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A "new" potted 150cm Magnolia Grandiflora - yellow leaves!

solveigosolveigo Hackney, LondonPosts: 2
Hello all.

I bought a Magnolia Grandiflora 2 weeks ago, it's already quite established, 150cm tall and looks great. It's on my patio in the container I originally bought it in (planning to plant it in a larger pot this weekend). 

I've been watering it, although not excessively, as it's fairly mature, and weather had cooled down. As it got warmer in London the past couple of days I've given it a good watering to make up for the heat. 

This morning I noticed several leaves have turned yellow... and I'm not sure if it's because I watered it to little in total over past 2 weeks (more likely?) or too much in just the past 2 days (doubt it). Could the leaves react so quickly to over watering? 

Does anyone have a potted Magnolia at a similar stage?

How much and how often would you suggest watering it? 


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,140
    It's in a pot. Not the same as being in the ground.
    It's totally reliant on you for water. It will probably need watering every day until it's dormant, unless you have very regular, good rainfall. 
    If it's allowed to dry out too much, it will be difficult to rehydrate it if it's big. You'd need to soak it thoroughly so that subsequent water doesn't just run through all the gaps.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,300
    When you repot it make sure you use a compost containing some loam ... a 50:50 mix of John Innes No 3 soil/loam based compost and a  general multipurpose compost is what your plant needs.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,114
    Leaves going yellow could be a number of reasons. But judging from the size, you are unlikely going to be be over-watering, provided the drainage is fine. Some leaves will go yellow before falling off and that is normal for them, but if a quarter of the tree's leaves all start to go yellow you will have some type of issue. At 150cm tall, in weather like this a bucket poured at the base slowly each evening.

    Also, due to the thick canopy, rain will unlikely get into the pot, so be mindful that you will still need to water in the autumn time when the weather may be a bit more wetter.

    Keep it somewhere protected. Many of these trees have been grown in quite protected surroundings so may need a warm wall to help them along.
  • solveigosolveigo Hackney, LondonPosts: 2
    Thanks all for the various tips and advice :) 

    Perhaps I should have mentioned that I already have several trees in pots that are very happy (acer, olive, fig, smoke tree) and decided to water this new magnolia in a similar way as them all. They do not need watering every day so I guess I wasn't expecting to need to water the Magnolia every day.

    I decided to continue on the assumption that I'd been under watering it, but it's not made any difference yet and in fact gotten a lot worse. I'd say 60% of the leaves are now yellow. I'll continue experimenting with rescue attempts and post an update here if I figure out what was making it so unhappy. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,140
    Those trees are all different too. It's a mistake to assume they all need the same care.
    Acers are very different from Olives for example. 
    Where they're sited, what size they are, what they're growing in [soil and type of pot] and what time they flower/fruit are all factors in how you would treat them.
    Magnolias certainly won't be happy if they've been allowed to dry out, especially one that size.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 2,517
    This might be a daft question, but are you certain it's grandiflora and not one of the smaller deciduous types? I just wondered because grandiflora is fairly big tree, not really suitable for keeping in a container for the long term.
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