Magnolia: planting, care, pruning and flowering

The Magnolia (which has existed for 100 million years) now comes in 120 species, with evergreen or deciduous foliage. It is a tree at the spectacular bloom 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 shows 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 soils, and enjoy a semi-shaded to sunny exposure well sheltered from prevailing winds. But the area reserved for it should be neither too humid in the cold season, nor too hot and suffocating in the summer. It can also be noted that some species such as the Magnolia stelatta are planted in a soil that is neither limestone nor acid, while others like Magnolia grandiflora prefer to be grown in a mixture of 60% heather soil and 40% leaf, manure or peat soil. As to Magnolia kobus, a limestone soil is preferable.

Distance between the Magnolia and the house

The distance to respect between a magnolia tree and the house must be assessed according to the cultivated species. 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 interfere with 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 usually those that are installed in the immediate vicinity of the house or the fence wall.

However, we can be reassured, whether the tree is very developing or not, its roots are in no way detrimental to a construction.

Best planting period

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

The evergreen magnolias support a plantation well in April and this is also the case for all species as long as they are grown in regions with harsh winters and sustainable.

Planting method

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

If you choose to plant several magnolias in order to obtain a nice group of trees, it is necessary to take into account their adult size in order to space them sufficiently so they don’t get in the way. Their location must be chosen definitively because their transplantation risks damaging its roots.

Maintain a magnolia

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


It must be sufficient to keep the soil cool. It is especially in summer during very hot 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 foot of a magnolia tree for several reasons, namely:

  • Protect its roots in winter,
  • Maintain the freshness of the soil 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 good resistance as long as it is installed in suitable soil and benefits from ideal exposure. However, be careful with the very young specimens whose tender leaves, in spring, the feast of slugs and other gastropods. You have no choice but to resort to anti-slug baits to deal with these unwanted people.

Finally, if the soil lacks fertilizer, the risk is infestation of magnolia by the Pestalozzia. We know the devastating effects of this cmushroom which must be treated by spraying with a fungicide because in the absence of treatment, one will only be able to observe the total defoliation of the tree (leaf fall). However, it is possible to prevent the appearance of this parasitic fungus thanks to regular contributions of special heather soil fertilizer.

Prune a magnolia

Unlike many other trees, the magnolia does not require special size as soon as he reaches theage 4 or 5. At most, during the first years following planting, you can do a light pruning to shape your silhouette or moderate winter pruning in order to balance its branches. Some gardeners simply remove dead flowers and, in early fall, simply remove dead branches.

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