the genus consists of about 80 species of floriferous, rustic, semi-evergreen, evergreen, or deciduous trees and shrubs. Magnolia is native to the southern regions of the United States, Japan, China and Korea; most of the species can develop without any problem in our country, and generally find a prominent place in many gardens; in many botanical gardens and Italian parks you can find centenary specimens, of spectacular size.
There magnolia grandiflora It is a plant that requires exposure to the sun or partial shade and away from strong winds; we must also not forget that, although magnolia is resistant to cold and low temperatures, it also fears late frosts, which can damage flowers and buds of spring-flowering species.
The magnolias are planted in March or opened, or in autumn, before the temperatures become very rigid. The soil in general must be well drained, rich in humus. Depending on the species there are varieties that need more or less clayey soils and with a different ph. In the first years of life the plants need special supports, which "guide" their growth. In February it is good to fertilize the magnolia grandiflora, with leaf loam, peat or compost, to be planted at the feet of plants. Flowering, for most species, occurs in the spring. The flowers are large, showy, of different shapes and colors, from variety to variety, and delicately scented; for most of the species an abundant flowering is already obtained with specimens few tens of centimeters high. The leaves are oval and green, dark or light, but nevertheless intense. Generally magnolias don't like drastic pruning; the rather slow growth of most species, however, allows them to grow undisturbed; if necessary light pruning is practiced immediately after flowering.
The species multiply by cutting of semi-hard wood in summer or by seed in autumn. The cuttings, obtained from load-bearing branches, must be about ten centimeters long and are planted in multiplication boxes, filled with medium-structure sand, at a temperature of 18-20 ° C. They will then be placed in pots individually, before winter or in April-May of the following year. After two or three years the magnolia grandiflora can be planted permanently. Sowing takes place in October, taking care to place the seeds in trays, filled with a peat-rich compote, and then place them in cold containers. Germination is generally 12-18 months. Once grown, the seedlings can be potted in larger containers (about 10 cm), but they will be planted only after 3-4 years. Magnolias can also be sown in spring, but in this case the seeds, collected in the previous autumn, must be stored in a cool and damp place, for example in the refrigerator.
Parasites and Diseases
The magnolia suffers from late frosts, which can damage its buds and flowers; on the damaged tissues, moreover, gray mold can often appear. Particularly dangerous for the life of the plant is the little family, a fungal disease that causes root rot.
Magnolia also fears some parasites such as metcalfa.
As for the treatments and treatments of magnolia we can rely on the best garden centers or nurseries that will be able to advise us on specific pesticide or fungal products suitable for solving the problem. Even the pruning of dried branches is a good practice to restore the plant.
Shrub or small tree originating in Japan, which can reach 5-6 meters in height; it has very slow growth. The crown is oval or roundish, quite dense; the leaves are light green, deciduous, become yellow or bronze in autumn, before falling. At the beginning of spring, when the tree is still bare, it produces a spectacular flowering, consisting of large star-shaped flowers, which contain 10-15 elongated petals, of pure white or pink; there are also cultivars with double or double flowers. Star magnolias prefer slightly acid soils.
Magnolia x soulangeana
Large shrub or small tree, this species derives from the hybridization of two Asian species: M. liliflora and M. heptapeta. It has a rounded, very branched crown; the leaves are dark green, deciduous, fairly stiff and waxy; before the snack leaves, in March-April, produces countless large flowers in the shape of an elongated tulip, facing upwards, 8-10 cm long. These magnolias produce white, pink or purple flowers, depending on the variety, very fragrant. Soulangeane magnolias have a fairly slow growth, but tend to produce large and vigorous shrubs. They prefer soils rich in organic matter.
Magnolia heptapeta, Syn. Magnolia denudata
Deciduous tree native to China, which can reach 8-10 meters in height; it has very slow growth. The leaves are dark green; the flowers, in the shape of a large tulip, are pure white, and bloom in late winter or early spring. The foliage is often quite messy and tends to widen a lot. The very early flowering is sometimes ruined by late frosts, so it is good to place this species of magnolia in a sheltered place.
Medium-sized tree native to the southern United States; it has an erect trunk, up to 15-25 m tall, with a broad pyramidal crown; the leaves are evergreen, dark green on the upper side, bronze on the lower side, are shiny and leathery, rigid. In late spring and in summer it produces large white flowers, very fragrant, followed by large panicles that will carry the seeds covered with red pulp. Trees very common in gardens, they love semi-shaded places and fertile, well-drained but slightly damp soil.
Magnolia - Magnolia grandiflora: Magnolia sieboldii
Shrub or small tree native to southern Asia; it has enlarged, rounded, quite dense crown; the leaves are dark green, oval, in autumn, before falling, they become light yellow. At the beginning of the summer it produces many large flowers, with a white cup, with a rosy base, delicately scented; the flowers are produced sporadically throughout the summer. It generally prefers sunny positions in the morning, shaded during the hottest hours of the day. It needs a rich and well-drained, slightly damp soil.