Little Gem buds turning brown

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by Topgun09, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. Topgun09

    Topgun09 Member

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    Location:
    St. Louis Mo, USA
    My wife and I purchased the Little Gem 3 weeks ago, and it had a 1 bud on it (see first picture). This is our first Magnolia, but we have many other plants and trees, to include Bonsai.

    Now the first bud (see second picture) is brown and the outside petals are flaking off. Can anyone provide some advice? The follow are the stats on the tree.

    3 weeks at my house, was told should be 5 to 7 years old
    12 ft tall, 2 buds have developed and too many seed pods to count
    Leaves and trunk great condition
    Still in container from nursery, will plant this weekend
    Gets diffused full sun 6 hours a day (will be in full sun)
    Just water every morning, by evening pot is some what moist
    No fertilizer or stimulator yet.

    P.S any word of wisdom for the planting this weekend would greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
     

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  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Location:
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    It is probably OK, just stressed in the pot I suppose. Magnolias really like water and it probably does not have sufficient root structure for a 12 foot tree. You might remove all the spent buds and the two blossoms, to prevent any energy being wasted on them while the tree is getting established in its new home. (This helps, but is not really necessary for the maintenance of the tree.) Not sure about your area or this particular plant, but is it not the end of their bloom season? Sometimes the first and/or last blooms of the season don't have the conditions to flower properly.

    Good luck with the tree.
     
  3. Topgun09

    Topgun09 Member

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    Location:
    St. Louis Mo, USA
    Thank you Eric for the reply. I think all your points were on the mark. Stressed, in the pot, late in the season. We did plant it, the bloom, opened. Not as grand as some I have seen, but I am sure it will be fanstastic next year. We are losing some leaves, again I think it is stress. I made sure the ground was mixed well with compost, that the root ball was cut and broke up, used root stimulator and we have mulch on the ground for cover.

    If anyone has any suggestions for the tree that we should do for the winter, please let me know. We are in St. Louis Mo, winters not to bad, maybe a month worths of day below zero, and a few days a snow. The big thing, I think is to worry about the ice. We seem to get a few ice storms and deep freezes in the spring.

    Thank You
    Jeff and Lynn
     

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  4. Donald King

    Donald King Member

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    Location:
    Issaquah, WA
    I do not know about your particular plant, but my experience is that this browning can be caused by abrupt changes in the weather from spring-like to late frosts or an abrupt change to hot, dry weather.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes I also have the impression the bud would have been likely to have been damaged by weather. Whatever the actual situation in that instance if you are losing more leaves than a southern magnolia usually discards during the spring and summer dropping of old ones - so that your specimen begins to appear less furnished than when you got it - check the leaves for mildew. Here many 'Little Gem' become infested and gaunt.
     

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