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General Information

Plant Care Instructions By Steve Brigham

The Southern Magnolia is famous for its huge (up to a foot wide) fragrant waxy-white flowers, as well as its large, leathery glossy-green leaves, and it is a stately tree with a bold presence. Unfortunately, the most common Southern Magnolias in landscapes (and all of the really old trees) are seedlings, which eventually can grow quite large (to 60’) and are unpredictable in bloom. Much better are the numerous grafted varieties, which bloom reliably even when young and have been selected for larger flowers, better foliage, more compact habit, and climate tolerance. These grafted varieties now allow gardeners to choose small, medium, or large types of trees with uniform qualities, all of which bloom heavily even when young. The Southern Magnolia likes full sun, lots of water, and deep, rich soils. In dry and/or heavy soils, it usually fails. In the minds of some, it does have its drawbacks, in the sense that it has fairly shallow roots and drops some of its large leaves and also woody seed pods throughout the year. Deep watering will encourage a deeper root system, and if you plant this tree in a lawn, you’ll just have to rake a few leaves once in a while. If planted as a street tree, it’s best to use a root barrier to encourage deep rooting.

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones : 3a4a, 4b
Web Link - For more information

Plant Care Instruction

  • Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
    • January
    • February
    • March
    • April
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • August
    • September
    • October
    • November
    • December
    January
    1. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    February
    1. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    March
    1. Buy

    Buy trees in containers this month.
    2. Plant

    Plant from containers this month.
    3. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    4. Prune

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.
    April
    1. Buy

    Buy trees in containers this month.
    2. Plant

    Plant from containers this month.
    3. Fertilize

    Feed with a balanced fertilizer this month.
    4. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    5. Prune

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.
    6. Mulch

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.
    May
    1. Buy

    Buy trees in containers this month.
    2. Plant

    Plant from containers this month.
    3. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    4. Prune

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.
    5. Mulch

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.
    June
    1. Buy

    Buy trees in containers this month.
    2. Plant

    Plant from containers this month.
    3. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    4. Prune

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.
    5. Mulch

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.
    July
    1. Buy

    Buy trees in containers this month.
    2. Plant

    Plant from containers this month.
    3. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    4. Prune

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.
    5. Mulch

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.
    August
    1. Buy

    Buy trees in containers this month.
    2. Plant

    Plant from containers this month.
    3. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    4. Prune

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.
    5. Mulch

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.
    September
    1. Buy

    Buy trees in containers this month.
    2. Plant

    Plant from containers this month.
    3. Fertilize

    Feed with a balanced fertilizer this month.
    4. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    5. Prune

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.
    6. Mulch

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.
    October
    1. Buy

    Buy trees in containers this month.
    2. Plant

    Plant from containers this month.
    3. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    4. Prune

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.
    November
    1. Buy

    Buy trees in containers this month.
    2. Plant

    Plant from containers this month.
    3. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
    December
    1. Water

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.
  • Buy

    When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

    March

    Buy trees in containers this month.

    April

    Buy trees in containers this month.

    May

    Buy trees in containers this month.

    June

    Buy trees in containers this month.

    July

    Buy trees in containers this month.

    August

    Buy trees in containers this month.

    September

    Buy trees in containers this month.

    October

    Buy trees in containers this month.

    November

    Buy trees in containers this month.

    Plant

    When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

    March

    Plant from containers this month.

    April

    Plant from containers this month.

    May

    Plant from containers this month.

    June

    Plant from containers this month.

    July

    Plant from containers this month.

    August

    Plant from containers this month.

    September

    Plant from containers this month.

    October

    Plant from containers this month.

    November

    Plant from containers this month.

    Fertilize

    When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

    April

    Feed with a balanced fertilizer this month.

    September

    Feed with a balanced fertilizer this month.

    Water

    Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

    January

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    February

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    March

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    April

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    May

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    June

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    July

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    August

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    September

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    October

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    November

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    December

    Water regularly but deeply during dry weather.

    Prune

    When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

    March

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.

    April

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.

    May

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.

    June

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.

    July

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.

    August

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.

    September

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.

    October

    Prune only to shape; little pruning is necessary.

    Mulch

    Does this plant need to be mulched? Are there specific types of Mulch which are better for this plant? How much?

    April

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.

    May

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.

    June

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.

    July

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.

    August

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.

    September

    Mulch to conserve water use and keep roots cool.

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