Mistakes to Avoid when Growing a Magnolia

The varying species of the magnolia tree make the magnolia a plant that has many different varieties suited for many different regions, climates and circumstances. No matter which species you choose to go with, you are sure to have a wonderfully beautiful plant that will add volumes to any garden space. Magnolias are fairly easy plants to care for and do not attract many pests, these factors coupled with the variety available, make the magnolia an ideal garden plant. This guide will show you some common mistakes to avoid when growing magnolias.


When choosing a magnolia, it is very important to choose one that grows well in your region. Magnolias that grow in the north require different care than those native to the southern regions. If you’re in the north, the best time for planting a magnolia is the spring time, while southern magnolias do best when planted in the fall. Proper magnolia spacing is also important to avoid overcrowding and ensure the most growth. Most magnolia trees grow to be about ten to fifteen feet in width, so planting them fifteen to twenty feet apart from each other allows for the most success. Giving these plants northern exposure will help keep their budding and flowering schedules on track, giving you the best blooms possible.


In the hotter months, newly planted magnolia trees need plenty of water. Under watering in the early stages of the trees life is one of the most common reasons a magnolia tree would fail. Once your magnolia tree is established, it will need far less watering and usually will only require water if the soil doesn’t hold moisture or if there happens to be a drought. Fall is the best time to fertilize your magnolias. You will want to make sure to lay enough fertilizer by laying it under the circumference of the tree and out past the tree by about one to two feet. A common mistake to avoid when fertilizing is to not lay the fertilizer all the way up to the tree trunk. You don’t want the fertilizer touching the trunk but to begin a few inches outside of the trunk. Much like with water, once your magnolia tree is well established you won’t need to continue fertilizing it so make sure you keep this in mind to avoid over fertilization.

If you are considering a magnolia companion, you should look for plants containing spring bulbs. These plants will bloom in unison with your magnolia and produce a prettier, fuller garden. Daffodils, hellebores and bluebells all work well and produce beautiful bouquets in unison with the magnolia tree.

Once you’ve got these things in mind it becomes quite easy to avoid most of the mistakes made when planting and growing magnolias. Once your magnolias are established and mature they require very little care so once you’ve passed the toughest stage of getting them established you can sit back and enjoy some of the most beautiful trees this planet produces.