Cutting magnolias - how it works!


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Not every plant likes to get acquainted with the secateurs. Especially not the magnolia. If it has to be cut at all, then with caution.

Magnolias do not necessarily have to be cut

Magnolias are beautiful shrubs - but they also do a lot of filth. Especially when they drop the flowers. Anyone who takes that into account and always takes good care of the plant, will certainly soon have a lush, very large bush in the garden to stand. To make sure it does not get too big and bulky, you'll have to cut the magnolia.

In principle, you do not have to cut back the magnolia every year. For other plants this is perhaps mandatory, but not for the magnolia, because it grows only very slowly. If anything, you can only use the scissors to maintain the natural growth habit. As a magnolia grows with multiple scaffold shoots, it can happen that these are very close together. If so, they push each other up until they have enough room to spread out. And that's exactly why some plants literally explode. Only to bring the magnolia back into shape, you may resort to pruning shears.

➤ Little tip:

If you want, you can still cut cuttings when pruning and thus multiply the magnolia.

Always cut magnolia with care and restraint

If you want to get your magnolia back in shape, which usually only needs to be done every three to five years, then it is best to use the pruner only after flowering. Depending on the variety, this time should be at the end of June or beginning of July. Then pick up a sharp and freshly disinfected tree or pruning shears and start working. You have to:

  • remove dead and diseased shoots
  • Cut off competition drives to main trunk
  • remove inward and intersecting branches
  • slightly round out the crown

You can also redirect longer shoots to deeper ones. As a result, the plant gets more light and forms new flower shoots. In any case it is always important that you cut off the branches directly at the trunk. Because the magnolia has a healing mechanism that thickens the bark around the cut surface and closes when you cut the branch close enough to the trunk. After that, it's still important to seal the cut surfaces with tree wax (for example, available here) to prevent disease.

Radical pruning only in exceptional cases

A radical pruning will not forgive your magnolia so quickly. On the one hand you will be punished with curious foothills and on the other with a very slowly growing magnolia. So you can perform such a radical pruning only in exceptional cases. For example, if a storm caused great damage to the Magnolia. The best way to do this is:

Cover the scaffold gears on three to a maximum of five shoots. This number is completely sufficient. For strong and thick branches, on the other hand, you have to leave a little more. Also, remove shoots that cross over or grow inward. Then you have to have a lot of patience, because until the magnolia grows back to a stately bush, it may take a while. In addition, you must renounce the flower in a radical cut in the following year.

By the way:

If you keep magnolia in the bucket, you should know that you must not cut it back. If at all, then it is advisable to cut off only dead branches.

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