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Magnolia grandiflora

Planted this magnolia tree spring 17, it was originally as high as the fence but is now a good 2ft + taller. The problem we've had the last cpl years is that it has minimal flowers which once open last only a day or two. This year some earlier buds were badly deformed however newer buds looking OK so far. What is happening this year however is it is loosing lots of the lower leave. They are getting blotchy and going pale then falling off. The branches are now looking bare at the bottom with leaves clustered towards the top. Earlier this year it was fed with some fish, bone and blood feed. I've just given it a good watering today as it is so hot. 
What am I doing wrong and what can I do to get it back on track? Thank you. 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,589
    Can the roots go through the bottom of that container , or is it just in  effect in a big pot? Magnolia grandiflora needs to be in the ground. It will grow to 30ft high in 25 years. It will lose lower leaves naturally.  This is the top of a 30ft high Magnolia grandiflora. I planted it as a 3ft stick some 30 years ago.  The buds fatten, open , stay open for two or three days and then the flowers drop. It flowers sporadically all through the summer. This was taken  July 26th 2020.
  • Nettie DNettie D Posts: 62
    It is in a open based raised bed so roots can spread down and out. Yours looks great 💚
  • ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,904
    Looks like it is developing into a very nicely shaped tree! Mine is only a few years old, and has had a few flowers each year. However, this year, the developing flower buds got caught by the late frosts, and shrivelled up, so I don’t think I’ll get any flowers this year.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    edited June 2021
    It will be able to get water and some nutrients from the ground below, but the feeding roots will stay close to the surface, so you'll need to feed it via the soil in the raised bed.  Any general purpose one will do. :)
    Edit: the yellowing leaf looks like that might be the issue.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Nettie DNettie D Posts: 62
    Thank you both, yes we suffered with the frost as sadly lost our ceanothus in raised bed next to the magnolia, hoped it would recover but it died totally earlier this month 😢
    Will give the magnolia a feed once the pending storm passes later this week 🤞
    Thanks again for the responses 😊x
    I give my magnolia a feed of Mir-Acid after it’s flowered.  They prefer acidic soil, and I think leaves can turn yellow in alkaline soil.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,662
    We bought ours many decades ago for 50p!!! it is now a magificent plant and has growth that the collar doves love to nest in.
    We are in clay soil.
    We have never fed it or pruned...we just let it do what it wanted to do.
    Each year it gives us flowers that do last more than a day.
    A wonderful buy and worth watching as it continues to grow into the heavens.
  • Good morning,

    I desperately need some help with my magnolia grandiflora and maybe you can give some advice because don't know what to do anymore....i think I might loose it. 

    i plant it on 30th of March. After 3 weeks i noticed some yellow leaves and since then a lot of leaves started to turn yellow and furthermore the leaves are pointed down....not up and stiff as they were. Since then, as the weeks passed by, "her" health declined. It seems that it can't hold the leaves, i noticed some green leaves on the ground also.

    I bought it in a big pot, i removed the pot and planted as it was, not damaging the root, watering it every day for 5 days.
    When I planted, in the hole I've put some Osmocote. After 6 weeks, seeing the bad health,  i added some roots stimulator - Razormin (once at every 8 days) and foliar fertilizer twice in all this period.  Nothing happened...

    A week ago I started to add some liquid iron...but again, nothing happened.

    I planted in my backyard where there is neutral pH soil...6.5-7 and quite moist ( i am watering it once a week). It is a corner of my yard where is quite windy sometimes.

    With all the things written above, new buts started to grow and new leaves appeared at the end of most branches.

    I summed up all the simptoms and maybe you can help me with some advice please.

     First picture is was taken the day i planted and the last is from today.

    and that is about it.

    thank you very much.

    Best regards. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,875
    It'll need tons of water, and less food, but also - it needs a lot of that grass removed around it. A good metre diameter or so. It's just competition for moisture, and that's what trees need huge amounts of when planted, especially a mature one like that. 
    Wind is also very drying, and watering once a week wouldn't be enough in what looks like a very sunny, dry site. A couple of buckets of water every few days is more like the amount of watering, to encourage roots to get down properly. Then regular mulching with organic matter to help retain that moisture and to feed the soil for future health.

    I'm guessing you aren't in the UK either, but even here, planting at that time of year would be difficult in most areas as it's not the best time, heading into later spring and summer. Autumn, and through winter is the time for tree planting here as it's easier for them to cope. Cooler and damper so less stressful.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • bédébédé Posts: 3,073
    That's a big tree to replant in any climate.  

    Evergreens are not ever green,  They drop leaves in UK about this time of the year, but any time if under stress.
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
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