How to Grow Magnolia Tree? – Care Guide

Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Clarisse Walters

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Acidic to neutral soil is best suited for most magnolias. You can grow smaller magnolias if you do not have space in your home to grow bigger ones.

Further, if you do not have the fitting soil for the growth of magnolias, you can still grow them small. All you have to do is to ensure that the plant has a sheltered spot for properly growing.

How to Grow Magnolia Tree from Seed?

You can find seed cones around Magnolia trees in the fall. These seeds make the sidewalks and yards dirty.

But, these seeds are the greatest foods for migrating birds and squirrels. You can also collect them for growing Magnolia trees.

To grow Magnolia trees from seeds, you need not only patience but also practice. You will have to wait for a few months to even see signs of sprouting from the seeds you collected.

For the best outcomes, make sure to use seeds from standard species and not cross varieties. The reason is that hybrids will likely revert to their parent varieties.

They rarely produce a similar tree that attracted you recently. To grow trees from seeds, the best thing you can do is to gather magnolia cones that are already opening and releasing the seeds.

  • If you cannot find such seeds, it is better to wait after picking up fresh seeds.
  • Keep aside the fresh seeds aside for a few days. This period will provide room for the fresh seeds to become dry and open.
  • Now, shake the red seeds out of the cone. Now, for getting rid of the pulpy red coating from the seeds rub them on a paper towel.
  • If it is hard to get rid of the coating, you can do one thing. You can soak the seeds overnight so that they can be softened.
  • When you follow this soaking method, you can get rid of seeds that are floating in the water.
  • After the removal of the seed coating, it is time to roughen up the seed. You can do this by gently scrubbing the seed with steel wool, screen wire or sandpaper.
  • The scrub will help with getting rid of protective oils and will make it simple for the seed to break open and sprout.
  • Now, it is time to allow the seeds to rest for a minimum of three to a maximum of six months. You should place the seed at around 40 to 450F.
  • When you rest the seeds, you should make sure that the seeds do not become dry. To avoid this, make sure to place the seeds in the refrigerator, cold frame or outdoors for nature’s approach.
  • Now, it is time to plant the seeds. But, the ideal time to plant is during the spring season.
  • The temperature at this time should reach 700F. You can plant the seeds either in a pot or on the ground.
  • When planting, make sure to plant about half-inch deep. Make sure to keep the soil moist evenly.
  • Only then the seeds will germinate. It might take a few weeks or even longer for this to happen.
  • Now, you can let the plant grow in the pot until they get a little bigger. Otherwise, once germinated, you can move them to the ground where you want the tree to grow.
  • For the first year, it is better to keep the soil moist evenly. Also, keep the plant protected from direct sunlight during this period.

How Long does it take a Magnolia Tree to Grow?

Growing a Magnolia tree is a long-term project. The reason is that this tree is slow-growing.

It will take around a decade to two decades for the tree to gain its utmost maturity.

How to Grow Magnolia Tree from Cutting?

The good news to you is that growing a magnolia tree from cuttings can help with quicker growth as compared to seedlings.

Yes, within a couple of years after you root a cutting of this tree, you may get flowers. But, when you grow the tree from its seeds, you will have to wait for nearly 10 years.

The thing to remember here is that growing this tree from its cuttings is not a sure bet. The reason is that a large percentage of cuttings fail to grow into a tree.

Let us consider that you have luck by your side. With this luck, you can try the tips given below to grow a Magnolia tree from its cuttings:

  • The initial step you will have to do is to take cuttings in summer from grown trees. You should choose this season as buds are completely set only during this period.
  • To cut around 6-8 inches of growing tips of branches, you will have to use a pruner or knife properly sanitized in denatured alcohol.
  • Immediately take the cutting off the tree and place it in water.
  • Now, get rid of all the upper leaves of every cutting. Then, make a 5 cm vertical slice at the end of the stem.
  • Now, dip every end of the step in a hormone solution. Then, plant the stem in a pot with moist perlite.
  • Make sure to position the cutting in indirect light. To make sure that humidity stays, tent every cutting you have planted using a plastic bag.
  • Ensure that the cuttings are misted quite often. In a few months, you might find a growth of the root.

Where is the Best Place to Plant a Magnolia Tree?

For planting a Magnolia tree, you should choose a spot that gets light shade to the full sun. In case, you live in an area with a dry or warm climate, your plant might take advantage from a location shaded from the hot afternoon sun.

Magnolia might benefit from a location shaded from the hot afternoon sun. Possibly avoid exposed, windy locations.

Magnolia tree with flowers

Strong winds can damage large flowers and typically brittle branches.

All About Growing Magnolias in Pots:

When it comes to growing magnolias in pots, you should remember one thing. All varieties of this plant are not suitable to be grown in a pot.

Little gem is a variety of southern Magnolia. You can grow this variety in a big container.

  • The Little Gem grows slowly and can reach up to 15-20 inches tall. This variety can produce large white flowers in spring into summer.
  • If you live in a cold region, you should provide this variety with the right winter protection for proper growth.

Another smaller variety that you can grow in a pot is Star Magnolia. This variety is also called Magnolia Stellata.

  • This variety is hardy in zones 4-9. It can grow about 15-20 feet tall.

Royal Star is another variety that looks attractive when grown with its pink buds. These pink buds grow into white flowers during spring.

Waterlily is another variety that you can grow in a pot. It will make your space attractive with white flowers.

  • The flowers from this variety can also make your space aromatic.

Ann is a variety of Lily Magnolia otherwise called Magnolia Liliflora. It can grow up to 8 to 10 feet high.

  • This Magnolia variety is hardy in zones 4-7.
  • The purplish-red flowers from this variety will make your entire space attractive
  • You can see the flowers in Spring.

Henry Hicks, a sweet bay Magnolia is yet another kind ideal for growing in small pots.

  • It is hardy in zones 6-10.
  • It will have a dense growth and it will remain evergreen when grown in zone 7 and higher.
  • It can reach a great height of 40 feet. But, for this utmost growth, it will take several years.
  • In the late sprint to early summer, this variety will develop a creamy white flower with a lemon scent.

Where Should you not Plant a Magnolia Tree?

You should not plant this tree in a low-lying frost pocket. The reason is that frost can damage the flowers.

How Much Space Does a Magnolia Tree Need?

If you choose to plant a tree-shaped Magnolia, it needs 4-8 m in diameter space. But, some varieties do not this much space.

Magnolia Flowers

Example of Magnolia varieties that do not require much space include pillar-shaped Magnolia. The other examples include shrub-shaped and smaller varieties.

Is Magnolia Easy to Grow?

The good news for you is that it is easy to grow this plant. All you have to do is to choose a location that is moist but the soil should be well-drained as well.

When you have slightly acidic and neutral soil in your space, it is easy to grow this tree.

How to Grow a Dwarf Magnolia Tree?

All you have to do to grow a dwarf Magnolia tree is to plant the seeds in a pot.

You can expect a good display of flowers when you grow magnolias in a spot that gets plenty of sun exposure. For healthy growth, you can prune the plant lightly during mid-summer to early autumn.

Magnolias can grow only in places away from strong winds. So, you should plan your planting accordingly.

It is better to ensure that you avoid frost pockets. The reason is that they can damage the flowers of the plant during the spring season.

Magnolia Flower

When the summer season comes, you will have to ensure that the soil does not dry out.

How Fast do Magnolia Trees Grow?

Magnolia trees do not grow fast. The rate of growth will be slow to medium rate.

You will have to wait around 10 years when you plant seeds of this plant. The period required will be somewhat lesser when you grow the tree from the plant trimmings.

How can I Make my Magnolia Tree Grow Faster?

The best technique you can do to grow the tree faster is to mulch. Particularly, when you mulch under the tree, it can grow quickly.

Also, make sure the keep the roots moist and cool during the hot summer. For better growth at a faster pace, you can do the following:

  • Spread straw, organic mulch or shredded bark in spring.
  • Also, you can extend the zone of mulch a foot or a couple of feet past the root zone of the tree.
  • Further, make sure to renew the mulch when it breaks down.

Best Time to Plant Magnolia Tree in Texas

When you choose to plant deciduous magnolias, the best time to plant is in late fall or winter. Otherwise, you can do it in warmer months or early spring.

When you plant evergreen magnolias, you can plant this variety in spring.

Where can I Find a Magnolia Tree for Sale Near Me?

You can find nurseries near you that deals with the sale of different plants. Even, you can buy small plants online.

FAQ Relating to How to Grow Magnolia Tree

How long does it take for a magnolia tree to grow and bloom?

Magnolia trees take a longer time to grow. So, you can expect the tree to achieve complete growth and bloom 10 years after planting.

What is the best time to plant a magnolia tree?

You can choose to plant in winter or late fall if you live in an area with warmer climatic conditions. If you live in a cold region, you can choose the spring season.

Do Magnolia Trees Need a Lot of Water?

Yes, initially for the first 6 months after planting, this plant needs one to two times of watering a week. You should follow this until the roots are established.

But, after the roots are established, you can water the plant only during extreme drought.

How long does a magnolia tree last?

This tree has a lifespan of between 80 and 120 years.

Key Takeaways:

  • It is easy to grow Magnolia tree in a fertile soil.
  • Choose the ideal season to plant the seeds
  • Magnolia trees take longer time to grow
  • For the initial six months, the plant need a lot of watering.
  • You can grow Magnolia plant in pots
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