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I have a magnolia ("Jane Platt") which has been in a pot for several years - six or seven years. It has been happy enough, and flowering, (although I'm sure it needs to be planted out, which we will do if it survives.) About two months ago my husband, with good intentions (!) repotted it, untangling sedge grass roots which had become embedded amoungst it's own roots. He placed it in a bigger pot, with compost from our own compost heap. It is now in dire trouble and I think might die. Most of it's new spring leaves did not continue to develop and turned brown and crisp at the ends - in fact there are only a few which show any green! I'm not sure if there is anything I can do at this stage, to save it. Would it like ericaceous compost? Is there something which would save it?All the branches and twigs are still green.
I'd be very grateful for any help!
Thank you.




Unfortunately, Magnolias hate root disturbance, which is why they don't make good pot subjects - every time you repot, you're in danger of it having a good sulk or giving up the ghost. Ericacious compost would have been good, but at this stage, more disturbance might not help. Can only suggest you keep it watered and fed and hope for the best.

13 May, 2011


If you feed, feed very lightly and frequently. Large doses can burn the damaged roots. I would use a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of seaweed extract, and a gallon of water. Mix up enough gallons to make a good soaking watering. At the same time, I would also prune it severely--removing the longer branches to just above shorter side branches. The goal would be to remove about 1/3 of the (imaginary) foliage.

14 May, 2011

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