What Is Swan River Myrtle – Learn About Swan River Myrtle Cultivation

Small Shrub Swan River Myrtle Flowering Plant
swan river myrtle
(Image credit: Gnangarra...commons.wikimedia.org)

Swan river myrtle is a very attractive and fascinating flowering plant native to western Australia. It’s a relatively small shrub that works well planted as a hedge or border. Keep reading to learn more about swan river myrtle cultivation and swan river myrtle care.

What is Swan River Myrtle?

What is swan river myrtle? Its scientific name is Hypocalymma robustum. Although it is native to the southern tip of western Australia, it has been grown with success in most Mediterranean-type climates. In colder climates, it can be planted in a container and brought indoors for the winter. A relatively small shrub, it tends to grow to between 3 and 5 feet (1-1.5 m.) in height, although certain varieties can reach up to 12 feet (4 m.) tall. Its flowers are spectacular, blooming in clusters along the stems in shades of bright to deep pink. The flowers tend to bloom from winter through spring. The leaves are much longer than they are wide and deep green.

Swan River Myrtle Cultivation

While it may be native to Australia, this doesn’t mean you cannot grow it elsewhere, provided you can get your hands on one. Swan river myrtle care is relatively easy. The plant is extremely drought tolerant and needs very little extra watering. The best soil is sand to loam, with neutral to slightly acid pH. It grows best in full sun, but it will easily tolerate some light shade. It can handle a light frost, but in climates with cold winters, growing swan river myrtle in a container and bringing it indoors for the colder months is the best course of action. Some light pruning is recommended to keep your swan river myrtle compact and bushy, but it’s not strictly necessary – it’s a naturally compact shrub. Swan river myrtle cultivation is especially rewarding in small spaces and closely planted lines, like natural borders and hedges.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.