Magnolia tree: characteristic and growing condition

Buying a magnolia tree is easy (but not cheap). Having it and watching it grow is something else. Due to its characteristics, difficulty in multiplication and preference of soils, its cultivation acquires special attention. We are going to teach you the preferences of the magnolia tree to make this tree grow healthy and strong.



The magnolia or Magnolia grandiflora  L. is a slow-growing tree. It goes at its own pace and little is growing . Reaching sizes like the one found near the Prado Museum in Madrid is a matter of many years.

This species is native to the United States, specifically the southeast (Texas and Florida), so it is adapted to climates with warm temperatures. It has evergreen leaves and can reach heights close to 30 meters.

Its use is practically ornamental , although in some situations its wood has been used for construction. We believe that if it is a slow-growing tree, it is not logical or profitable to take advantage of its wood, except for cabinetwork.

Regarding the morphological characteristics, the magnolia tree has large, dark green leaves and very curious red seeds , wrapped in a conical fruit.



For the cultivation of this plant it is necessary to have an acid soil. This means that if your soil is basic you must make amendments to the soil to correct the pH and adapt it to the magnolia tree. A constant supply of organic matter ensures an acidity that the tree will appreciate and will favor the drainage of irrigation water. Any basic or calcareous soil without nutrients will produce chlorosis on the tree.


The magnolia tree resists the cold well, but without overdoing it, since it is from warm climates. It must be grown in an area that is not exposed to the wind or protected from frost.


It requires sun, but it can be planted perfectly in places with semi-shade.


The soil must be kept constantly humid but without ever generating waterlogging. Irrigation will percolate the compost and ensure a constant supply of nutrients. In addition, if you combine the mulching technique,  you avoid the evaporation of water and generate more usable nutrients for the plant.


There are different ways and some faster than others. The fastest way in which it is usually done is by cuttings or layered  in summer. By rooting and some techniques a new plant is achieved in a short time. The other is to multiply it through seed from autumn, but due to its nature it is not easy at all. We comment on this for the following.

It usually has a germination percentage of 50% , the seeds cannot be kept in winter at room temperature, but they have to be in cold conditions between 0-4º C, and it has a hard reddish cover that must be removed before of trying to sow it.

Apart from this, in addition to being so slow growing you can go years without seeing the magnolia tree bloom and it can end the patience of anyone who ventures to do so. As we are crazy, we have tried it and we will tell you how.


It does not require pruning and can even be counterproductive. You can make a few simple cuts of branches that cross or remove dead branches, but without going overboard. For the elimination of some branches in this article we will show you the best electric pruning shears for the garden.

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