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.
Another beautiful NZ Hybrid bred my Vance Hooper that will intoxicate you with large blooms of wine red that make a stunning display in late winter. Happiest in acid soil with shelter from strong winds. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 4m
This beautiful Magnolia is indeed a sweetheart with large soft pink blooms with a deeper pink centre. Developed in NZ by Mr Peter Cave. The flowers are fragrant and appear from late winter until spring. Plant in a sunny, sheltered spot in well drained acid soil. Deciduous. Est.10.yr.growth.
As this Magnolia has a columnar habit i.e. narrow upright growth it is a perfect choice for smaller gardens.
Colour: Pink Habit: Columnar Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 3m
Add a 'Touch of Class' to your garden with this NZ Bred and very beautiful Magnolia. Rich deep wine-purple blooms with a silky white interior appear in abundance about mid spring. Flowers from a young age. Plant in acid soil and protect from harsh winds. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Red / White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 3m
Bred in NZ by Ian Baldick this beautiful Magnolia has spectacular large blooms of rose pink. The flowers appear late in spring and have a delightful perfume. This Magnolia is considered easy to grow and very hardy, certainly worth a prime position in the garden. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Magnolias grow best in a sunny, sheltered position with protection from strong winds. They prefer a well drained, acid soil and don't like lime. They appreciate a nice layer of mulch around their roots from time to time and in my opinion are one of the most rewarding and beautiful trees to grace any garden.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 3.5m
When my first Magnolia Vulcan came into flower it literally stopped me in my tracks and I just had to stand and stare at its elegant beauty. The flowers are deep wine- pink and beautifully cupped. A magnificent specimen tree. Will perform its best protected from harsh wind. Deciduous. PVR.
Magnolia 'Vulcan' was bred by the Jury family of Taranaki - leaders in introducing new and exciting Magnolias to gardeners world-wide.
Colour: Red / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 4m