Wax Myrtle size

pecospaulOctober 23, 2013

Today I bought five dwarf wax myrtles (myrica pusilla). The nursery tag indicates 10'-15' for both height and width. Thinking that seemed quite large for a dwarf, I asked the nurseryman the anticipated size of the "regular" southern wax myrtles (myrica cerifera) they also sold, which were untagged regarding size. He answered they both grow to the same size. Since the dwarf had smaller leaves and was denser I posited that maybe dwarf is indicative of the leaf size.

Searching online now, I find dwarf wax myrtle heights range between 3'-6'. I'm at a loss as to what actual size to expect these things to grow. I planned to use them as a privacy screen along a 6' chainlink fenceline with three as shrubs and two possibly limbed into small trees, but has this plan come to naught?

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

There are many posts about this already, so I won't go in to a lot of detail, but basically...

dwarf = slow growing
expected or mature size = typical expected size after a certain period of time (e.g. 5 years or 10 years) in certain conditions (e.g. median hardiness zone, decent soil, sufficient watering, etc.)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 10:30PM
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pecospaul

Thanks, brandon7. I searched here and online, and wasn't able to figure it out. You're succinct reply is exactly what I needed to know. Talk about a misnomer for we gardening ignoramuses. Apparently the nursery industry would have us believe elves are just slow growers too.

This post was edited by pecospaul on Thu, Oct 24, 13 at 0:07

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 10:58PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey ...

first.. no plant magically stops growing... its all about how you want to prune them.. into what you want them to be ....

second ... if momma is 100 feet tall in 100 years ... then.. in the same period.. a dwarf CULTIVAR of her might only be 75 feet tall .. and a mini of her 25 feet ...

all those words are talking about.. is annual growth ...

so momma grows one foot per year ..

dwarf grows 9 inches per year [3/4 of 12]

and mini 3 inches per year ...

as brandon said.. its all about the annual growth rate ...

and do note.. dwarf really has nothing to do with actual potential ... as you can see in front of million of homes .. lol ...

and finally .. size ESTIMATEs.. are usually at ten years.. and if you divide such by ten.. you will probably get annual growth ...

and when you get real good.. you can just look at last years growth... and probably see it ... as bark matures.. it changes... and you can usually see this season.. and last seasons growth .. if you stick your head in the plant ....

and for sure.. the end ... if you really want info.. you have to use the latin names .. i dont do myrtle... but i would guess there are hundreds of named varieties... and by finding a named cultivar... you increase your ability.. to predict its characteristics ... according to your story.. you guys were just talking generalities.. and that usually leads to confusion ...

ken

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 7:42AM
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butterfly4u

pecospaul,
If it makes you feel any better, they can be pruned severely and bounce right back for you. They are pretty hardy shrubs.
So, when they overgrow your preference, just cut them back to the height you want.
I love them, I think they are beautiful, and forgiving.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 11:06PM
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