Cultivation and Care of Magnolias

SOIL/COMPOST: Magnolias prefer moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5. The exceptions are:

- grandiflora and delavayi which can tolerate dry, alkaline soil.
- stellata, wilsonii, kobus and x loebneri which can  tolerate a moist, alkaline soil.

A mulch of organic matter, such as forest bark should be applied annually in early spring to a maximum depth of 5-7cm. Care should be taken to ensure that the mulch does not build up to a deep planting level.

LOCATION: Magnolias may be planted in full sun or partial shade, with shelter from strong winds. Wind protection is particularly important for large leaved species such as macrophylla.

PLANTING: In Northern areas, it is best to plant once the danger of frost has passed. Frost protection should be provided for frost tender species and young plants.

It is very important not to plant Magnolias too deep. We recommend the incorporation of forest bark at planting time. This provides additional nutrients and also improves drainage. This is important as Magnolias will not tolerate long periods of water logging.

Care should be taken not to damage the brittle roots when planting and stakes should not penetrate the root ball.

TEMPERATURE: Protect from prolonged or late frost. Evergreen species especially require protection from ice, snow and cold winds. Flowers should be fleeced to prevent damage from late spring frosts.

PRUNING: Trees and deciduous shrubs require minimal pruning. However, dead, crossing or wayward branches may be removed in late winter or early spring, whilst the plant is dormant.

Evergreen shrubs also require minimal pruning. Dead, crossing or wayward branches may be removed from mid-late spring.

PROBLEMS: Magnolias are relatively pest-free, but may experience problems with slugs, snails, honey fungus, coral spot and scale insects.

Lime induced chlorosis may be experienced if the soil is not sufficiently acid. Indications include a yellowing or browning at the leaf margins, extending between the veins. A chelated form of trace elements should be applied with sequestered iron. Such products are readily available.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information given both on our lists and labels. However, some details may vary according to special or geographical circumstances. Varieties offered are subject to availability.

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