Magnolia, Magnolia - location, planting and transplanting

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Magnolia Magnolia

Magnolias are now available in more than 100 different varieties, some of which are very robust and survive cold winters well. In addition to choosing the right kind and variety of magnolia, a lot of care should be taken to the right location. But also when planting the noble tree, a lot of attention must be paid to ensure that the somewhat sensitive young plant finds the best conditions to grow well and develop healthy and strong. Who heeds the following approach and advice, creates the best conditions for his young magnolia and prevents failures.


A particularly important point in choosing the type or variety of Magnolia is the available space. There should be enough space for the young plant to allow the wood to develop freely and develop well. Magnolia trees should therefore have an area of ​​four to eight meters in diameter, depending on whether it is a smaller form or a large-sized species. Shrub and columnar magnolia need less space.


Almost all magnolia species and varieties prefer a predominantly sunny location in the garden, with a few exceptions. Given the location and soil conditions, the Magnolia thrives well and pleases its gardener with vigorous growth and a consistently rich flowering. In addition, the young wood can mature well before winter, so that damage in the cold season is reduced to a minimum. Nevertheless, most species can handle a location that does not provide sun all day long. The Siebolds Magnolia (Magnolia sieboldii) and a few other species prefer secluded or partially shaded places in the garden, where they are protected from the blazing midday sun. Such layers are best suited to provide the tree - at least in young years - a certain protection against strong winds but also extreme solar radiation. The most beautiful is the magnolia tree to advantage, if he can grow up free from pressing neighboring plants.
  • Light requirement: bright, partially partially shaded
  • enough space to house walls and property boundaries

wind exposure

Magnolia trees should preferably stand in a somewhat sheltered place in the garden, without suffering from a heat build-up in summer temperatures. Especially those magnolia species, where the flower opens before the leaves appear on the tree, should not stand in drafty places. It is mainly about the fact that the flowers are not affected. This should also be considered for large-leaved magnolia species such as the Magnolia macrophylla (Large-leaved Magnolia) or the Magnolia tripetala (Umbrella magnolia). Here the leaves suffer from the strong wind.


Magnolia needs a nutrient-rich soil, which on the one hand can store the water well, on the other hand does not tend to persistent waterlogging. Most species of magnolia can not tolerate longer periods of drought and react with leaf shedding. Therefore, care should be taken that the soil has a high humus content. For very sandy or loamy soils, it is therefore advisable to mix larger quantities of mature compost under the garden soil. Very heavy soils must also be mixed with sand or grit, so that the water can drain well and the roots of the magnolia tree are adequately ventilated.
  • good water storage capacity and still well drained
  • humus and nutrient rich
  • most species prefer a slightly acidic soil
Since magnolias are shallow roots, a constantly moist soil is very important for their healthy growth. In addition, in summer, the floor must not heat too much. At its natural habitat, the woodland in the root area of ​​undergrowth or fallen foliage is protected from warming and dehydration. If no planting is planned, the root ball should be covered with a layer of mulch. This is especially important for young plants. Older trees cast the shadow of their own canopy on their roots.

Bale or container plant

In the specialist trade, the magnolia is sold either with root ball or as a container plant. Root ball plants have grown on arable land in a nursery. There they were transplanted several times, so that forms a dense root system in a very small space. In such plants, the rapid growth is guaranteed when they move from the nursery in the garden. Bale magnolia can be planted in frost-free weather between October and April.

Magnolia - Magnolia

In contrast to the bale plants, magnolias have grown as a container plant in a plant pot. This method of cultivation makes the tree more independent in its use. Container plants can basically be planted year-round, insofar as the garden soil is frost-free. This does not necessarily contradict the spring planting of the bale plants.
The planting in the spring is a pure precaution, so that the magnolia can grow in well before the cold season. All magnolia grown in late summer or autumn must be provided with winter protection. Thus, they usually come through the winter unscathed, as far as no extreme conditions prevail here.

planting instructions

When planting the magnolia, it is important to create perfect conditions for the young plant right from the start so that it can grow in quickly and develop well.
1. In order for the magnolia to grow well, it needs a loose bottom, even in depth. Depending on the size of the tree, a hole about 50 to 60 cm deep and slightly wider should be excavated. For very large root balls, the planting hole must be increased accordingly. The rule is: at least triple bale width and depth. The upper humus soil layer should be stored separately when digging (usually about one spade depth).
2. Inasmuch as the garden soil is quite hard or heavy, it must be additionally loosened up under the planting hole, so that it does not come later to water congestion or meet the roots of the growing magnolia resistance.
3. Pour 60- to 80-liter bags of potting soil containing acidic pH and a high proportion of humus, such as rhododendron, azalea or peat soil, into the planting hole. In addition, about one third of the separately stored topmost humus layer comes from the excavated earth. Both are mixed well with the spade.
4. This layer of soil is now placed in the center of the planting hole of the well-watered root ball or the container container. Before, the soil is shaken a little bit out of the bale and the roots are carefully loosened up. When inserting it is essential to pay attention to the planting depth. The magnolia must not be used much lower than the original bottom level of the bale. For a good irrigation, it has been proven to use the level of Wurzelballens about one to two inches below the rest of the soil level.
5. For larger magnolia trees (from a height of about 1.75 meters), one to three stabilizing piles should be installed immediately. The roots should not be damaged or impaired during insertion. Tree supports help the young magnolia to develop strong roots and grow well. Because the root system needs at least one growing season until it is firmly anchored in the ground.
6. The pile is hammered as soon as the magnolia is in the planting hole. It is best to attach the support in the main wind direction. It must be at least 60 cm deep into the ground and end below the crown, so that the post does not rub against the sensitive shoots in the wind and injures them.
7. If the tree support is accidentally forgotten when planting, this can still be retrofitted. In order not to injure the roots, the pile is turned at an angle of about 45 degrees obliquely.
8. The remaining excavated soil, as well as the humus layer is now filled in layers in the planting hole. The soil may need to be treated with compost or grit to optimize the soil properties. The earth is filled in a circle around the root ball of the magnolia around and easily started. If the inclination angle of the magnolia tree trunk or the support changes, this can still be corrected.
9. The trunk of the magnolia is connected to the tree support by means of coconut knot or rubber band. The lacing must not be too tight, so that the trunk is not crushed when it grows in width.
10. Around the planting hole an approximately 5 cm deep gutter is pulled. This trench serves for better irrigation during the growth phase.
11. If the young magnolia is just buried in the soil, water gently again without washing out the substrate.
Tip: After about two to three years, the tree supports can be removed. Now the rooting is finished and the magnolia tree well anchored in the ground.


Magnolia - Magnolia

After planting, the soil must be kept evenly moist. In the year of planting, no additional fertilizer is needed. In the spring of the second year, fertilization can be started slowly.
  • mix ripe compost under the ground
  • Alternatively, add rhododendron fertilizer
  • Use other organic-mineral fertilizers for flowering shrubs
Tip: It is best to use a fertilizer that is suitable for soil acidic locations. These fertilizers contain components that keep the pH of the soil at a steady acid level.

Transplant magnolia

Basically, trees like magnolia should not be transplanted. Once the heart-shaped root has anchored well in the soil, there is a risk that when excavating large areas of the roots are damaged or cut. This weakens the woodland enormously. If the damage is particularly severe, the magnolia can not grow in the new location and sooner or later dies.
However, there are a few exceptions where there is an urgent need to move a magnolia tree to another location.This may be the case, for example, if it was accidentally planted too close to a building. Of course, all magnolias have to be transplanted, who fall ill because of the wrong choice of location or do not grow properly.
  • Time: spring or autumn
  • Magnolias form a relatively shallow root system
  • the sooner the magnolia is transplanted, the better
  • relatively freshly planted trees are easier to transplant
  • Radius for plants that are only two to three years on the site: about 40 cm
  • in older, well ingrown plants special measures are necessary
  • In the spring, prick the spade deep into the soil around the trunk
  • Radius: about 50 cm
  • the magnolia then forms young roots there
  • dig out the tree the following spring and transplant
  • after planting, make a planting incision
In older magnolia trees, this method is more promising than direct excavation. Depending on its size, the trees need about two to three years to recover. Therefore, it is very important to water the plant regularly after transplanting.

plant section

Magnolia - Magnolia

Anyone transplanting a well-grown, older magnolia must expect breakdowns when temperatures rise and a lot of water is evaporated over the foliage. The most common reason for dying off transplanted trees is dehydration. This is because the roots of magnolia are not yet in sufficient contact with the soil and thus can not absorb the irrigation water well. So there is no supply for the moisture lost over the leaves. The only remedy here is a planting cut, with which the evaporation over the foliage is severely limited.
  • Trees with continuous guide: Do not shorten the guide
  • strongly branched crown: shorten all shoots by about 1/3
  • pay attention to the typical crown shape of the magnolia
  • shorten long, unbranched branches more strongly
  • always cut over an eye / side shoot that is directed outwards
  • use a sharp, clean cutting tool
  • Pay attention to the smallest possible and smooth cut surfaces
The location for the magnolia should be selected with great sensitivity, because only the right place in the garden and the right soil conditions ensure healthy and vigorous growth of magnolia and protect the wood from damage in winter. When planting two things are important: the right time and a good soil preparation. If both agree, the magnolia will generally grow well.

Video Board: How to Transplant a Very Young Magnolia Tree : Garden Savvy.

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