Wax Myrtle Lifespan

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I planted a wax myrtle hedge a few years ago to provide some much needed privacy from our neighbours. However I was on a gardening site a couple weeks ago and someone was mentioning that Wax myrtles have a very short lifespan and they die after just a few years. So I started researching online to verify this info and I came across an article on TreesUSA.com (http://www.treesusa.com/Plantinfo/Ornamental/myrtle,%20southern%20wax.pdf) which stated that Wax Myrtle live a max of 15 years and that's under ideal conditions. However there are other websites where people are reporting having Wax Myrtles which are 30 + years old....so I'm confused. I'm sure all the sites are referring to the same plant....What do you think? I hate putting so much time and energy into building the perfect hedge, just for it to die in 12 yrs....since I'd have to start over anyway, my husband was suggesting tearing it all out now and starting all over is...Ack!!....Any suggestions/comments or advice on the Wax Myrtle's lifespan would be greatly appreciated.


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Answer #1 · Addilyn Daniel's Answer · I have quite a bit of experience with wax myrtle, and other native plants, and can attest to the fact that these shrubs live much longer than "several" or "just a few" years. The specimen I have growing in my landscape is at least 15 years old and very healthy. The lifespan of wax myrtle, or any other plant for that matter, can depend on several factors involving climate, soil type and drainage, and insect infestation or disease. I'm not sure if anybody can put a definite lifespan on wax myrtle and, in doing so, is most likely basing it on personal experience with plants that died prematurely from one cause or another. The main problem I've seen with wax myrtle is damage caused by ice or heavy snow loads. Branches can become brittle and break off when overloaded. But wax myrtle is not the only plant susceptible to this problem. If it were me, and since you already have the wax myrtle planted and growing, I would stick with them. If you decide to remove and replace them with another evergreen shrub, consider holly. Holly are generally very tough plants and very long-lived. I would recommend getting the advice of a local nurseryman, arborist, or your local extension service agent before making a selection. He/she should have some good recommendations.)



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