potting guidelines for "vulcan" magnolia

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by carolemwarner, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. carolemwarner

    carolemwarner Member

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    I would like to purchase a Vulcan for my sunny backyard, but must keep it in a pot for a variety of reasons. What are the potting guidelines, ie. overall size of container (15?25?gal) or height and width. I won't be replanting or moving it once settled and only need a moderately tall plant (6' or so).
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    This will grow much taller than 6 ft. You can sometimes buy them already taller than that. One of the parents in the cross grew over 75 ft. high in England. Propagules of it ('Lanarth') in the David C. Lam Asian Garden, UBC may be 20 ft. or more high by now themselves. You can grow it for some years in a large tub, it will probably quite enjoy the mild climate there. But keeping it only 6 ft. tall for an indefinite period is not feasible. You could prune it to stay small but it will only continue to produce a good display of large flowers if allowed to grow freely, with large, vigorous shoots.
     
  3. carolemwarner

    carolemwarner Member

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    Ron: Thanks for quick response. Didn't mean to indicate I wanted to limit tree to 6', I just wanted to get an idea of how large a container to start with so that it can "be free".

    Just how large a tub are we talking about so that I don't have to repot in 2 or 3 seasons? Can you respond in any numeric dimensions, e.g., cm's, meters, gallons (imperial or u.s.), circumfrence x depth, etc? Is there a rule of thumb based on height and width as it is currently potted at the nursery?

    P.S. I will have to depend on others to set this up due to bad back issues and I want to make sure pot is sufficiently large to begin with.

    Thanks for your patience.

    Carole
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The bigger, the better. If you don't want to replant later you will have to use the biggest possible container with a soil-based compost that will not wear out right away like a soilless mix would. But it still cannot be one that will become muddy and airless within the walls of the planter. If there is a mall or other situation nearby that has trees in large tubs you might want to go look at what they are planted in.
     
  5. carolemwarner

    carolemwarner Member

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    Ron: Got it. Good idea re mall trees. I will also consider more bush-like variations in a similar color. Neighbor has been successful with one of the "star" types in a container and she has also done some research on magnolias suitable for our mini-climate.

    You've been a great help. I'll let you know what happens.

    Happy Holidays,
    CW
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The idea of 'Vulcan' is the sensational flower of 'Lanarth' on a hardier, bushier tree, achieved by crossing with M. liliiflora 'Nigra'. Both parents produce large, solid purple flowers. Down there you could grow various tender ones, perhaps with a broader range of growth habit types than in the North, where most kinds are large-growing and deciduous (M. grandiflora 'Little Gem' is used to excess here now, often as an evergreen shrub - it is actually a columnar tree, one in Seattle was over 27' tall this year). The form of Magnolia insignis (Manglietia i.) being sold as Red Lotus Tree has a more-than-just-pink flower on a slenderish, open evergreen tree. If dense and bushy is the priority the 'Port Wine' cultivar of banana shrub (Magnolia figo, syn. Michelia figo) also offers something other than white, although it is not a strong reddish purple throughout either. It has been sold simply as the typical species, without cultivar designation, so you might find it offered that way.

    If moving in the direction of a star magnolia best bet for strong coloring plus small habit would be 'Rubra'. Plants sold under this name can be quite pale by the time flowers are fully blown, especially if season is warm.

    http://images.google.com/images?q=m...a:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&sa=N&tab=wi

    http://images.google.com/images?svn...en-US:official&q="figo+port+wine"&btnG=Search

    http://images.google.com/images?svn...en-US:official&q="stellata+rubra"&btnG=Search
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2006
  7. carolemwarner

    carolemwarner Member

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    I'm overwhelmed. Now I want them all. Will keep you posted, and again many thanks for you informed advice.

    Do you raise/sell any of these suggested species? Or, do you have a good source should I be unable to find them locally?

    Again, many thanks.
    CW
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I don't get down to California much. Berkeley Horticultural Nursery used to be an interesting place. Probably a good one to try, if they are still at it.

    I see Pacific Tree Farms (in Chula Vista) and Sonoma Horticultural Nursery are listed for some kinds under Michelia in The Plant Locator - Western Region (2004, Black-Eyed Susans Press/Timber Press). The code for Sonoma Hort. also appears multiple times in The Plant Locator under Magnolia and Manglietia. If willing to travel a bit and shop out of state or order through the mail Gossler Farms in Springfield, OR and Greer Gardens in nearby Eugene always have large offerings of magnolias. See their web sites. Also check out the online offering of Cistus nursery, near Portland (cistus.com).

    If you have not seen the Campbell magnolias in bloom at Strybing Arboretum, you have missed one of the major horticultural attractions of your area (a drawing of a Campbell magnolia flower has been used as a sort of logo for the garden for years, there is nothing else like a big specimen of this tree fully decked out with its 10" waterlily-like blossoms). Timing varies annually, the handful of large ones up here is pretty consistent about opening mid-March but down there they may burst out as early as December or as late as February, depending on the weather that year.

    Strybing also has other magnolias, as do the UC Botanical Garden (Berkeley, maybe Davis has some good ones too). One or two of these gardens may have annual plant sales put on by support organizations where choice trees and shrubs can be browsed and purchased, the arboretum in Seattle has had quite a big one held on its behalf each spring for years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2006
  9. carolemwarner

    carolemwarner Member

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    Yes, Magnolia season at the arboretum is a well advertised, well attended display. My next stop, after Christmas Day, was to go there and inquire about their plant sales in the spring. They are always a good resource. I'll check out Berkely, although Chula Vista may not be practicable for me.

    Some of the magnolias got fooled into an early bloom this year, just a tease of what's to come.

    I'll let you know of my progress. Thanks again...
    CW
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    It's good that they promote it and you have been able to see them. As in San Francisco few of these are grown outside of the woodland conditions of the Seattle arboretum, UBC Botanical Garden also has Campbell magnolias in the Lam Asian Garden.
     
  11. 4moreaction

    4moreaction Member

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    here you have a nice red magnolia... and of good size... ;O)

    Black Tulip (Vulcan x.) Mark Jury hybrid. Heavy textured black red blooms perch, looking like dark tulips. Flowers are cups to 15cm across, on a smaller growing tree. More wind tolerant than looser types of flowers and compact enough for most gardens. Better specimen tree viewed close up than landscape tree. First flowers on young trees may not be true to colour and size. Plant Breeders Rights apply in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, United Kingdom, USA and Canada. Mid season flowering. 3.5 metres.

    http://www.jury.co.nz/magnolias.htm
     
  12. MargieN

    MargieN Member

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    Have bought today Black Tulip, Vulcan and Athena magnolias. Am encouraged by reading posts that I may be successful, at least for maybe two or three years, in keeping them in very large pots. Plan to put several inches of crushed terra cotta tile in bottom then best quality potting mix. Where I live is frost free and other magnolias in ground are growing well. I'd be interested in knowing if Carolmwarner is happy with how her Vulcan is going in pot.
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Don't bother with the tile in the bottom, may actually delay quick drainage due to textural differences, water backing up when it encounters the tile. May also provide good shelter for slugs or snails, which are apt to gnaw on young magnolias.
     

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