Care & Cultivation Guide: Magnolias

Magnolias are the true aristocrats of the tree and shrub world and are relatively trouble-free to grow. Most are deciduous and produce spectacular displays of goblet or start-shaped flowers in spring before their leaves have emerged. An evergreen form, M. grandiflora, will flower intermittently throughout the summer and into autumn. Some smaller growing types, such as M. stellata, will grow in a container for many years.

PLANTING: Plant in full sun or partial shade, with shelter from strong winds. Wind protection is particularly important for large leaved species such as M. macrophylla. For the early spring flowering species, plant away from known frost pockets within the garden as flowers in future years could be damaged. It is very important not to plant Magnolias too deep. The incorporation of Composted Bark is recommended at planting time as this provides additional nutrients and improves drainage.

SOIL: Magnolias respond well to a good, moist, humus-rich but well-drained soil that’s not too thin or too chalky. For alkaline soils try M. stellata, M. x leobneri, M. wilsonii or M. seiboldii.

CARE: Pruning requirements are minimal however, dead, crossing or wayward branches may be removed during late winter or early spring, whilst the plant is dormant.

A mulch of organic matter, such as Composted Bark should be applied annually in early spring to a maximum depth of 5-7cm. Ensure that the mulch doesn’t build up, at a deep planting level, as this causes damage to the plant.

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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