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Talkback: Moving magnolias

We have a very old Magnolia which we love dearly. Should one prune it? Some of its branches are getting heavy which is somewhat worrying. We do prop it up with appropriate sticks, but just wondering if one is meant to prune them?


  • Sometimes I think that bending or breaking the rules is the best way to learn (although maybe not on something so precious for beginners!) Lovely post Pippa, thank you.
  • I nipped a couple from the lower half of the Magnolia earlier in the month, it seems to have responded well. It's flowering nicely and has a great scent. I did water in a little Superthrive afterwards. Yours sounds great! I hope mine progresses to the 'propping up with appropriate stick' stage.
  • Our Magolia Stellata is magnificent at the moment absolutely covered in beautiful flowers. I prune off any branches that over hang the path and slap you in the face as you walk by, it never seems to do any harm at all to the plant.
  • I have a magnolia I was given as a birthday present a few years ago, It's called 'Susan' and has red flowers. I didn't know anything about magnolias so stuck it in a large pot and watered and fed it with tomato food. It didn't do well and I discovered it liked acidic conditions so put it in the garden and used an ericaceous feed. It has never flowered since as the soil in the garden is not acidic. I was going to move it again into large pot filled with acidic soil to see if I can get it to flower. Any advice?
  • We transplanted our Magnolia twice over the years. Originlly in the country in our field but it was so cold and damp out there that it almost died. We brought it home and put it in the front garden temporarily - we have such a small garden that we needed to work out the best spot for it - by the end of the summer we planted it in the back garden where it is now very happy and is blooming beautifully at this present moment :-) It didn't seem to mind the moves at all!
  • my magnolia is not in bloom yet, but has got about 30 buds on it . i use miracid on it after blooming and so far every year it develops more
  • This is very interesting indeed.
  • All these magnolias sound lovely, we would love to have one but not sure if we can. We live 1000ft high in the welsh mountains. If we can are we better off getting a small specimen or a larger one? Can anyone help, we are new to gardnening
  • I've just bought a stellata through a renowned mail order plant supplier. It came in a small pot and I have repotted it and it is only about 15 inches tall. how long do you think it will be before it produces flowers? I bought a wisteria from the same people 8 years ago and it has failed to flower so far.
  • I have a beautiful magnolia soulangeana, I bought for £20 in 1989 after my divorce to cheer myself up it was about 4ft high. It is now around 12-15ft and is bursting with blooms it's gorgeous.I would like to move in a couple of yrs and cant bear the thought of leaving it behing it's part of my life. I asked a gardener how much it would be to move it and was told around a thousand pounds, needless to say I can't afford that. Is there a way to move a tree this size without damaging it or am I going to have to leave it behind. Any advice would be appreciated.
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