Magnolia Need Advice Transplanting Seedlings

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by Ohmyback, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Ohmyback

    Ohmyback Member

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    Hello All (that being you ;-D )...

    I have a Magnolia Royal Star that's about 18 years old and magnificent. The problem is, I grabbed about 50 seeds off the tree in the fall and successfully germinated them (soaked the orange pods in water with a bit of dish soap overnight...used a paper towel to remove the pods and placed them in the fridge in peat moss from fall to February) and put them all in one large pot.

    They're still growing...and they're about 2 inches tall now. All very happy campers.

    I need advice on WHEN to transplant into pots or, if I should put them outside to grow and face the elements. If I put them in their own pots at this time, WHEN will I be able to put them in the ground? I'm about an hour north of Toronto...Ontario. Another issue....I have the land and a greenhouse (small) .... but the soil is mosly clay and they require acidic soil. I can amend the soil with peat moss and triple mix (like I did with the original tree) and I keep bark (left over from firewood) over the base of the tree.

    Remember this folks....especially if you love your plants....DON'T try and take over mother nature.
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

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

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    I am not the best to give advice, because I germinated a bunch of magnolia seed a few years ago and none survive, but you should transplant them after the first true leaves form, which I imagine has already happened. They need the root space to develop. My seedlings actually grew quite well and formed nice little trees, but I was growing them at a garden I visit only every few weeks and they droughted out.

    If you have a lot, why not try a few directly in the ground and pot up the rest so that you can give them a little pampering if need be to get them through the year.
     
  3. Depotbay95

    Depotbay95 Member

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    What kind of soil should be used when transplanting the little trees as I cannot plant them in the ground as I don't think they would make it through the winter here.
     
  4. Ohmyback

    Ohmyback Member

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    My seedlings are about a foot tall now. In the pots, I just used regular potting soil and added some peat moss mixed in. In the ground, I've used peat moss mixed with the existing soil (I mix it in a wheelbarrow and threw in a few handfuls of bone meal). Most important I think, is to water them in well (water in the hole before you actually plant and then water well for them to take). I've covered the base of the seedlings the same way I did with the mature magnolia....I've used leftover rotted bark (from wood cut for firewood). Have to see if they make it over the winter here in Ontario.
     
  5. Depotbay95

    Depotbay95 Member

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    Thank you, I will try this. I am going to keep my little plants in the house for the winter until they are a little bigger. Where did you keep them during the first winter? I have a heated shed I was thinking of keeping them in. What kind of lighting do they need as well? Any info would be great.
     
  6. Ohmyback

    Ohmyback Member

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    Sorry...but mine are first year seedlings and so I've no idea how they will fare over the winter months. I've kept a number of them in pots and will keep them in our barn (it's unheated) near the windows. I'll also have a bark mulch over the tops of the pots to retain moisture. Have to see which ones will survive....the seedlings transplanted in the ground or the ones in pots. If both survive, I'll have over 50 trees...which is why my monicker is "Ohmyback" LOL. Sometimes, I have a little too much luck with my plants.
     
  7. BigBudz

    BigBudz Active Member

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    I think your plants should be put inside your green house over the first winter. just because its seedling so the stock wont be so hardy.
     

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