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Mr. Smarty Plants - Propagation of myrtle in Wapperger Falls, NY

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Tuesday - September 01, 2009

From: Wapperger Falls , NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of myrtle in Wapperger Falls, NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How do you propagate myrtle?

ANSWER:

Depends on which myrtle you are talking about. There is Myrtle communis,  or true myrtle, a native of the Mediterranean Basin and therefore out of our area of expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where we are committed to plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. However, we did find a website from the University of Oklahoma Dept. of Botany and Microbiology that included propagation techniques for Myrtle communis. This myrtle is a member of the Myrtaceae family. Pictures from Google

If, however, you are referring to wax myrtle, that we can help you with. We tried to find the location of your town in New York, in order to determine which wax myrtle might be native to your area. We couldn't find a Wapperger Falls, but did find a Wappinger Falls, NY in Dutchess County. Hope we got the right one. Also a member of the Myrtaceae family is Morella cerifera (wax myrtle), which is not native in the area of Dutchess County, southeast New York, but does grow in neighboring New Jersey, but in its southeast area and not close to New York. However, we know that this wax myrtle is grown in areas of New York, and will be able to give you propagation instructions. From our webpage on this plant, here are the propagation instructions:

"Propagation

Description: Sow seed outdoors in the fall or stratify. Wax myrtle will root from softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer. Root cuttings, 2-3 in. long., can be make in early winter.
Seed Collection: Collect fruit in September or October. Leave waxy coating on during storage, but remove it prior to sowing or stratification. Remove in a solution of 1 t. lye to 1 gal. water. Store seeds in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Stratify in moist peat 60-90 days at 34-41 degrees. Many seeds have a waxy coat that prevents water uptake and stratification. Soaking seeds in hot water or rubbing them vigorously against a rough surface will help remove the wax."

From our Native Plant Image Gallery


Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

 

 

 

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