Michelia maudiae

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by franfleur, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. franfleur

    franfleur Member

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    Help, any one out there. I purchased a Michelia maudiae for CAD $48.00 in April this year. The nursery advised me to let it dry out completely before I watered it. It sits beside a west window with a skylight above. However, it is over to one side so that it never gets direct sunlight. For the first 2 months, it kept its shape and gave me new leaves. Suddenly, I noticed leaves getting brown around the edges and then dropping off. After 2 weeks, I only have 2 original leaves.

    I have flushed the plant after reading on this forum that maybe it is a salt buildup problem. However, what I have left is bare branches with 2 original leaves and 1 bare branch with what I hope new growth starting. Some branches are not green anymore, but I am loath to cut them.

    Any tips or advice will be appreciated.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    These are grown outdoors here, where I am sure yours would be much happier. Are you gardening without any outdoor access, as in an apartment?
     
  3. franfleur

    franfleur Member

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    Thanks, it is sitting like dead twigs, and I may have to move this plant outdoors. However, it is still alive, giving me a hint of green here and there.
     
  4. Saxy Fraga

    Saxy Fraga Member

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    franfleur,

    M. maudiae is a hardy tree in Vancouver. However, it is not remarkably drought-tolerant, especially in a container! The first one I planted in Nanaimo in 1995 is now best viewed from the second story window and it flowers (v. fragrant) every spring.

    My advise would be to let it go... before it dies, if it isn't too late.

    Find a nice loamy, moist, well-draining spot in an alder grove somewhere close to home where you can visit it often, and plant it. The leaves that emerged inside your apartment will likely burn off during the winter, but if there is enough energy left in the plant it will begin to reflush late next spring and may make it.

    This is not an apartment plant.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Hardy in Vancouver so far. Alder grove would have fertile soil but it might also be likely to have Armillaria, as well as be densely shady so not necessarily a prime spot.
     
  6. Saxy Fraga

    Saxy Fraga Member

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    Ron, don't you think it is a better option than life in an apartment? I agree a record-cold or close to a record-cold spell might heavily damage M. maudiae, maybe even kill it but I have not even seen tip damage up here yet on maudiae, insignis, cavaleriei, ernestii, platypetala, lotungensis or chapensis. I have seen them sit and sulk for several years, because of summer drought and over exposure. I have seen the flower buds turn black from cold, but they still bloomed (abeit, rather pathetically...). I find they do not perform as well when plunked in an open, sunny dry site. Most of these evergreen species are quite shade-tolerant when young. An alder grove is ideal for several reasons; it does not create as shady an environment as say Acer macrophyllum does, alders begin dropping their leaves early (like June...) and do so all summer long and they are good soil improvers. Winters are quite bright in amongst them, but they provide some winter wind protection, especially in a bit of a ravine or if there are some large token conifers directly north and northeast of our little maudiae. I have 'guerilla gardened' several (different evergreen M. species) over the years in suburban Vancouver to test their hardiness (I'm not too worried about potential invasiveness...) and find them to be quite at home in such a site. As far as Armillaria is concerned... it is just one of the many risks a tree must face - don't you think?
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    There are many places one can plant here besides under bigleaf maples or alders. Armillaria loves alders - and can be murder on magnoliads.
     
  8. Jean Heath

    Jean Heath Member

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    franfleur, Can you please tell me where you purchased your Michelia maudiae from? I am trying very hard to get one, but without success so far.
     
  9. bcgift52

    bcgift52 Active Member

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    You could get your local nursery to order it in for you from Piroche. I got mine from Murray's - or it could have been Southlands. About a year ago I saw some for sale
    at a Nursery (I think it was called Formosa) out in Maple Ridge. Sorry can't be more
    helpful, but the memory just ain't what it used to be.
     
  10. franfleur

    franfleur Member

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    The plant has now been dead for almost a year. My husband overfertilized it I think. It never recovered even though we repotted in fresh dirt. It was purchased at a Bonsai and Orchid store in EAst Vancouver which is now out of business (couldn't pay the rent).
     
  11. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    I got my tree from Southlands in 2003. I've seen it a couple of times since at the annual Van Dusen plant sale at a much better price.
    My tree is in a sunny site and suffered a bit of neglect after planting as we were digging part of our garden (buidling garage) but it has come thru beautifully. It flowers profusely and has minimal winter damage to foliage. I've never fertilized and water only during long dry spells. I love this tree.
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    All magnolias are native to high precipitation climates and should never be allowed to dry out, deep moist soil high in organic matter is another consistent preference.
     
  13. england

    england Member

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    hello there i have been growing michelias for a couple of years here in england aswell as orchids and bonsai! i have 2 michelia Maudiaes which are grown in pots and both are growing well the flowers are amazing! it is allways best to grow them out doors if possible but mine are in side for 4 to 5 months of the year because it gets too cold outside! they are fed 3 to 4 times a month on a bonsai feed which they seem to love and i mist them regulary ! i did have the same problem you had with the leaves going brown and dropping off the plant was almost dead! but i used a old trick that i have used many times befor and that is to repot the michelia Maudiae but use only sphagnum moss! and keep the moss moist after abt 4 to 8 weeks it should start to produce new growth! hope this helps if it aint allready died
     
  14. Jo-Anne

    Jo-Anne Member

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    I would appreciate any help with regard to our Michelia maudiae.

    I live in Victoria and am about a block from the ocean and have planted a michelia in our front garden which faces East in February of 2005. Well it looked great but as the summer came on so did the problems. At first, my neigbour said that I planted it too deep so I pulled it up and planted it higher...then she said that it might be too high but suggested to put more mulch and pine cones around it. Well it seemed to like that but the branches on the lower part had started to turn black and while they did not become brittle, I was told to cut them off and apply a fungicide. The plant looked much better and for awhile I thought we were out of the woods. During the entire time, I did get tremendous flowers but it the amount of leaves that I had left were few.

    Second summer comes around and the same thing happens. I have an automatic water sprinkler and a garden store suggested that it might be getting too much water (1 hour twice a week) so I took it down to once a week. The bottom limbs started to turn black again but they are not brittle and I hesitate to cut them off because soon I will have a Charlie Brown tree.

    What the heck am I doing wrong? All the other plants, rhodo, grass plants, cala lillies, privot and heathers are doing just fine but the focal point of the garden is disappointing. I was prepared to pull it out but it has got many buds on it so my husband told me to leave it for one more season.

    he soil we used was a mixture of composte/soil that our garden designer highly recommended (funny she is not responding to our inquiries about our sick Michelia).

    We are just going to reapply the fungicide but if you could provide any suggestions that would be greatly appreciated. There is no other place on the property to place the plant so a move is out of the question.

    And another question while I have your ear is can a plant come back vigorously after it has had two rough years?


    Thank you,

    Jo-Anne
     
  15. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    Hi Jo-Anne
    Yes, there is hope. My sister's tree seemed to languish for the first 2 years. Strangely, although the foliage was sparse & yellowish, her tree always had an abundance of flowers (whereas my tree had beautiful foliage and less flowers). Since my soil is on the acidic side, she added some acid to her bed and waited. Last year, she was so pleased when the tree finally seemed to rally, and put out a lot of healthy growth.

    I would think that the disruption of being re-planted also put your tree into a bit of shock. I also don't water my tree as much - once a week at the height of summer drought.
     

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