If you are after an ornamental landscape, there is nothing better than a Magnolia tree to finish off the look in North America. The white, pink, yellow, or purple blossom offers a dreamlike setting in any garden during the year.
Once you see the falling seed cones bursting with the vibrant red seeds, they bring with them flocks of feeding birds who love the annual treat.
If you wish to undertake some magnolia tree planting, you can use this guide to discover all you need to know about how easy it can be to grow magnolia trees. All it takes is a little thought of the best locations and a little care.
Before you know it, you can find you have one of the best Magnolia on the block.
What is the Best Place to Plant a Magnolia Tree?
Magnolia planting will prefer places in the garden getting full sun and also light shade. They love well-drained, neutral to slightly acidic soil, although it can vary from variety to variety. You can find they grow in the USDA Zones of 4 through 10, depending on the variety.
- Dry, alkaline soil: Southern Magnolia (Grandiflora) and Magnolia Delavayi.
- Wet alkaline soils: Magnolia Kobus, Loebneri, Seiboldii, Star Magnolia Stellata, and Magnolia Delavayi.
- Wet soils: Wilsonia, Grandiflora, and Virginiana.
You can find a saucer magnolia hybrid of the Southern Magnolia and the Little Gem dwarf variety ideal for home gardens.
These sheltered areas are essential because some varieties grow best against warm walls and may not survive in regions where temperatures fall below 23°F. Any frost can damage the flowers in spring and evergreen leaves in the fall. (Read About Blueberry Fertilizer)
Marigold Grandiflora trees, shrubs may not survive strong winds, and you may need to stake them even up to maturity. The evergreen Magnolias are grown against walls, come with uncommon reports of damage. Magnolias can also be grown in containers around your home.
How Do You Start a Magnolia Tree?
You do have a few ways you can start growing your Magnolia trees. Seeds are one option because you can quickly find seeds scattered around from other trees as the seeds fall.
This method is slower and does take more preparation as you need to scarify and stratify your seeds. This means scratching the seed coat and keeping them before use for up to 6 months in a refrigerator, or you can do this outside in a 1/2-inch-thick layer of moist mulch. (Read How To Grow Lemon Tree From Seed)
Taking cuttings is quicker as it can take up to 10 years to get flowers from seeds and cuttings, possibly two years.
- Take cuttings in the summer after the buds set.
- Using a knife or pruner and cut 6- to 8-inches of growing tips from branches as cuttings.
- Place your cuttings in the water when you take them.
- Remove all the leaves apart from the upper ones on your cuttings
- Make a 2-inches vertical cut in the stem end of your cutting
- Dip the sliced stem end in rooting hormone solution
- Plant in small planters filled with moist perlite.
- Position your planters in indirect light, and cover each with a plastic bag to retain moisture and humidity.
- Mist your cuttings often and keep an eye out for root growth over several months.
You can also use air-layering where you wound a live branch in the early spring on branches that are one year old or late summer on branches from that year’s growth.
- Make parallel cuts that circle your branch around 1 1/2 inches apart and join two lines with another cut before removing the bark.
- Place damp sphagnum moss on the wound and fasten in position with twine.
- Add a sheet of polythene film over the moss and fasten both ends with electrical tape.
- Once you see roots, you can transplant them.
How Do You Plant a Magnolia Tree in the Ground?
Planting large varieties will need more space and up to 25 feet and above to care for your plants.
Here are the instructions for planting magnolias.
- Dig a hole 39 inches in diameter (100 cm) and 19 inches to 23 inches (50–60 cm) deep. Keep the first layer of soil rich in humus separate!
- Mix 70 liters of rhododendron soil (moorland soil) and your rich humus soil, and put back into the hole.
- Unpack the root ball and place it in the middle. (Check for the soil mark on the trunk. Make sure not to plant any deeper!)
- Place a stake next to your Magnolia and fasten to the tree.
- With the remainder of the excavated soil, create a water trench around your plant pit.
- Water well.
- You won’t need extra fertilizer during the first year. Pay attention to ample watering.
- You can use rhododendron fertilizer for acidic soil locations in the second year onward.
How Far From the House Should I Plant a Magnolia Tree?
Southern Magnolias grow from 50 to 90 feet tall, with leaves about 8 inches in size and flowers up to 14 inches, although it depends on the variety.
Usually, you have to plant large trees about 30 to 50 feet away from the house to avoid the risk of damaging the foundation by the roots. The roots of Magnolias are usually non-invasive, but they can look for leaking water or sewage lines. (Find the Best Evergreen Fertilizer)
Besides, if you plant large Magnolia trees within 5 feet of driveways or sidewalks, the roots may break and concrete to create a tripping risk. (Read How Far To Plant Fruit Trees Apart)
The leaves and white flowers of the magnolia tree can grow and obstruct access to any line of sight for drivers of vehicles trying to drive off the garden driveway or heading down the street.
Plant magnolia trees far enough away in your garden to avoid them hanging over your house. When you plant a magnolia in front of the house, please keep it away from the windows to not block the property’s view from inside the house.
Rather than a magnolias tree, you can opt for the new dwarf plant variety that grows smaller and cause fewer issues around your home.
These will be quickly growing as they are not as tall, and you can still get the glorious white flowers in the spring. You can also find them easier to care for.
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