Eugenia is a genus of flowering tropical and subtropical plants, most of which are evergreen shrubs and trees, belonging to the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. These plants have glossy foliage, attractive white flowers and red berries and many species are placed in containers and pruned to serve as topiaries. You'll find them for sale in such shapes as spirals, cones, globes and two- and three-tier balls or "pom-poms." In general, Eugenia species are hardy outdoors in USDA zones 9 through 11. However, they can also be grown indoors.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Distilled water or rainwater
- Complete fertiliser, such as 13-13-13 or 18-6-8
- Pruning shears
Choose a site for your topiary with full to partial sun. If temperatures are particularly hot, place it in partial sun. Eugenia species need a minimum of four to five hours of direct sunlight a day. Place it in direct sunshine through glass if grown indoors.
Place the topiary where its leaves will not touch another plant or object. Eugenia requires good airflow.
Water consistently. From spring through fall, water daily to keep the soil evenly moist, rather than giving an occasional soaking and allowing it to dry out. During the winter, cut back to watering three to four times a week. If you have hard water, use distilled water or rainwater, as Eugenia doesn't tolerate salt. If the leaves start to lose their glossy appearance or wilt, it's an indication the plant needs more water.
Cover or place the topiary in a sheltered area if temperatures are expected to fall below 0 degrees C. It prefers winter temperatures between 7.77 and 20.0 degrees C. If grown indoors, Eugenia prefers little variation in temperature and doesn't tolerate drafts.
Fertilise monthly during the spring and summer during heavy growth; in the winter, fertilise bimonthly. Use a complete formula, such as a 13-13-13 or 18-6-8.
Keep the topiary to its shape by pinching off new growth with your fingers or snipping it with a scissors every two to four weeks. You can prune it back vigorously when necessary.
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