Magnolia trees are beautiful and bring a touch of southern living to any yard landscaping. While a magnolia thrives in the south, it is versatile enough to survive in many different climates and soils if it is cared for properly. It is not a high-maintenance plant so you should find it relatively easy to care for.
Siting Your Magnolia
In deciding where to plant a magnolia, look for a moist area with good drainage. Acidic soils are the best for the trees. The tree can grow other places, but this is where it will most easily adapt. You might also want to plant the tree in an ornamental bed so that you won't have old leaves and seed pods across your lawn.
Fertilizing Your Magnolia
Once your magnolia is established and showing new growth, apply fertilizer to a young tree (first three seasons) monthly. Since it is being applied frequently, only provide a light amount each time. Use one pound of 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet in March, May, July and September. This will give the tree the necessary nutrients it needs to adapt to its new environment.
Pruning Your Magnolia
Prune the tree when it is young. This will help it develop its adult, pyramidal shape. Trim side branches and leave bottom branches. You will have to wait around 10 years before a magnolia tree begins blooming. This is when the tree becomes mature.
Planting Your Magnolia
Make the hole for the magnolia root ball twice as wide as the ball but only as deep as the root ball. Top off with 3 to 5 inches of mulch.
Using Magnolia to Screen
Plant a row of magnolia trees to create a hedge or screen along your property line. They also work well to block an undesirable view.