How To Plant Magnolia Tree : Planting Magnolia Trees In Ground and Pot

This page describes how to plant a magnolia tree in ground and in pot and where and when to plant magnolia trees, as I have done in Sydney, Australia. I will show the complete procedure for planting a little gem magnolia tree in ground, but the process is good for growing both Deciduous magnolias and Evergreen magnolias of all types including Little gem, southern magnolia trees, brown beauty, saucer, teddy bear, Jane, Port Wine magnolia, and all other magnolia trees.

Magnolia Tree planted in Soil
Little Gem Magnolia Tree Planted in Soil

When you bring the magnolia tree from the garden shop, it is in a small pot, so you need to transplant it in a larger pot in ground. Before planting it, you need to consider certain things like the best time to plant magnolia trees, proper place to plant, correct soil mixture and proper mulching for good growth and to produce lots of flowers, as I have done in Sydney, Australia. 


When to Plant Magnolia Trees

Then question is when you should you plant a magnolia tree, what is the best time to plant magnolia trees?

The Deciduous magnolias are best planted when dormant, generally in winter or early spring. The Evergreen magnolias like little gem should be planted in early spring. Having said that, You can plant your magnolia tree at any time of the year, but not if and when it is flowering.

Where to Plant a Magnolia Tree

  1. Plant your magnolia tree where it can receive sull sun or part shade or bright shade for at least 5 hopurs daily, preferably a northern or eastern aspect.  The tree can tolerate temperatures as low as  –5°C.
  2. Plant magnolia tree root system is not invasive, has no destructive roots, does not go very deep into the ground, but thin roots grow horizontally, close to the soil's surface. So planting them too close to any wall can damage the root system. So it is better to plant your magnolia at least 10 feet away from the building structure.

Soil For Planting Magnolia Tree

  1. Plant your magnolia is a free-draining nutrition rich soil. It needs a slightly acid soil with pH 5–6. 
  2. Test the soil with a pH meter before amending it.If you have an established garden with well growing plants, then a test is not necessary.
  3. If planting in pots, use a potting mix made for acid-loving plants like soil for planting and growing camellias, gardenias and azaleas.
  4. Mix lots of compost or well-composted cow manure to the soil to make it acidic and nutrition rich.

Steps For Planting Magnolia Tree in Ground

  1. If growing in ground, make a hole at least twice the width of the root ball or original pot. Break down the big chunks of soil into small pieces. Half fill the hole with the soil mixture as mentioned above.
  2. Now press the magnolia pot from your hands all around the pot to loosen the soil inside. Care fully take out the plant without damaging the roots.
  3. Place the plant at the centre of the hole. The important point to ensure is to keep the top of the root ball at the same depth in the soil as was in the original pot. 
  4. Put a stack and tie the truck for support.
  5. Now back fill the soil in the hole. Keep the soil at the edge of the hole higher than at the centre so as to create a pit near the trunk of the tree. This will help in watering.
  6. Cover the soil with a 2 inch layer of special mulch for magnolia tree. Prepare the mulch by mixing some fish and bone meal powder, some granules of sulphate of potash and cow manure followed by a thick layer of sugar cane mulch.

Planting a Magnolia Tree in Pot

  1. If planting magnolia in a pot, take a pot of double the size of the original pot. 
  2. You can take any type of pot like plastic, metal, terracotta, concrete pot.
  3. The pot should have drainage holes at its bottom to drain excess water. 
  4. Do not select a tall container with narrow base because such a pot will soon become unstable and fall down as the tree grows.
  5. Put a stack and tie the truck for support.

Planting and Growing Magnolia tree in a Pot
Little Gem Magnolia Tree Growing in a Pot

Video on Magnolia Tree