african myrsine

african myrsine

Today we are going to talk about a species of shrub that has persistent foliage and that belongs to the Myrsinaceae family. Its about african myrsine. It is a very beautiful type of shrub that is used in many parks and gardens outdoors and in small hedges located indoors. It has a crop that is limited to Mediterranean and oceanic climates.

In this article we are going to tell you all the characteristics, cultivation and care of the african myrsine.

Key features

African boxwood to decorate gardens

Al Myrsine africana too It is known by the name of African boxwood an African myrtle. The foliage is persistent and it is a plant widely distributed from Africa to Asia. Within the family of the Myrsinaceae is the genus Myrsine made up of about 200 species of plants native to tropical and subtropical regions of various continents. Although it is limited to the Mediterranean and oceanic climate, it is a moderately resistant plant under certain environmental conditions. We take good care of it, it can serve as a beautiful decoration for a long time.

It is in the shape of a bush with quite rigid and lignified branches. They are usually between one and two meters tall at most and extends over a meter in length. If specimens are joined, it is how you can get extensive areas covered with african myrsine. Its leaves are dense and nest on small, round stems. We see that the upper half of the leaf blade is slightly serrated. These blades shine as the tools grow and turn deep green when they harden.

When this shrub reaches maturity we find that the foliage it becomes very dense and pleasing to the eye. The spring flowers are not very showy, so they are not the attraction of this shrub. The small berries that follow them are much more attractive as they are pink to bluish in color. This mix of colors can be quite interesting to make some combinations with other plants.

Cultivation of african myrsine

Myrsine africana leaves

It is a fairly tolerant shrub as far as cultivation, as long as the soil has a pH value of 5.5 and 6.5, being acidic. Once the soil is acidic, the rest of the conditions are less demanding. It can be grown in poor soils and is able to withstand drought once the shrub has taken root. The only essential requirement is the acidity of the soil. It can grow in a location that is in full sun but also in the shade. This allows it to be used in many places as a contour hedge. It is clear that in a complete environment it is almost impossible for it to be sunny in all places. Therefore, the african myrsine it is quite versatile in that regard.

Another positive aspect of growing this shrub is that it is resistant to frost. It can resist temperatures down to -9 degrees. It is convenient to install this shrub or in autumn in slightly dry areas where winter is not too intense. This shrub takes advantage of the rainier winter to take root and establish itself. In summer to help with a more frequent watering. With only one year of growth it is already established and becomes a fairly rustic plant.

So that the African box can develop well once it has been planted, it is advisable to use a mulch made of pine bark of about 3 centimeters thick to promote rooting. In addition, normally, this mulch helps to acidify the soil. We have mentioned before that the acidity of the soil is the only essential requirement for this shrub to grow. Mulch also helps you limit leaf loss.

Care and maintenance of the african myrsine

hedges made with African boxwood in gardens

We are going to talk about what are the care and maintenance that this shrub requires to be able to decorate our gardens or urban parks. We have said that it is drought resistant and can survive on poor soils. Irrigation should be increased in the warmer summer months and it is advisable to use a small amount of fertilizer during the spring. Thanks to these contributions of organic matter in the form of fertilizers they can have a greater growth.

When we leave the African box it is quite decorative but it also supports being in more closed spaces. In this case, we are talking about public areas in which decorative bushes are placed. It only needs light pruning to regulate the amount of leaves it has. The way to multiply this type of bushes is carefully sowing pods. Cuttings are not usually very successful in these types of plants. To make them produce fruit, male plants and female plants need to coexist. The fruits are edible but it is also very decorative.

Keep in mind that growth is quite slow and you have to be patient to be able to develop both isolated specimens and groups. Many people use it as a windbreak barrier. It can thrive both in direct sun conditions and in semi-shade and shade. One of the aspects that we have not named and that is fundamental along with the acidity of the soil is its drainage. It is a type of shrub that does not tolerate puddles, so you need a soil that drains water well. If irrigation water begins to accumulate, it can rot the roots and end up dying.

Compost and pruning

We have said that they are drought resistant plants and need a somewhat moderate watering, increasing in quantity in the summer months. The indicator for re-watering is that the soil must be mushroomed before re-watering. As for the subscriber, it is convenient to do it as organic matter either with compost, manure or humus. It can be pruned in early spring to give it a more elegant appearance that can withstand summer well.

Finally, it does not usually present serious problems of pests and diseases that are more classic in parks and gardens.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the care, characteristics and cultivation of the african myrsine.


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