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Monday - December 10, 2012

From: Lafayette, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Shrubs
Title: Propagation of wax myrtle from Lafayette LA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, I have a good portion of Wax Myrtle Seeds. How do I get them Started for planting? Have been told to put several seeds in a Jar lid in a very damp paper-towel & leave them there till they start sprouting. Can you advise on the proper way to get the seeds started & also when is the best time of year for planting for this area (SOuth Central Louisiana)? Thanks, Bill Ortego

ANSWER:

Follow this plant link, Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle), to our webpage on this plant, which is native to Louisiana and should find good conditions for growing in your area. Note these Propagation Intructions on that page:

"Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings , Softwood Cuttings
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.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Height and legginess can be maintained with a line trimmer or the shrub can be allowed to develop into an airy hedge. Prune annually if want to maintain a tree shape."

Since the article says to stratify seed 60-90 days and you gather them in September and October, we would assume that you could begin planting in late Winter, perhaps February to March.

From the University of Florida Extension office, here is an article that pretty well echoes our earlier estimate of when and how to plant seeds. 

 

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