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Myoporum Parvifolium | Australian Native Growing Guide

As a genus with more than 30 species, Myoporum Parvifolium, also called creeping boobialla and creeping myoporum, is native to Australia. Around sixteen of its kinds are readily found and grown in Australia, with the low shrubs and large foliage characterising the plant and making it a great garden favourite. 

This guide will cover its characteristics, the optimum growing conditions needed for the plant to thrive, its uses, care tips, and how to prevent and treat common issues that arise with the plant.


Myoporum Parvifolium Plant Features

Myoporum Parvifolium, also called creeping boobialla is native to Australia

The leaves of the Myoporum Parvifolium can be linear or even slightly elliptical depending on the type of plant you are growing. They have slightly serrated edges or are sometimes smooth, with flowers appearing in the centre of the leaf axils during the spring season.

With colours such as white, pink, and purple, the flowers blossom into spherical fruit. The plant is tolerant to a range of climates, given that it thrives in hotter climates with full sunlight through the years and fares well in low temperatures.

As a common groundcover plant, the myoporum parvifolium can reach its full density in warmer climates, whereas the foliage can be sparse in wintry climates.

Given that it is such a resilient plant, it is often used as rootstock for other species of plants.

Myoporum Varieties

There are many other variations of the plant beside the Parvifolium, namely:

1.  Myoporum Floribundum

Myoporum Floribundum takes the shape of a very slightly open shrub, at about 2.5-3 metres tall

Source: redbreastplants.com.au

M.floribundum takes the shape of a very slightly open shrub, at about 2.5-3 metres tall. Its tiny white flowers provide the prettiest sight for ground cover and fencing. 

The leaves are long and narrow, and the flowers bloom in clusters near the axils, making your ground area look like it's covered in brushings of snow. The flowers are used in ornaments, given their beautiful fragrance.

2.  Myoporum Parvifolium Coarse Pink and Myoporum Parvifolium Fine Leaf Pink

Myoporum Parvifolium Coarse Pink's white or pink flowers smell beautiful, bloom for long periods of time, and their fruit attract birds into your garden space

Source: onlineplants.com.au

Both the coarse pink and the fine leaf pink are evergreens that brighten every garden space they are a part of. They are also natural weed suppressors.

The white or pink flowers smell beautiful, bloom for long periods of time, and their fruit attract birds into your garden space.

3.  Myoporum Parvifolium Yareena

Myoporum Parvifolium Yareena is highly salt-tolerant and can thrive in most environmental conditions, even drought and frost

Source: plantmark.com.au

This variety of the Myoporum family is tougher than its counterparts. If you live near the coast, the plant is highly salt-tolerant and can thrive in most environmental conditions, even drought and frost making it perfect for coastal gardening

The plant has slim, bright green leaves and the white flowers that are typical of the Myoporum family.

4.  Myoporum Viscosum

Myoporum Viscosum earns the name sticky boobialla and has the same general features as the other varieties in the Myoporum family

Source: resources.austplants.com.au

This version of the myoporum earns the name “sticky boobialla” and has the same general features as the other varieties in the Myoporum family.

However, the leaves and flowers are not pleasant-smelling like their counterparts, and so this plant isn’t chosen for ornamental reasons.

This wide range of types of myoporum gives you many visuals to pick and choose for growing the plant in your garden space. These types don’t necessarily have different requirements for environmental conditions in that all are resilient and tolerant to most conditions.

Uses for Creeping Boobialla

Creeping Myoporum is a spreading ground cover that creates a dense mat of leaves, making it an excellent choice for big areas where you want green coverage but don't want to mow the grass.

Because it grows so far, creeping Myoporum is better planted alone rather than in a mixed bed. Because of the semi-tender leaves, it will not tolerate foot traffic.

It is a preferred ground cover in locations where water conservation is vital because of its low water requirements.

How to Grow Myoporum Parvifolium

How to Grow Myoporum Parvifolium

Myoporum parvifolium propagation can be sluggish in terms of germination, but seed propagation usually works without much hindrance. The best course of action to follow is to select the season’s cuttings, and use it to multiply and transplant the myoporum.

To grow creeping boobialla, you need to create conditions such as well-draining soil- the plant thrives in sandy, loamy and clay soil. Place the plantings at least 5 feet away from each other- the correct spacing enables better growth. 

Select a location in the garden that receives sunlight during the day, but the plant doesn’t necessarily suffer even in half shade. Use the correct kind of fertiliser to prepare the soil.

The planting hole must be twice as big and deep as the size of the root ball you have selected to plant. Separate the root balls, and remove them from the plant carefully.

Use a garden knife if necessary to avoid ripping the root ball. Next, place the plant in the hole and fill it with soil, using your hands to press down gently.

Create a fountain-like ring of dirt or soil around the plant base for initial water retention. You can water the plant liberally in the weeks after planting, and then water it as frequently as needed.

Caring for Myoporum Parvifolium

Caring for Myoporum Parvifolium

All kinds of sun levels are sufficient to keep the creeping boobialla happy and thriving. This makes the plant a good choice for both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Watering Myoporum parvifolium

The plant is also not particular about water requirements, except in the initial growing phase. After that, watering once every two weeks to keep the soil moist is sufficient watering.

If this is the watering schedule you are following, make sure you are deep watering the plant correctly. Even though the plant may look physically different and faded in winter, you needn’t water it any more than you used to in the summer.


Use organic, diluted fertiliser to strengthen the plant, especially when it is established after planting. Any slow-release, low-phosphorus fertiliser when the plant looks a bit worse for wear is enough, especially after pruning and transplanting.

Pruning Creeping boobialla

Myoporum parvifolium can be beautified by some regular pruning, since the plant grows quite fast. For the shrub versions of myoporum, you need to keep the creeping tendrils at bay so they don’t overrun your entire garden.

The best time to prune is during or prior to the growing season. Use only sterilised hedge or gardening shears to prune off parts of the foliage that have yellowed or dulled. (Our review on the best hedge shears will help you with this part.) 

Sterilised gardening instruments prevent cross-contamination between the different plants in your gardens. Some shrub variants of myoporum, or even in the ground cover, the plant may have bare spots as it grows older. You can plant the cuttings in said bare spots for a fuller, greener look.

Myoporum Parvifolium Propagation

Plant Spacing

Since the plant can quite literally overrun your garden if not spaced correctly or pruned appropriately, you should keep these two jobs on your roster at all times.

With a spread of up to 9 feet possible within a few short months, you should ideally plant creeping myoporum at least at a distance of 5-6 feet and trim the plant as it grows and spreads.

If you are using the creeping myoporum to serve as ground cover for your garden, the thick foliage of green leaves and white flowers can be very much a beautifying factor if spaced correctly.

Another mechanism to ensure appropriate spacing is to grow the plant on slopes and angled beds. You should keep the plant away from wherever people walk since the stems, especially when mature, are quite sharp.

Common Creeping Myoporum Pests, Diseases, and Treatment

The Myoporum Parvifolium is deer-resistant but particularly susceptible to fungal infections like pythium root rot, which causes a number of issues like branch diebacks, vigour loss, and even death if not treated promptly.

Root rot is nearly always a consequence of over-watering or water-logging, so the first step in prevention is well-drained soil.

Since there is no cure to a soil-borne infection like pythium, caring for the plant via infrequent watering, air circulation, and heating the soil before planting young Myoporum Parvifolium are all good safety mechanisms.

Myoporum Parvifolium isn’t particularly susceptible to pests, but some kinds of infestations can do irreversible damage to the plant. Myoporum thrips (Klambothrips myopori) are the pests that cause the largest degree of harm to all types of Myoporum, whether young or well-established.

The primary indicators that thrips have invaded your plant are curled leaves, leaves falling off, with the later stages of the pest infestation causing branch dieback and stem tip.

There is an easy prevention method to keeping not just thrips but all other pesky, unwanted insects away from your plants- the application of neem oil, a natural pest repellent.

Or, you can purchase a less harsh but effective pesticide and spray that liberally onto the foliage. Pests thrive in waterlogged soils, so maintain well-drained soils, and they’ll be kept at bay.

Start Growing Myoporum Parvifolium

The Myoporum parvifolium is one plant in the family of many vibrant, aesthetically-pleasing Myoporum. With tolerance towards varying degrees of sun, infrequent but thorough watering, and well-drained soil, Myoporum parvifolium can brighten up the face of bare spaces in your garden. 

Myoporum Parvifolium Australian Native Growing Guide

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Gary Clarke

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