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Looking after a Magnolia Grandiflora

Hampshire, United Kingdom Gb

In the garden of our fairly recently purchased house we have a smallish (at the moment) specimen of the above. It doesn't look very happy, although it did flower last summer. But a lot of the leaves fall off and are brown spotted.

I assume feeding it would help, but when and when. Also as it it rather near the house and I understand they can grow quite big, can it be pruned? If so when?




If it is quite near the house, get it out as soon as possible. I have a friend who is an arboriculturist and his mother had to remove hers because the wall near the tree started to crack.

I would transplant it to somewhere else in your garden although Magnolias tend to sulk when you transplant them. dig a large hole and incorporate Ericaceous compost and some bonemeal, give it a good liquid feed and it might be ok. Mine is also looking pretty shabby, it was a bargain sin bin plant from B&Q.

14 Apr, 2009


If you're going to move it, now (April) is the best time. They do prefer a wall or something to support them but will still grow freestanding.

The acid soil is not imperative for these plants although they do indeed, like it. Alkaline soil is fine, but not too much lime as they don't like that.

If you move it, dig a big hole and fill it with peaty soil/compost and maybe a bit of ericaceous compost if you want as well. If you're not going to move it, I would suggest that you try digging around it a bit and giving it some fresh soil. Feed it if you wish and once more about july time.

They don't like being pruned, but if you must do it then do it in summer when it's in full leaf. This will give the cuts time to heal before the winter. Just cut the longest and widest shoots off to maintain its shape, but be careful.

14 Apr, 2009


I personally wouldn't use peat as it is taken from an unsustainable source. There are alternatives if you ask at your garden centre which are more environmentally sound.

15 Apr, 2009

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