Care of the magnolia, the king of the garden

It is, without a doubt, one of the most spectacular trees that exist. His weight in the world of gardening is such that it is enough to know that his nickname is «the king of the garden» to become aware of his importance. Enjoying its incredible beauty requires knowing in depth the care of the magnolia tree. Some that do not have a great complexity, but on which it depends to a great extent that our tree pleases our eyes with its great gift: its flowering.

And it is that, aside from the beauty of its size or its intensely green perennial foliage, magnolias are the great attraction of this plant. A true spectacle that can be seen, depending on the variety, from the beginning of spring to the beginning of autumn. Large, elegant and fragrant, they are, without a doubt, the moment of greatest splendor of this garden classic. White, cream, pink and even purple are the colors in which we can enjoy this incredible tree.

That yes: before seeing in detail the care of the magnolia, it is important to know something. It is a slow-growing tree that, despite taking it easy, can reach 30 meters in height. A detail to consider, both when planting it and when not despairing if it does not grow at the rate we want. It will. And, meanwhile, we can only take care of it to promote its development.


As we said, the care of the adult magnolia tree is not too demanding. However, if our specimen is young and not yet established, it is important to pamper it to help it take root and grow. And this aspect, its growth, is something that we must consider from the beginning.

Get your magnolia here, and enjoy its incredible beauty

Although late, it can reach a very interesting size in height but also in diameter. The usual size of the magnolia is conical or globose, so careful planning of the planting site is essential. We don’t have to think about what it is like when it comes home: we have to get an idea of ​​how far it can project its development. And this means? That we will have to plant it in an isolated way, without other trees around it and, if possible, far from any building. When a magnolia grows on the surface it is as a consequence of the growth of its roots.

And what happens if we want to have it in a pot? That we can grow it without problems. Of course: we must be aware that our tree will have a moderate growth.

Let’s see in detail what these trees need to prosper in conditions, and that they give us their incredible flowering.

1. The location, fundamental in the care of the magnolia

Let’s start with a detail that is basic for your well-being. When planting a magnolia, we will have to choose its location carefully. We are not referring only to the consideration of its dimensions. We must also contemplate other fundamental details so that it prospers as we want. To begin with, it is key to choose a location in full sun or light shade in hot climates, and well sheltered from the wind.

In addition to this, the magnolia tree needs deep , well-draining soil.

2. The type of soil, another key to its cultivation

A detail that we have to control and pamper. It is enough to understand what acid plants are, and to know that the magnolia belongs to this unique category. What exactly does this imply? That in order to grow well, our tree will need a fresh and slightly acidic soil or, failing that, a neutral pH. If we plant our magnolia tree in clay soil, it will suffer. If we do it in a calcareous one, it will survive but its growth will not be anywhere near as desired.

Correcting the acidity of the soil involves using an iron chelate fertilizer. Get it in our online store

What’s more: if the soil conditions are not ideal, it is more than likely that our magnolia will suffer from iron chlorosis. A reaction to the high alkalinity of the soil, which results in yellowing leaves and a poor general appearance. Beyond correcting it with an iron chelate fertilizer, it is essential to do it in the long term by enriching the soil with what our magnolia needs. Getting to correct this deficiency goes through regular contributions of organic matter in the form of fertilizer.

3. Irrigation, moderate and appropriate at all times

As we said before, the magnolia needs fresh soil. For this reason, it is essential that it is always slightly damp, something that we can achieve by applying mulching to the surface. Despite this detail, beware: the risks must be moderate, and always avoiding waterlogging.

Although this is the general irrigation guideline, let’s keep in mind something important. Both during the first years of our tree and in summer, watering should be regular but moderate. However, once our tree is established, irrigation will become anecdotal.

4. The temperature, an aspect to take into account especially in your youth

The magnolia originally comes from warm climates. Despite being acclimatized to other colder ones, it does not tolerate either continuous or extreme frosts well.

In trees of good size and a certain age, they can acclimatize to the cold without problems. However, in young or recently planted trees we will have to be careful in the months when temperatures drop.

5. Pruning, just to shape

And not even! Because even if we include it in the magnolia care list, it is not essential. In reality, pruning our tree should be done solely with the intention of eliminating lower branches and ensuring that they are concentrated in the upper part.

Beyond the fact that we only do it once a year, it is essential that we opt for light pruning.

And no: we are not making a chapter on pests because, except for occasional aphid attacks, the magnolia tree is highly resistant to them.

Knowing all this, it is clear why he is the king of the garden. And even more so why isn’t there a passionate gardener who doesn’t fall in love with it.

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