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Variegated Myrtle

Myrtus communis 'Variegata'

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Variegated Myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Variegata') at Green Thumb Nursery

Variegated Myrtle foliage

Variegated Myrtle foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Variegated Myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Variegata') at Green Thumb Nursery

Variegated Myrtle

Variegated Myrtle

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  8b


Creamy-white flowers cover this dense evergreen shrub in summer; aromatic leaves are dramatically edged in white; this attractive, dense shrub is easily sheared to any size or shape

Ornamental Features

Variegated Myrtle features showy fragrant creamy white flowers along the branches in early summer. It has attractive grayish green foliage edged in white. The fragrant pointy leaves are highly ornamental and remain grayish green throughout the winter. It produces navy blue berries in late summer.

Landscape Attributes

Variegated 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.

Variegated Myrtle is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Topiary
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Variegated Myrtle will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 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 10 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It may require supplemental watering during periods of drought or extended heat. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Variegated 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
Massing  Garden  Topiary  Container 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features