Dwarf Myrtle

By: C. Colston Burrell  | 
An overgrown myrtle bush in front of a building.
Dwarf Myrtle is a type of shrub. Kenny Williamson / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • Dwarf myrtle is a compact and slow-growing evergreen shrub.
  • It features small, aromatic leaves and delicate white flowers, making it an attractive addition to gardens and landscapes.
  • Dwarf myrtle thrives in well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade, requiring minimal maintenance once established.

Dwarf myrtle, a Mediterranean evergreen shrub, is pleasantly perfumed when its stems or leaves are lightly crushed. It is often grown for historical reasons, since it is the myrtle so frequently mentioned in ancient writings.

Description of dwarf myrtle: The myrtle forms a densely leaved shrub 5 to 6 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. In truly hospitable sites, it can become a small tree. The fragrant white flowers are numerous and have a fuzzy appearance due to their numerous stamens. They are produced in summer and followed by purple-black berries.


Growing dwarf myrtle: Myrtle is normally grown in partial shade but does well in full sun if its watering needs are met. Just about any soil will do as long as it is well-drained. Prune as needed.

Uses for dwarf myrtle: This shrub is often grown for screening or as a hedge and can also be pruned into topiary forms. It is also attractive when trained up a wall as an espalier. It can be grown as a container plant indoors.

Dwarf myrtle related varieties: There are a great many varieties of this shrub. Compacta, with a low-growing, small-leaved habit, is ideal for low edgings, foundation plantings, and low formal hedges. Microphylla, which has even smaller, narrow leaves, is the most commonly used variety indoors.

: Myrtus communis


Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Landscape Shrubs; find the right combination of shrubs to create the effect you want
  • Types of Shrubs; see tips for choosing the right shrub for your yard
  • Gardening; turn your garden into a lush retreat using these step-by-step instructions


Frequently Asked Questions

Can dwarf myrtle be grown indoors?
While dwarf myrtle can tolerate indoor conditions for short periods, it generally prefers outdoor environments with ample sunlight and good air circulation.
Is dwarf myrtle susceptible to any specific pests or diseases?
Like many plants, dwarf myrtle can be susceptible to pests such as aphids and scale insects, as well as diseases like powdery mildew. Regular inspection and proper care can help prevent and manage these issues.