If you're a gardener, chances are you've considered planting a magnolia tree. But what exactly are magnolias? In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at these beautiful trees, including their history, attributes, and how to care for them. Read on to how to grow magnolia from seed, care for them, and more.
History of Magnolias
Magnolias are native to North America, Asia, and Europe. The first fossilized Magnolia species dates back to 20 million years ago! In 1688, English botanist John Ray described the Magnolia as “one of the noblest flowers in the world. The name “magnolia” is derived from French botanist Pierre Magnol. Pierre was an expert on plant classifications and is credited with discovering and describing over 500 plant species. Interestingly, the first recorded use of the word “magnolia” was not in reference to a flower at all—it was used to describe a hardwood tree that produces white blossoms.
Types of Magnolias
There are over 200 different types of magnolias available today. Some of the most popular varieties include:
• Saucer magnolias (Magnolia x soulangiana) are hybrids that were created by crossing two other magnolia species—Magnolia denudata and Magnolia liliiflora. They're characterized by their large, saucer-shaped flowers that can be pink, red, or purple in color. Saucer magnolias typically bloom in early spring.
• Star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) are small trees that feature big impact—their flowers can measure up to 8 inches wide! As their name suggests, star magnolias have star-shaped flowers with 6-12 petals each. They typically bloom in late winter or early spring.
• Southern magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) are some of the most popular trees in the southern United States. They're known for their large size (they can grow up to 80 feet tall!) and their impressive evergreen leaves that can measure up to 12 inches long and 6 inches wide. Southern magnolias also boast beautiful white blossoms that can measure up to 12 inches across. flowering typically occurs in mid-spring but can last through early summer.
Caring for your Magnolia Tree
Now that you know a bit more about these fascinating trees, you may be wondering how to care for one of your own. Here are a few tips:
- Plant your tree in moist but well-drained soil in an area that gets full sun or partial shade.
- Amend your soil with organic matter before planting to help improve drainage.
- Water your tree regularly during its first growing season; once established, it will be more drought tolerant.
- Fertilize your tree yearly with an all-purpose fertilizer or composted manure spread evenly around the base of the tree—but be careful not to overdo it, as too much fertilizer can damage your tree's roots.
- Prune away any dead or damaged branches as needed; otherwise, pruning isn't necessary since most magnolia varieties don't require shaping or training.
How to Grow Magnolia From Seed
The magnolia tree is a Southern favorite. These beautiful trees are perfect for any garden, and they can be grown from seed. Here's how.
- Start with fresh seeds. You can find these at your local nursery or online. If you have a magnolia tree in your yard, you can collect the seeds yourself. Just be sure that the seeds are fresh; otherwise, they won't germinate.
- planted in well-draining soil. Magnolia trees prefer acidic soil, so if your soil is alkaline, you'll need to amend it before planting. You can do this by adding sulfur to the soil.
- Plant the seeds in pots or flats filled with potting mix or seed-starting mix. Plant the seeds ½ inch deep and water them well.
- Place the pots or flats in a warm, sunny location. Keep the soil moist but not soggy by misting it daily or as needed. The seeds should germinate within two to four weeks.
- Once the seedlings have sprouted, thin them so that only the strongest seedling remain in each pot or flat. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and continue to care for them as usual.
- When the seedlings are 6 inches tall, they can be transplanted into their permanent location in the garden. Choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil for best results. Water them deeply once a week during their first growing season to help them establish a strong root system.
Magnolia Tree Pests and Diseases
If you have a magnolia tree in your garden, you might be worried about the pests and diseases that could threaten it. After all, magnolia trees are susceptible to a number of different problems. In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the most common magnolia tree pests and diseases so that you can be on the lookout for them.
Magnolia scale is one of the most common pests that affect magnolia trees. This pest feeds on the sap of the tree, which can weaken it and make it more susceptible to disease. If you see small white bumps on the leaves or branches of your magnolia tree, it's likely that magnolia scale is to blame.
Powdery mildew is another problem that can affect magnolia trees. This fungal disease appears as a white powdery substance on the leaves and branches of the tree. Powdery mildew can cause the leaves of the tree to yellow and drop off prematurely.
Bacterial canker is also a concern for magnolia trees. This bacterial disease causes sunken lesions on the bark of the tree. Bacterial canker can kill branches and even entire trees if it's not treated promptly.
With a little patience and care, you can grow a magnolia tree from seed! These beautiful trees are perfect for any garden, and they will provide you with years of enjoyment. So now that you know how to grow magnolia from seed, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting!