, his instagram is gorgeous! Follow him @loithai
Loi says, "Water consistently, the extra moisture is why my pots get nice and mossy. Good drainage is important; soil should be damp but not stay wet. Myrtles respond well to pruning. Foliage production slows in winter, so most training and shaping occur when plants are actively growing—in spring and summer."
Lucky for me, summer is near and myrtle plants tend to thrive in the summer months. Loi mentioned "shaping" his myrtles when there is new growth, so clipping your topiary often during it’s high growing season (summer,) will keep the growth looking full and beautiful (looks like I'll need a trip to the plant store for some trimming shears.)
The good news is my little darlings are thriving and this Mama is happy! Maybe one day they'll be as big and beautiful as Loi's pictured below.
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