Magnolia: planting maintenance pruning and flowering

The Magnolia (which has existed for 100 million years) now comes in 120 species, evergreen or deciduous. It’s a tree spectacular flowering which blooms either in spring or summer. It is the pride of all gardeners. It brings a decorative touch to the urban garden but obviously finds its place on any terrain in the countryside. In any case, it does not go unnoticed. Here is a Magnolia culture sheet that indicates everything you need to know to see a Magnolia flourish in your garden and provide it with all the care it needs.

Plant a magnolia

Magnolias particularly like rich, cool soilsand enjoy a semi-shaded to sunny position well sheltered from prevailing winds. But the area reserved for it should be neither too humid during the cold season, nor too hot and stuffy in the summer. It can also be noted that some species such as the Magnolia stellata are planted in soil that is neither calcareous nor acidic, while others such as Magnolia grandiflora prefer to be grown in a mixture of 60% heather soil and 40% leaf mold, manure or peat. As to Magnolia kobusa limestone soil is preferable.

Distance between the Magnolia and the house

The distance to respect between a magnolia and the house must be assessed according to the species cultivated. For the persistent, there are a good ten meters because in adulthood they reach a height of about 20 to 25 meters. Planting them a little away from the house therefore does not affect the interior light. As to deciduous species, their development is much less since they do not exceed 6 meters in height in adulthood. These are generally those that are installed in the immediate vicinity of the house or the fence wall.

We can however be reassured, whether the tree is large or not, its roots do not in any way harm a construction.

Best planting time

Whichever species is chosen, it should never be planted during a frost period. It is best to plant a magnolia during thefall. It will already be well rooted when winter begins, and this allows an excellent resumption of vegetation in the spring. This planting period is recommended in the most South where the risk of drought is legion, and this advice also applies to deciduous species.

The evergreen magnolias tolerate planting well avril and this is also the case for all species since they are grown in regions with harsh winters and durable.

Planting method

  • Dig a hole 80 cm deep and in diameter,
  • Place a good layer of soil and manure mixture at the bottom,
  • Install the root ball in the hole without burying it too deeply and taking care not to break its roots,
  • Plug the hole,
  • Compact the soil and form a basin,
  • Water copiously.

If one chooses to plant several magnolias in order to obtain a nice group of treesit is necessary to take into account their adult size in order to space them out enough so that they don’t get in each other’s way. Their location must be chosen definitively because their transplantation risks damaging its roots.

Entertain a magnolia tree

It is not a tree that requires a lot of maintenance.


It must be enough to keep the soil cool. It is especially in summer during the very hot weather that it is necessary to increase the frequency of watering. In the event of scorching temperatures, the foliage must be shower jet in the evening.


It is useful to mulch the base of a magnolia for several reasons, namely:

  • Protect your roots in winter,
  • Keep the ground cool in summer,
  • Promote its flowering,
  • Limit the development of weeds.

The ideal is to opt for pine bark.

Parasites and diseases

The magnolia is not very sensitive and turns out to be a nice resistance as long as it is installed in a suitable ground and that it benefits from an ideal exposure. It is however necessary to be vigilant with the very young specimens whose tender leaves make, in spring, the delight of slugs and other gastropods. We have no choice but to use slug baits to get rid of these undesirables.

Finally, if the soil lacks fertilizer, the risk is the infestation of the magnolia by the Pestalozzia. We know the devastating effects of this champignon which it is imperative to treat by spraying with a fungicide because in the absence of treatment, we can only see the total defoliation of the tree (leaf fall). However, it is possible to prevent the appearance of this parasitic fungus thanks to regular additions of special heather earth fertilizer.

Prune a magnolia

Unlike many other trees, the magnolia does not require a particular size as soon as it reaches the4 or 5 years old. During the first years following its planting, one can at most carry out a light pruning to shape its silhouette or a moderate winter pruning in order to balance its branches. Some gardeners simply remove the faded flowers and, in early fall, simply remove the dead branches.

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