Grandiflora Magnolia: evergreen star of summer, amazing head-sized blooms

Magnolia grandiflora

Summer Magnolia grandiflora, with its evergreen leaves, is the most common of magnolias.

Key Magnolia grandiflora facts

Name: Magnolia grandiflora
Family: Magnoliaceae
Height: 16 to 65 feet (5 to 20 meters)

Exposure: mostly sunny
Soil: rich and fresh, quite deep

Foliage: evergreen – Flowering: summer

When well planted, Magnolia grandiflora is easy to care for. Take care in planting to ensure good growth season after season.

Planting of evergreen magnolia

It’s recommended to plant Magnolia grandiflora in fall to encourage rooting before winter and thus spring recovery.

How to plant magnolia grandifloraFor Magnolia grandiflora bought in a container, you can easily plant it in spring.

Evergreen magnolias can reach about 65 feet (or 20 meters) in height and should be planted at quite a distance from houses. When it’s isolated and it stands out from other trees is when it looks best.

  • Magnolia grandiflora fears strong, chilly winds in winter.
  • If you plant in winter, avoid periods of frost.
  • In any case, prefer a place not too hot in summer nor too humid in winter.
  • At planting, plan for regular watering in spring
  • It needs watering in case of high heat.

After planting,

  • Mulch tree’s base to keep moisture and prevent weed growth.
  • Pine bark is perfectly suited as they like acidic soils.

Magnolia grandiflora care

Magnolia grandiflora asks for little maintenance, resists diseases splendidly, though a few tips can trigger a better bloom:

  • Caring for magnolia grandifloraMulch base with maritime pine bark to maintain acid levels it loves.
  • Mulching also provides soil moisture your magnolia can enjoy during hotter months.
  • Regular watering for first two years after planting is crucial.

Magnolia grandiflora demands little care when well established, gracing your garden for many years. Few pests target magnolia grandifloras, though sometimes you might spot a few aphids and more rarely red spider mites in summer.

Pruning magnolia grandiflora

Pruning isn’t essential but if you wish to reduce, balance or reshape branches, do it at winter’s end, around March-April.

Pruning to balance branches should be done in the last days of winter, before buds start forming. Remember, magnolia’s natural shape is its trademark, so aim to preserve it as you prune to retain symmetry among branches.

  • Get rid of dead branches and weakest ones as they come.

Good to know about evergreen magnolia

Origin of the Magnolia grandiflora treeMagnolia isn’t just a pretty tree, it’s got a rich history and even inspired a few artists! It’s named after Pierre Magnol, a French botanist who was quite renowned in his time. This tree is native to the United States.

People love it for its stunning summer bloom and its distinct fragrance. Magnolias come in tree and dwarf varieties, which are great for small gardens.

Now, there is one fact we must get straight: there are two major types of magnolias.  One is evergreen, the other deciduous:

  • Evergreen magnolia, also known as large-flowered Magnolia or Magnolia grandiflora. Flowers appear in summer, forming large tulip-shaped inflorescences around 8 to 10 inches in diameter (20 to 25 cm).
  • Deciduous magnolias, also known as Soulanges’ Magnolia or Magnolia soulangeana. These bloom in early spring, before leaves unfurl, which covers the entire tree with flowers.

Smart advice

Maritime pine bark will provide acidity this tree needs to thrive and help it retain moisture. For added effectiveness, mulch in summer with a layer about 2 inches deep.

Images: CC BY 2.0: Kim & Forest Starr; Pixabay: Sergio Cerrato, Jalynn, Bishnu Sarangi