Simply Magnificent! Magnolias are a very ancient genus with fossilized remains showing their presence on earth even before the honey bee arrived. As a result of this you will find that Magnolias are usually pollinated by some form of beetle. The genus was not actually called Magnolia until the 17th century when they were named after a French professor of Botany called Pierre Magnol. Deciduous Magnolias are from Asia and evergreen Magnolias are mostly from America.
These days a strong influence on the development of the genus comes not from France, Asia or America but New Zealand. The Jury family from Taranaki and Oswald Blumhardt from Northland have raised many highly desirable hybrids and introduced them to the world. If you want to plant a New Zealand bred deciduous Magnolia look for such delights as "Athene", "Atlas", "Iolanthe", "Vulcan" and "Star Wars" to name just a few.
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Once you have chosen a Magnolia or 3 then this is one tree that must have the correct planting position. This is important for many reasons, not the least being that they resent being moved. The trees do not have a tap root but their fibrous roots are sensitive to disturbance. Do your best to choose a sunny position away from strong cold winds. Magnolias can tolerate frost, however a late frost in spring could damage the emerging flower buds.
The soil must be free draining and if possible rich with organic matter. If your soil is poor, add some compost, rotted leaf mould or peat and mix in well. As with many trees with fibrous roots, Magnolias don';;;;;t like their surface roots getting too hot so they will thank you for a nice layer of mulch aplied just before summer. They are acid lovers, so a side dressing of acid fertilizer aplied in early spring will also keep them hapy. You can buy especially formulated acid fertilizer from any good garden centre. Never aply lime. Water well during dry periods.
Magnolias need space to grow to really show off their beauty so consider this when planting. Little pruning should be required other than to maintain a nice shape.
Now sit back and wait for spring when the bare branches of deciduous Magnolias will be covered with beautiful large goblets with a tantalizing perfume. The colour choice ranges from crisp white, softest to deepest pink, ruby red, wine red and warm yellow.
Evergreen Magnolias have large scented cream flowers that apear in summer and autumn. In contrast to the above they are far more tolerant of wind and can cope with more moisture in the soil. Whilst I adore the deciduous Magnolias I respect the evergreen cultivars and would not be without them in the garden. The large dark green glossy foliage with tactile russet under-felt always looks good. Top that off with beautiful waxy cream flowers with a fresh fruity fragrance and you have a very handsome specimen tree. Definitely on my top 10 list.
Magnolias should not be overlooked in any planting scheme; I certainly would not consider creating a garden without them.
This graceful Magnolia is so highly thought of it has received an AGM from the Royal Horticultural Society. The flower form is long, narrow and cupped. The flowers are softly scented and toned a rosy pink shade fading to palest pink with a faint stripe. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Pink / Mauve Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 2.5m
Bred in NZ this Magnolia has gorgeous goblet shaped blooms that open to a traditional 'cup and saucer' shape.
The blooms are softly scented and coloured cream with deep rose shading at base. Upright columnar habit. Prefers a sheltered spot and acid soil. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Cream / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 2.5m
Another drop dead gorgeous hybrid from the Jury breeding programme. Large rounded goblet shaped blooms in a soft shade of honey yellow. The petals are of good substance and the flowers appear early spring on bare branches. Plant in a sheltered position in acid soil for best results. Deciduous.
Colour: Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 4m
A beautiful Magnolia with yellow blooms made up of narrow petals that have just a hint of rose at the base. The flowers open just as the textured green leaves appear. Overall the tree has a slim, upright growth habit. Plant in a sunny sheltered position in acid soil. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Yellow / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 3m
This stunning NZ bred tree will take your breath away when in full bloom. The large furry buds open to enormous cup-shaped flowers in shades of lavender pink and cream and appear over quite a long period in spring. Hardy and easy to grow but best in a sheltered position. Est.10yr.growth.
Iolanthe is a Jury Hybrid.
Colour: Pink / Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 4m
This Magnolia is also known as Caerhays New Purple as it was bred at Caerhays Castle in the gardens created by J C Williams. No matter what the name it is a beautiful Magnolia with an upright fast growing habit and rich purple coloured blooms. Deciduous. 10 year growth estimate.
Colour: Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 8m x 4m
Here is the pink magnolia you have been searching for. Gorgeous soft pink blooms that are paler on the inside giving the blooms a translucent quality. A seedling of M.‘Charles Raffill’ (M. campbellii x M.campbellii var mollicomata) raised at Caerhays. First flowered in 1967. Deciduous
Colour: Pink / Light pink Habit: Upright spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 3.5m
The understated beauty of this elegant Magnolia will captivate you once you see the cupped yellow blooms appear in spring. The tree has an overall graceful habit and remains quite compact for the first 10 years. The blooms have the bonus of a pleasant fragrance. Est.10.yr.growth.
Colour: Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 2m
A magnificent Magnolia which tantalizes with large woolly buds that open to reveal large, cupped, deep magenta blooms with attractive prominent stamens. May take a few years to flower but worth the wait. Plant in a sheltered spot in acid soil for best results. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
The seed for this Magnolia was first collected from the Yunnan region in China by intrepid plant collector George Forrest in 1924. It didn't flower until 1947 - good things do indeed take time.
Colour: Red / Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 7m x 5m
A beautiful white Magnolia with large goblet shaped, fragrant flowers. Considered to be one of the best white cultivars and has received an Award of Garden Merit from the RHS. Plant in a sheltered position in acid soil. Deciduous. Est.10yr. growth.
Colour: White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 3m