How to Plant a Magnolia. A Refined Decor for Your Garden

Magnolias in full blossom are spectacular and confer a particular elegance to your home. Gardens of town houses are particularly decorated with magnolias and look absolutely splendid, drawing passers-by attention. This is how to plant a magnolia for a refined decor in your garden.


Magnolia trees are to be found in professional stores. Usually, they are 2 years old or even more and come with their roots in soil wrapped in plastic foil. Don’t buy trees whose roots are not coated in soil. If the tree is older and has buds on its branches, it will blossom the same year.

How to plant a magnolia. Time

Best time for planting Magnolia is early spring, before the first leaves appear. It should only be planted while it’s dormant, to avoid withering.

How to plant a magnolia. Place

Magnolia doesn’t like to be disturbed nor shifted, so it’s best to keep a free area around it of 11 feet in diameter (19 ft if it’s a large cultivar). Magnolias enjoy wind-free sunny places. The planting soil must be easily drainable and rich in organic matters, compost or leaf fertilizer.

How to plant a magnolia. Step-by-step

  1. Dig up the hole and place the tree. The hole has to be large enough for the roots to easily fit in.
  2. Plant it as deep as indicated on the stalk, that is the depth it was planted at in the nursery. Magnolias feed on the nutrients from the upper soil layer, so avoid planting too deep.
  3. Then, unwrap the plastic foil around the roots.
  4. Fill the hole with peat, rotten manure of leaf fertilizer.
  5. Well settle the mixture around the roots. Make a moat around the stalk and fill it with water.
  6. The newly planted trees need to be tied to a stick, for support. You can remove it in a year.
  7. Water well after planting. A balanced fertilizer will give the tree a good start.

How to plant a magnolia. Protective layer

Once planted, cover the soil beneath the branches in a protective layer to maintain moisture and compost around the roots. The approximately 3 inches thick layer is made of wood shavings, chopped bark, dried leaves/fir needles and it must be replaced repeatedly. It helps to keep the upper soil, where magnolia roots are active, moist. At the same time, it doesn’t allow weeds to grow and releases more nutrients as it rots.

Caring for a magnolia

An appropriate watering in the first growing season is essential. Usually, rain water is sufficient for the trees that have the protective soil layer we’ve mentioned earlier. But in dry areas, the roots should be watered weekly. Be careful not to overwater them though, in case the soil isn’t drainable enough. Water carefully, not to hurt the roots.

Avoid disturbing the roots when you dig up or when caring for the plants around it, this could affect your magnolia’s growth or even be fatal.

Trimming is not necessary, but it can be done to reduce treetop dimension. When trimming you remove the flowers from the branches also, so the growth cycle is compromised. The ideal time for this is the end of spring after it blooms, so the cuts will have the time to heal during growth season.


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