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Dwarf Sweet Myrtle

Myrtus communis 'Microphylla'

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Dwarf Sweet Myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Microphylla') at Roger's Gardens

Dwarf Sweet Myrtle foliage

Dwarf Sweet Myrtle foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  9a

Other Names:  Myrtus communis ssp. tarentina, Tarentum Myrtle

Description:

Abundant creamy white flowers cover this dense evergreen shrub in summer to fall; small leaves are glossy and aromatic; long, erect branches and a rounded shape make this a good choice for a small hedge; drought tolerant

Ornamental Features

Dwarf Sweet Myrtle features showy fragrant white flowers with creamy white overtones along the branches from late summer to late fall, which emerge from distinctive pink flower buds. It has attractive dark green foliage. The small fragrant pointy leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. It produces white berries from early to late winter.

Landscape Attributes

Dwarf Sweet Myrtle is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Dwarf Sweet Myrtle is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Topiary
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Dwarf Sweet Myrtle will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Dwarf Sweet Myrtle makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Topiary  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features