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Wax Myrtle Berries Feed Birds, Freshen Your Home

Making It Grow Minute

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Female wax myrtle plants produce very small, bluish-grey fruits that are clustered along the stems of the previous year’s growth. An important food for over-wintering and migratory birds, these fruits are also collected by Industrious people collect to add fragrance to candles – bayberry candles are perfumed with this wax. The process involves collecting lots of fruits, boiling them in a pot of water, and then after the water cools, lifting off the very thin layer of wax you can harvest. If you are fortunate enough to have beeswax, you can mix the wax with that to make very fine candles indeed. But Even if added to just plain melted paraffin with a little green food color, you can make homemade presents that are unique and aromatic.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.