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I was given a small magnolia tree in a pot in June.  I have not replanted it into a bigger pot or the ground yet.  The leaves are starting to go brown and I'm worried it's going to die! What advice can you give please? Should I re-pot at this time of year?  If so, is a larger pot the best idea or should I put straight into the ground?

I am based in the Scottish Borders, quite high up and rather exposed.  Wild winters!

Thanks in advance...


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,235

    Some Magnolias are deciduous and will naturally lose their leaves at this time of year so I wouldn't worry too much about your tree. How small is the small pot? This is important to know so the right advice can be given.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Hi there - the pot is about 15cm in height, 18cm across (diameter).  The magnolia had 3 shoots/branches (photo attached).  I hope this helps!

    Many thanks

    PS.  It is outside, just brought it in to photograph!


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,724

    If you have a final position for it, I would put it in the ground. If not a final position, plunge it in soil in the pot, up against a wall if possible. It will need protection to stop the roots freezing, but the top will lose its leaves until spring.

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,235

    I agree with fb. Its large enough to go directly into its final planting site.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Thank you both, that's very helpful.  I do have a position in mind so I'll  get it in there this weekend.  What would you recommend re soil prep/compost etc? 

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,235

    Do not plant the tree any deeper than it is in the pot. Magnolias like a loamy soil that is slightly acidic though this is not critical. Dig in some well rotted garden compost if you have any but this is again not too critical at this time of year. Firm in well and keep well watered during the first year of its life without flooding it. Top dress in Spring with some more well rotted compost without letting it touch the trunk of the tree.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Brilliant help, thanks so much Ladybird4! image

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,235

    You're most welcome.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
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