Magnolias always get me real pumped up at this time of year. What's not to love? When you get that pink flower meets blue sky friendship/contrast, do you die a little floral death? I do. So here's a quick run down of the spring enchantress, magnolia in case you wish to know more about her.
The most common magnolia you'll come across, and by my standards the most fabulous, is Magnolia grandiflora. The species name grandiflora means "bearing large flowers" so it makes sense that she's that gorgeous bitch flashing her massive, fragrant goblets of pink and creamy white pleasure all over town. It's her prerogative.
Magnolia stellata is the next most familiar species and can be identified by its pinwheel or star shaped white and pink blossoms. These babies are especially lovely because they bear flowers before foliage, so all you get is an eyeful of floral fire crackers on bare twigs. All the better to appreciate their stark beauty. And would you check out those fuzzy seed pods? Stroke them. They're soft as a fucking bunny's ass.
GROWING HABIT 🌳
Plant magnolias in autumn, winter or spring in climates that don't get badass winters. They can be winter hardy but only up to a certain point and then they'll peace out.
Depending on the cultivar (type), magnolias can grow up to 49'x32' so choose your type and planting spot wisely so you're not all, "Shit, our magnolia is devouring all our backyard bbq sunshine. SUSAN! We're making firewood of the flower tree!"
Also, decide whether you want an evergreen magnolia for all year green or a deciduous one that will look like a heap of sticks in the winter.
WATER & SOIL (there's that word!) 💦
Magnolias like a good long soak about 2x/week in the spring and summer. But these honeys are not interested in a pool party so let them dry out a bit in between waterings.
As for soil, well draining and moist is key.
If you're getting into PH land, neutral to acidic is best.
Plant in full sun or part shade. More sun means more blossoms. Also, sweet magnolia doesn't like getting tossed around so plant her in a sheltered spot away from the threat of damaging winds.
Not necessary. Prune to shape your magnolia however you please. If there are a bunch of water shoots (spindly sucker branches that jump straight up for the sky) take em out so they're not competing with your strong branches.
Yellow leaves? Excessive alkalinity. Treat with sphagnum moss (at the garden shoppe) or composted oak leaves to add acidity to the soil.
Blackened flower buds? Frost damage. Nothing you can do. Maybe nature will better cooperate next year.
All your leaves just dropped out of fucking nowhere?! Sometimes this just happens every few years. It's like your magnolia needed a big change and shaved her head. It's ok. Bae's hair will probably grow back.
Holler at your girl with any questions.
Happy mutherfucking spring!!!!