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Don't Over-Prune Your Wax Myrtles

Making It Grow Minute

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The wax myrtles we planted as a screen in our St. Matthews yard have had a hard time over the years. These trees are fast growing, partially due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen – in essence, fertilize themselves. They are however somewhat brittle and several ice storms have taken their toll on our hedge. Wax myrtles are best used in natural settings as they really, really resent over pruning. Fortunately, there are numerous varieties that are smaller than the species which let them be used in places where you need a plant that maxes out at five feet rather than twenty. Some of these varieties are also stoloniferous, spreading from underground roots, and could be used to provide cover and stabilize an infertile area and create wildlife habitat at the same time.