Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


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Cornell University

Magnolia sp.

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

Magnolia are small to medium sized deciduous trees with alternate buds and leaves. They grow anywhere between 15-60 feet. In late April the large buds open into large white or pale pink flowers. The handsome grey bark and smooth branches are another attractive quality of certain varieties of magnolia.

What is it used for?

The magnolia is used as an ornamental, especially as a specimen tree.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Magnolias prefer moist, fertile, well-drained soil. The location in which they are planted should be protected to reduce chance of early bud break- Magnolias should be spaced 14 to 15 feet apart.

What are its primary problems?

The magnolia is susceptible to flower bud injury by late spring frosts. Also, one of the most common pests of the magnolia is magnolia scale. Another problem of magnolias is that they are difficult to transplant. They should be moved balled and burlapped in spring.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.