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Magnolia Stellata - care query


 
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 9:07 pm    Post subject: Magnolia Stellata - care query Reply with quote

This magnolia Stellata has been growing here for quite a few years, probably at least ten. The photograph was taken earlier this spring. I'm not happy with the sparseness of flowering and I don't like the cluttered habit of growth. Up to now I've been loth to prune, other than to remove branches growing obviously in the wrong direction as it was an expensive buy and I didn't want to spoil it. I've seen pictures of the same plant with prolific flowers and a better, less cluttered form.

I would appreciate the advice of others who may have grown the same plant, as to pruning and other appropriate care. My usual approach is to remove weak and crossing branches first and then go for structure. What else might I do? (I have removed some of the competition from immediately around the shrub.)



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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soil? What's the ph?

They prefer 7 going downwards. To compensate: loads of manure and iron.

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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's acid but I forget by how much as its years since I measured it. I'll get a soil test kit today.
Should I vary my suggested pruning regime?
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tippben
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd suggest feeding it really well, both the roots, and as foliar feed for the rest of the year before pruning. A top dressing of ericaceous will help as well.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've 2 Magnolias. Goldstar and Grandiflora.

The Goldstar was given to me by my daughter when it was 12" high, in 2010 I think. The only position I had for it was in a place with no topsoil, only subsoil so I made up my own topsoil of 33% sand, 33% very, very old horse manure & 33% clayey sub-soil. The tree is now 15 feet high! in home made soil.

I was given the Grandiflora by a friend who had it in a pot and she had nowhere to plant it in her "garden", which is 100% concrete. I planted it in my ordinary garden soil, which is "Limestone Till". Result: not a move on it. Leaves are yellowy and no growth. I'd put a half bag of Ferrous Sulphate (or somesuch) around it together with shrub slow release fertilizer.

Moral of the story. Home-made topsoil is better than the indigenous rubbish around here. Smile Smile Smile

So, maybe, for your tree, put a 2' wide, 1' high, ring of manure around it. Worth a try anyway. or else, dig it up, widen the hole considerably and amend the soil with slow release fertilizer, manure and irony stuff and re-plant. (I'm always moving/adjusting plants if they're not happy. You can just see they're not happy by looking at them.)

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the soil ph turned out to be bang on 7, which surprised me - just goes to show you shouldn't take these things for granted! I suppose, over the years, it will have changed through cultivation. Its time to test other areas of the garden, I think.
I've applied cheated iron, encircled the plant with well rotted horse manure and given it a foliar feed of nettle tea. Hopefully, that will cure its sulks. I'm off for the rest of the day to the North West Garden Show at Castlefin. If I see some there, I'll get a bag of ericaceous compost to add as a top dressing.
Thanks for all the advice, lads.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 9:09 pm    Post subject: Magnolia Stellata care Reply with quote

Here is a current photo of the plant I complained about a year ago. What a difference!
Thanks for the advice lads.



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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isnt it it good isn't it great. .,,
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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I mean is this site is great ! !
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely!
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chicago???
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see you back, Guy.
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, KS. It's good to get active again - I missed the crack.
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