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Growth from graft

Hi everyone, I bought a bare root magnolia earlier in the year and put it in a pot in the greenhouse until  the weather improved and I could put it in it's final position.  However I soon noticed that there is no growth at all except for some coming from the original plant that it was grafted on near the ground.  Is this growth likely to be from the magnolia or something else completely?


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,570

    If its from below the graft it is from the rootstock. If the top is not growing the graft has failed.  I would take it back for a refund.

  • Thanks for your reply, it is from below the graft, however, I am quite intrigued to find out what it was grafted on and what the resulting tree would be if allowed to mature.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384

    Magnolia rootstocks are usually randomly chosen seedlings of known hardy varieties and Japanese magnolia rootstocks are often used for dwarf trees.  Magnolia champaka and M. acuminata are commonly used but don't have very showy flowers - the former is usually grown for timber.


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Is it worth letting it continue to grow then?   Really impressed with your knowledge.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384

    I second what fidgetbones said and personally would try and get a refund.  If you let it grow you could end up with a very large tree (eg acuminata can grow to 30m!) with fairly insignificant flowers.  If you have a lot of space, fair enough but it will probably take 5 years or so before it starts flowering, at which point you would be able to identify it.  You could always ask the supplier what rootstock it came on and look it up before deciding.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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