planting my potted magnolia

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by Mir, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Mir

    Mir Member

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    Vancouver, Canada
    I am an inexperienced gardener, but will be taking possesion of a real house with a real garden in the next month or so. (in east Vancouver).
    I decided to sign up for this forum as a first step.
    It will be an adventure - most of my gardening experience is from childhood.
    My one pride and joy is a potted magnolia Randy (Purple buds, changing to bright pink flowers) that I took as a branch from my mothers tree 8 years ago (bedded the branch in the earth to grow the roots.)
    It suffered one vandalous injury to the top, but is now a good 2.5' high. Apparently this particular magnolia doesn't grow much beyond 12 feet.
    What I am hoping to find out is what if anything I should do to prepare the ground for planting this tree - I have a spot picked out with solid southern exposure, and I have viewed a recommended online video, demonstrating how to take care not to plant too deep.
    Is there anything I need to know about the soil before I plant?? Anything I need to do to prepare the soil - its the front yard of the house, a very mossy lawn (more on that later!). I understand that the tree's shade might ultimately undermine the lawn, but the tree is my priority. The lawn is about 12' square, and the tree will have the lawn for itself.
    Anything I need to know before I proceed???? (I am hoping for an early March planting).
    Thanks for any and all advice.
    -Miranda in Vancouver
  2. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Camano Island, WA
    I thought I'd offer some quick background on your tree. 'Randy' is one of a group of 8hybrids developed at the U.S. National Arboretum commonly referred to as "The Little Girls"(M. lilliflora x M. stellata 'Rosea'). They include: 'Ann', 'Betty', 'Jane', 'Judy', 'Pinkie', 'Randy', 'Ricki', and 'Susan'.
    I have 'Ricki' in my garden, and it seems to be doing quite well here, although it seems that some years are better than others.
    As for planting, Magnolias in general, prefer moist, well drained, humus rich soil. I'd dig a hole at least twice as big around as your rootball, add some compost and plant it in spring. Others may have more specific info for you. Good luck!
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Mir - heard you on the radio with your enquiry yesterday. Good to see you've received similar advice here.
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    The coined name for several years for these hybrids
    was "The Girls". Those of us in the nursery trade that
    had them and propagated these plants called them the
    "Girl" series. A quick list of their heritage is below.

    Magnolia (liliflora 'Nigra' x stellata 'Rosea')
    Magnolia (liliflora 'Reflorescens' x stellata 'Waterlily')
    Magnolia (liliflora 'Reflorescens' x stellata 'Rosea')

    There are two others from this series that we had in the
    Magnolia collection in the nursery that were not officially
    released, they are: Darkest Purple (9-11 tepals) and Vicki
    (9 tepals). Only Vicki was outlet to select others for their
    collections in the US by Henderson Experimental Gardens
    and two went in private (one public) gardens. Both Darkest
    Purple and Vicki were sent to Japan in 1989 to be added
    into two private gardens as collection plants.

    I would only use a well seasoned compost for a Magnolia
    as a top dress at planting time. We advised people to dig
    the hole three times the width of the root ball and place the
    dug out soil back in the hole with no other soil additives.
    Providing a root shock preventer such as liquid Vitamin B1
    at a rate of one fluid ounce per gallon of water is optional.
    A good choice to use when planting these Magnolias on a
    warm day in a warm climate but generally not needed in the
    Pacific Northwest. What we have to guard against is planting
    this and others of this series too low in the ground. We liked
    to plant these in a raised mound for a yard planting. Never
    plant these trees with the graft union at soil level, try to plant
    them about six inches to a foot above the soil level and allow
    for settling in later. A Spring planting is regarded as being
    best for these Magnolias but in the warmer climates can be
    planted almost year round as our soils here seldom ever
    are frozen. As a lawn tree Randy may not ever present a
    problem for compatibility with your lawn. Most Randy's
    are planted in the lawn here and cause little to no lawn
    die out due to lack of light from the trees canopy. Randy
    does not make a round headed tree and is generally not
    regarded as a shade tree. The growth habit is closer to
    a stellata.


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