Spotlight on Magnolias

Spotlight on Magnolias

A Magnolia in full bloom is a stunning site. The large opulent flowers clothe the bare stems in spring to announce the departure of winter and the start of colour and interest in the garden. Most Magnolias are deciduous and lose their leaves in autumn; a few species are evergreen and flower in midsummer rather than spring.

Magnolias appreciate a sunny, sheltered location to be at their best. The large flowers dislike being battered by strong winds, and they can be disfigured by spring frosts. They like a well-drained soil to which some organic matter such as planting compost has been added. Magnolias like an acid soil so we recommend that young plants are given an acidic feed such as Vitax specialsied shrub feed to get them off to the best possible start. After planting, a mulch with chipped bark is beneficial as it will retain moisture and suppress weeds. Avoid cultivating around the base of these plants as they dislike root disturbance.

We have several varieties in stock including the popular variety

  • Stellata, which has white starry flowers and a naturally compact habit.
  • Magnolia Soulangeana makes a large shrub or small tree and has large tulip-like flowers.
  • George Henry Kern is a compact hybrid, perfect for the small garden, with an early blooming habit.
  • Susan has strong pink narrow goblet-shaped, fragrant flowers that emerge from slender dark purple-red buds.

Magnolias are relatively trouble-free in terms of pests and diseases and are best left unpruned. Any essential pruning is best done in midsummer so that pruning cuts heal quickly.
Few plants herald spring like Magnolias, so it will be a welcome choice if you have the right spot.