10 Ideas For Rising Magnolias In Containers


There are such a lot of beautiful timber that make a press release in a backyard, however my favourite needs to be the magnolia. There’s something in regards to the shiny leaves and large scented flowers that makes an impression not like every other tree.

Sadly, magnolia timber are additionally (normally) large. With some species reaching as much as 80 toes in top, these with restricted yard area or no yard area in any respect might have crossed magnolias off their record altogether.

Properly, I’m right here to inform you you don’t must. It’s not solely potential to develop magnolias in containers, however it’s straightforward, too. My two potted magnolias are my favourite backyard purchases (don’t inform the remainder of my vegetation), and these are the ten suggestions I’ve realized for achievement alongside the way in which.

Select The Proper Selection

Top view of flowering Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' plant with mulched soil in the garden. Little Gem magnolia is a compact evergreen tree with a dense, upright growth habit, making it ideal for smaller landscapes. Its glossy, dark green leaves have a leathery texture and grow densely on the tree. The flower is large, features six to nine waxy petals that are creamy white in color. The petals are arranged in a cup-shaped form, with a central cluster of stamens and pistils.
Select smaller magnolia varieties like ‘Little Gem’ for container gardening in appropriate climates.

There are many magnolia species and much more cultivars to select from, however not all are appropriate for rising in containers. Actually, most aren’t perfect, reaching heights as much as 80 toes and needing loads of area to increase.

To develop magnolias in containers efficiently long-term, it is advisable select a smaller selection that may deal with the confined circumstances of a pot. Fortunately, there are a couple of beautiful dwarf varieties which might be excellent for containers.

‘Little Gem’ is without doubt one of the hottest cultivars of Magnolia grandiflora for smaller gardens or rising in pots. My native nursery has a couple of on show on the entrance entrance in massive develop luggage, and they’re thriving, even with the restricted root area.

After dimension, local weather can also be very important to think about. This cultivar is hardy right down to USDA Zone 7, however for those who stay in a colder area, you’ll be able to strive different small magnolias like Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial Blush’ that grows greatest in USDA Zones 4-8.

These are a couple of of the different dwarf cultivars at or beneath 20 toes in top, appropriate for pots:

  • Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’
  • Magnolia laevifolia ‘Gail’s Favourite’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘King Rose Star’
  • Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’
  • Magnolia ‘Petit Chicon’

Select The Proper Container

Close-up of several terracota flowerpots in a sunny garden. These pots come in medium to large sizes. They are made of clay and have drainage holes at the bottom.
Select a spacious container with drainage holes, contemplating future development wants.

Subsequent, you’ll want to decide on a container. When you’re planning on transplanting your tree afterward, a pot simply barely bigger than the bag is manageable. However if you’d like your magnolias to stay in pots ceaselessly, the bigger the container, the higher.

Even small magnolia timber have expansive root techniques that want room to help the branches and leaves above. Your long-term container must be a number of sizes bigger than the present pot or bag the tree is in, each in depth and in width.

The opposite non-negotiable is drainage. The container must have drainage holes within the backside to permit extra moisture to flee, stopping root harm. Ideally, select a pot comprised of porous supplies that can assist wick moisture away from the roots, too.

Bigger containers may be dear, particularly for those who’re selecting a porous materials like terra cotta. Nonetheless, investing in a bigger container is healthier than limiting the tree early on, resulting in development issues down the road.

Place Your Container Earlier than You Plant

Close-up of a female gardener holding a white pot over a flowerbed in the garden. The woman is wearing black trousers, a denim shirt, red sneakers and blue and white gloves. The pot is medium-sized, plastic, white, half filled with soil.
Select the placement earlier than potting, contemplating daylight and aesthetics.

Giant containers are heavy. Tall magnolia timber are additionally heavy. Mix these two, including in a couple of luggage of moist potting soil, and your pot will turn out to be virtually not possible to maneuver by yourself.

You’ll be able to use a trolley to wheel heavy pots round, however I discover it far simpler to decide on your location earlier than you plant.

An important concerns are environmental – daylight, potential for frost, wind safety, and so forth. When you have a couple of appropriate spots, your selection will come right down to aesthetics. And in these circumstances, it may be robust to resolve on the best location till you see it.

Once I was potting up my magnolia timber, I knew I wished them close to my patio. However the actual location on the patio was nonetheless undecided. With a little bit assist, I moved the pots to some areas and lowered the timber inside to get a really feel for what they’d seem like. As soon as I discovered the right spot for visible stability, I left the containers there and prepped for planting.

Use Pot Ft

Close-up of a large terracotta pot with potted plant feet in a garden on wet asphalt. The potted plant feet are small, bear-shaped accessories designed to elevate potted plants above the surface they're placed on.
Use pot toes or bricks to carry containers, stopping water harm to surfaces.

This subsequent tip applies to all of your containers however is very useful for bigger timber that gained’t be moved after planting.

Inserting pot toes on the backside of the container lifts the pot barely off the bottom, stopping any moisture from changing into trapped across the base or damaging the floor the container is positioned on. This isn’t as necessary if the container is positioned on soil or grass, however can shield your balcony or patio from the harm that comes with long-term watering.

You should purchase pot toes to match your chosen container, positioned across the rim of the pot to carry it and enhance drainage. You can even use issues it’s possible you’ll have already got round your backyard, like bricks, to lift the pots, so long as they’re sturdy, can stand up to the load of the container, and don’t block the drainage holes.

Amend Soil With Compost

Close-up of a gardener's hand pouring compost into the soil mixture with a garden trowel in a large terracotta pot in a garden on a green lawn. The garden trowel is small and red. The soil in the pot is moist and dark brown in color.
Use high-quality potting soil with added compost for optimum magnolia development.

Magnolias love wealthy, barely acidic soil that retains sufficient moisture to maintain the roots glad but additionally drains effectively to forestall rot.

Excessive-quality potting soil is normally ample, containing natural matter and infrequently some further vitamins too. However if you wish to give your timber the very best begin, add some further compost into the combination earlier than planting.

Whether or not your compost is selfmade or purchased from a nursery, it comprises helpful vitamins and microorganisms that enhance root development. Compost additionally retains moisture and has a barely acidic pH, creating the soil circumstances these timber love.

When potting up my timber, I used 5 luggage of potting soil and three luggage of compost. Combine the soil effectively earlier than planting, as mixing evenly contained in the containers is hard.

Place In Full Solar To Partial Shade

Top view of a potted Magnolia liliiflora plant in a sunny garden near a brown brick wall. The plant features elliptical to obovate dark green leaves. It produces large, showy flowers with a purple-pink hue. These flowers, resembling tulips, are open, have 5-6 elongated oval petals surrounding the central stigma.
Present ample daylight for magnolia flowers in containers, adjusting based mostly on local weather and nursery circumstances.

To make sure your magnolia flowers develop prolifically in containers, you want the correct quantity of daylight. Too little solar will stunt development, leaving the plant with out sufficient vitality to develop correctly or flower on the proper time.

Most magnolias develop greatest in full solar positions, however some can even develop in partial shade. When you stay in a hotter local weather, partial shade is really useful, as intense afternoon solar can scorch the leaves.

Additionally, contemplate the circumstances the tree was in if you purchased it to grasp the surroundings it has tailored to. My magnolias had been rising largely in dappled daylight on the nursery and struggled after I moved them to direct solar in my backyard. They’re slowly adapting now, however there have been loads of scorched and curled leaves within the course of.

Hold an eye fixed out for indicators of battle, like scorching or lack of latest development, that sign it’s possible you’ll want to maneuver your container to a brand new place.

Water Recurrently

Close-up of magnolia leaves with water drops. This tree is planted in a large blue pot in a sunny garden. The leaves are large, glossy, and leathery. They have an elliptical shape with smooth margins and a dark green coloration on the upper surface, while the underside is covered in a dense layer of brownish to rust-colored fuzz.
Monitor and alter watering for magnolia timber in containers, making certain constant moisture ranges.

Magnolia timber planted within the floor don’t require a lot further watering as soon as established. They normally survive on rainfall alone, with a little bit further assist throughout heat and dry intervals. Situations for magnolias in containers are barely completely different, requiring nearer consideration to moisture ranges.

Once you first plant your magnolia timber, it’s greatest to water them 2-3 instances per week. This encourages the roots to unfold out within the pot and helps the tree set up. As soon as the tree has settled, you’ll be able to alter your watering routine to round as soon as per week, relying on climate circumstances.

The soil in containers dries out a lot faster than soil within the floor. When you overlook to water, the soil will shortly turn out to be dry and compacted, stressing your tree. Goal for a daily watering schedule that provides moisture simply because the soil begins to dry out once more.

Use Mulch

Close-up of gardener's hands compacting a layer of mulch into a large pot of a magnolia tree in the garden. Mulch consists of dry straw. The flowerpot is large, square, gray.
Mulch retains moisture in containers, defending roots from evaporation and daylight.

One of many methods to retain moisture in containers is by including a layer of mulch.

Mulch traps moisture within the soil by slowing evaporation and regulating soil temperature, defending the roots. This additionally protects the shallow roots near the soil line from daylight harm, particularly on the top of summer time.

Select an natural mulch that can slowly break down over time, including vitamins again into the soil. I like to make use of a thick layer of compost, however bark or straw can also be appropriate. You can even add a sun-loving dwelling mulch like candy alyssum for aesthetic worth, though it gained’t retain moisture in addition to the opposite choices.

Don’t Neglect To Fertilize

Close-up of a gardener's hand holding a white plastic spoon full of chemical fertilizers over a large pot of soil. These fertilizers are granular, round in shape, and bright orange-yellow in color.
Recurrently replenish soil vitamins for ongoing development and flowering utilizing slow-release and liquid fertilizers.

Vitamins within the soil in containers deplete over time because the plant makes use of them for development. With out common top-ups, the soil ultimately gained’t have sufficient vitamins to help new root, department, and leaf development or – most significantly – flowers.

You don’t must fertilize instantly after planting for those who’ve chosen potting soil full of vitamins. It’s greatest to present the roots time to settle in first. However as soon as your tree is established, common feeding is significant if you’d like your magnolia to proceed to develop and flower.

I like to combine a slow-release fertilizer into the highest layer of soil as soon as in spring and once more in fall. These fertilizers break down over time, releasing vitamins as you water. You don’t want so as to add quite a bit – simply sufficient to replenish any vitamins which will have been misplaced.

In summer time, you can even complement with a low-strength liquid fertilizer round as soon as per 30 days as wanted. Extra fertilizer can result in root harm, so it’s necessary to not overdo it. Monitor development intently and by no means apply extra fertilizer than is really useful on the packaging of your chosen product.

Prune Evenly

Close-up of a potted magnolia plant in nursery against the background of different types of decorative flower pots. Magnolia grandiflora is a majestic evergreen tree characterized by its glossy, leathery leaves. Its foliage consists of dark green, elliptical leaves with a bronze underside.
Trim magnolias sparingly after flowering to take care of form and take away broken branches.

Magnolia timber don’t must be pruned commonly to flower effectively. Actually, pruning an excessive amount of may cause extra hurt than good, probably halting flowering throughout the subsequent season.

You’ll be able to prune your magnolias to form the tree, take away crossing or broken branches, and handle its dimension for the container because it matures. However everytime you do prune, don’t trim an excessive amount of. Solely in the reduction of what is required, retaining as a lot development on the tree as potential. This offers you the very best likelihood of flowering the next season.

One of the best time to prune is simply after the tree has completed flowering, which is able to differ barely relying on species and local weather. In the reduction of as wanted with sharp and clear shears to forestall the unfold of illness. When you’re proud of the dimensions and there aren’t any areas of injury or illness, you don’t should prune.

Ultimate Ideas

Magnolias are must-haves in each backyard, regardless of the dimensions. Rising in containers is good for city gardens or sprawling landscapes, made straightforward by following the following tips.

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