Southern magnolia | Magnolia grandiflora

This evergreen tree of the magnolia family (Magnoliaceae) is native to North America where it grows up to 25 m (80 ft) high or more. The large, glossy, dark green leaves are reddish-brown underneath. They contrast beautifully with the cup-shaped, creamy-white flowers 1 5 cm (6 in) wide, which are also intensely fragrant. Magnolias love sun but they should be gradually accustomed to the light when being taken out again in spring. During the growing period, they need plenty of water but only soft water.

In addition, the plant should be given weekly applications of fertilizer until the end of the summer. Magnolias can be pruned into shape and more mature specimens can be pruned hard if necessary. In winter a temperature of 5°C (41 °F) will be enough but there must be sufficient light. M. grandiflora can be raised from seed and propagated from cuttings and by grafting. Plants raised from seed may take up to 10 years before they flower.

22. September 2014 by Dave Pinkney
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