Pruning Magnolia?

I have a magnolia susan which never seems to flower well, flowering is sparse at best, as per the photo where you can see just a few flowers at the very top of the plant.

Its in clay soil and gets sun most of the day. I have a magnolia tree nearby which flowers wonderfully every year. The magnolia susan is about 6ft tall. I haven't ever pruned it and I'm wondering if I should?


Last edited: 16 May 2017 23:01:12


  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,110

    Hi Leadfarmer - I don't think magnolias like being pruned - they send up lots of watershoots.  I'd try giving it a dose of feed and a good mulch instead, and see if that makes a difference.  Also, make sure it gets lots of water in August/September - like camellias and rhodies, I think that is when they are making the flower buds for next year.

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 14,684

    I agree with chicky, Lead Farmer. It also looks as if your Magnolia is having to contend with competition for nutrients and water by a lot of surrounding plants. I would be tempted to clear some of those away and give the Magnolia some space.

    I love asking children what they want to be when they grow up because I'm still looking for ideas.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,178

    Excellent advice above.

    We found a very poorly specimen when we moved here in October.  No foliage left and looking very old and gnarled   I gave it's roots a good soaking and lots more water in the following weeks as we were having a drought.  After some proper rain arrived in December I tipped a bag of ericaceous compost round its base and more water and then a generous dollop of pelleted chicken manure early in late January.

    This spring it started slowly on just one branch but has now been flowering all over for 2 months and has healthy leaves.  Definitely worth persevering and some TLC but no pruning unless you have dead wood.

    The Vendée, France
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