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My Magnolia Sunrise isn't too happy in it's big plastic pot. Flower buds last year and this, but lots of dieback. I'm digging a hole for it in the lawn, so I'm hoping she'll be happier in the ground. Any advice?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    edited March 2021
    It'll be much happier in the ground.  The advice these days is to dig a square hole about twice the size of the pot and don't add anything like like compost or manure to the hole.  The idea is to get the roots growing outwards when they reach the corners as they've been used to going around in circles in the pot.  Loosen the roots as much as you can if it is really pot-bound when you take it out.
    If you do want to improve the soil first (it may not be much good under grass, which is a very hungry plant), then clear a circle of grass about 1m in diameter and dig a bag of well-rotted manure into the whole area.  Then make the square hole and backfill after planting.  Keep the circle free of grass and weeds - a mulch of more manure, compost or bark will help with that and also keep the roots moist.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you for that advice. I'll make the square bigger as you advise. Fingers crossed!
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    I've kept a few in pots for a couple of years before planting, and they quickly became much healthier-looking once in the ground. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • brackenbracken Posts: 91
    Its only natural that large growing shrubs/trees should be in the ground where they are supposed to be rather than pots.
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