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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - July 18, 2011

From: Bonifay, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Trees
Title: Should I purchase wax myrtle plants as liners or pots
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I want to buy some wax myrtle over internet.Place has wax myrtle "liners" They look very thin. Will these bushes grow quickly or should I spend more $ for 1 gallon plants. Just need a hedge fairly quick. thanks a bunch

ANSWER:

Wax Myrtle Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)  is an evergreen shrub that the "Green Gurus" frequently recommend. It is a 6-12 ft. shrub that can reach up to 20 ft., and is described by Floridata as being a fast grower (about 2-3 feet per year). It can grow in full sun to partial shade, likes slightly acidic, moist, deep sands, loams, clay. It is a dioecious plant, having "male" (staminate) and "female" (pistilate) flowers on separate plants. Therefore, you will need both kind of plants to produce berries.

This USDA distribution map shows that it occurs naturally in Florida. This link to Aggie-horticulture has information about the name change from Myrica to Morella.

“Liners” vs gallon containers?  One of the first things that your new plants need to get going quickly is a good root system. The plants in the pots are several months ahead of the “liners” in this regard.  There is always that question about time and money. Do you spend time to save money, or do you spend money to save time? I would encourage you to take a look at our Suppliers Directory  to find businesses that sell native plants in your area.
I’m going to direct you to three web sites that have advice about planting, watering, and avoiding transplant shock to get you ready to plant your new plants.

Tree planting

Transplant shock

Watering tips

 

From the Image Gallery


Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

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