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.
Deep pink buds that open to a profusion of star shaped blooms in a softer shade of pink. The blooms have a delightful fragrance and appear in early spring. Growth habit is more shrub-like rather than upright. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
The late Leonard Messel was the owner of 'Nymans' the garden where this wonderful Magnolia 'star' was born.
Colour: Pink / Mauve Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 3m
Native to China and introduced to Europe in 1790 this Magnolia has a multi-branched, shrub-like habit. The blooms open from long erect buds and appear for several months over spring. Rich purple on the outside with white interiors. Plant in a sunny, sheltered spot with acid soil. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Purple / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 2m
The slender curved buds of this deciduous, small, Magnolia are deepest black. The blooms when open are a dark maroon purple with creamy white interiors. Elegant and compact. In a good season will flower for 2 months through from late spring to early summer. Plant in a sunny sheltered position. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Brown / White Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 1.5m
Limelight Magnolia is blanketed in stunning fragrant lemon yellow cup-shaped flowers held atop the branches in mid spring, which emerge from distinctive yellow flower buds. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The large pointy leaves turn coppery-bronze in fall. The fruits are showy pink pods displayed in early fall. Deciduous
Colour: Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 9m x 6m
A multi branched upright tree with large, deep rose-pink blooms with pointed petals. Exceptional clarity of colour will ensure this spectacular hybrid will soon become a firm favourite. Named after the breeder's mother so you know it is worth adding to your collection. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 2.5m
A petite magnolia producing a confetti of fluttery star-shaped pure white flowers. The outer petals sometimes have a pink to light violet stripe. The flowers are more resistant to late night frost damage. Merrill is of more upright habit, making it ideal for smaller gardens. It was bred by Max Loebner around 1900. Deciduous
Colour: White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 4m
Another star from the Jury family bred right here in NZ. A medium sized deciduous tree with a full compliment of big beautiful cup shaped blooms in mid spring. The flowers are white with a blush of pink at the base. Happiest in a sheltered spot in nice acid soil. Est.10.yr.growth.
Colour: White / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 3.5m
This Magnolia is NZ Bred and will put on a spring show for you with wine red goblet shaped blooms that have a pure white interior - a striking contrast. Healthy, disease resistant green foliage and a nice compact habit. Plant in a sheltered position in acid soil. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Red / White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 2.5m
A stunning little Magnolia bred in NZ. The plentiful spring blooms are of good substance and are toned a deep wine red and open to reveal an interior of blushed white. Nice fruity fragrance. Compact habit. Plant in a sheltered position in acid soil for best results. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Red / White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 2m
Wine red, cup shaped blooms with a luxurious texture decorate this fabulous small tree in early spring. Beautiful as a stand alone specimen or make an even stronger statement by planting a group. Happiest in a sheltered, wind free spot in acid soil. NZ Bred. Est.10.yr.growth.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 3m