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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 Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,386
    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: 51
    It is in a open based raised bed so roots can spread down and out. Yours looks great 💚
  • ErgatesErgates Devon, east of ExeterPosts: 1,974
    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 Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    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: 51
    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: 1,846
    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.
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