Cultivation of the mastic (Pistacia lentiscus)

Today we find a shrub (or small tree) very typical of Mediterranean Europe and that offers us many possibilities. Since ancient times it has been used both for its medicinal properties and for the latex that it gives off, which has been used a lot as chewing gum.

That and much more we tell you today in the cultivation of the mastic.


There are some common names by which we can know Pistacia lentiscus, such  as mata charneca or entina , although its best known and most used name is that of the mastic. It belongs to the Anacardiaceae  family and within it to the Pistacia genus  of which the Chinese pistachio or Pistacia Vera ,  the common nuts , will sound familiar to you .


We start from the basis that the mastic is a very resistant shrub. It is used to growing in the Mediterranean environment and resists high temperatures. On the contrary, strong frosts (typical of the interior) are not good for it.


It is a species that often grows without help from anyone and does so in any soil. It adapts to limestone environments, poor and dry soils. Even a fairly common habitat for the mastic is the coastal area.

It can be seen many times in coastal gardens without any growth problems. This is because it tolerates salinity very well.


Perhaps this section is, unlike the rest of the plant cards, the least important. It is such a rustic and resistant crop that a mastic is capable of growing and developing without human intervention .

We can help you grow with a compost or manure bed. (It has been shown that it increases its development by more than 20%), as well as providing it periodically and especially in summer, separate waterings.

Mastic multiplication

The most versatile and comfortable way to multiply  Pistacia lentiscus  is through  seeds.  The main problem with multiplication through this method is the heterogeneity of germination . This occurs because the seed has a waterproof envelope that does not facilitate its opening and growth of the plant from it. In many cases it is necessary to resort to germination techniques, such as scarification (softening the cover to facilitate hatching).


Before, at the beginning of the article, we commented that a latex could be extracted from its trunk, which is widely used in the industry. For example, in Turkey they use it to make chewing gum. It has also been used to make a varnish or to add an aromatic flavor to the liquor.

In Spain , the most common is to see an ornamental use in the mastic. It is perfectly indicated for xerophytic gardens ,  or as a visual complement on golf courses. Basically because it is a very rustic tree that grows practically alone, it does not give problems and consumes very few resources.

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