The Magnolia: An Easy-Maintenance Ornamental Tree

Posted on: 13 September 2016

The ornamental magnolia tree can make a beautiful addition to any garden.  It's truly a tree for all seasons, offering dark green, glossy leaves during the summer, bearing fragrant white or pink waxy blooms during the spring and producing large pods containing bright red berries during the autumn.

Magnolia trees are pretty straightforward to care for and maintain and there are many different varieties to choose from, many of which will be available through your local plant wholesaler.  Here are some top tips on how to care for your new magnolia tree.

Choosing a magnolia tree

There are many different species of magnolia trees and bushes available and they can vary tremendously in size.  Your plant wholesaler will advise you on the most suitable variety of magnolia for your garden and the space you have available.

It's a good idea to buy your magnolia locally, as you can then be confident that the variety you choose will grow well in your local climate.  Magnolias are pretty hardy, tolerating cold winter weather, as well as warm, dry summers.

Choosing the right site for your magnolia tree

Magnolia trees are quite low growing, and the lower limbs can end up lying across the ground.  For this reason you might want to consider siting your magnolia on spare ground, rather than in the centre of your lawn where the tree's shade and fallen leaves could damage the grass and prevent it from growing.  The tree can also be vulnerable to damage from mowers and strimmers, when fragments of debris can inflict wounds on the trunk.

Magnolias prefer moist soil.  If your land is very sandy and free-draining, you will need to enrich the soil of the planting site with peaty compost, leaf mould and organic mulch.

Care of your magnolia tree

A very important consideration for your magnolia tree is water.  Magnolias need to be kept well-hydrated if they are to thrive, especially when first planted.  You'll need to water your young magnolia every few days, or more frequently during hot weather.  You can help to keep the tree's roots wet and prevent evaporation of valuable water by placing a layer of mulch around the base of the tree.

During the spring when your magnolia begins to set buds, you'll need to give it a suitable slow-release fertiliser, available from good garden centres or your plant wholesaler.

In the winter months, when the tree is dormant, prune out any dead wood and remove finished blooms during the summer.

In conclusion

Once your magnolia tree has become established, it will provide you with an attractive feature all year round, in exchange for minimal maintenance.  Ask your local plant wholesalers for more information on which variety of magnolia would be most suitable for your circumstances.