Magnolia Tree In Containers

Tips To Growing Magnolia In Containers

Magnolia Tree In Containers-magnolia-flowers
White magnolia flower

The magnolia is a beautiful broadleaf evergreen and is a large genus of about 210 flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae. Magnolias are tropical-sub tropical plants and are native to The Caribbean, Central America, South America, eastern North America, and areas of southeastern Asia.

Magnolia produces shiny glossy leathery green leaves that are lanceolate or ovate shaped, the flowers of this garden beauty are fragrant and range in colors of yellow, creamy white, purple, and pink. What I found to be so amazing is magnolias are said to be one of the most drought-tolerant plants. This evergreen ranges in heights of 8 ft-70 ft with a 50 ft spread depending on the species.

The good news however is even though these trees can reach extreme heights they can be controlled by keeping them pruned to the desired height. In this article, however, we will be discussing how to successfully grow a magnolia tree in a container.

Note: Container Grown Plant

Before we dive into growing a magnolia tree in a container it’s a known fact that there are many advantages to growing plants in containers. This method allows you to move your plant around under the most unfavorable conditions especially overwintering them from the harsh winter months. Even if you don’t have the yard or garden space growing a container garden will work for you.

7 Steps to Grow Magnolia Tree in Containers

Magnolia Tree In Containers-pink-magnolia-flowers
Pink magnolia flowers

1. When purchasing a magnolia make sure that’s it’s healthy, what you don’t want is a plant that’s sickly. If there’re signs of root bound, stunted growth, yellow and brown leaves are signs of stress. If the leaves are droopy, insects infested and far from healthy-looking don’t purchase this will avoid you the headache of seeking to nurse back to good health if the plant survives for that matter.

2. The container that’s chosen should be the right fit or large enough to accommodate your magnolia tree, the roots should be able to run freely. A container that’s too small will hinder the roots from growing as it’s supposed to and will lead to root bound, cause stunted growth, and a stressed plant that will lead to other issues and eventually death.

For example, if a tree’s root ball at maturity is 3 ft in diameter then the container that’s chosen from the start should be 1 ft larger in width and depth. So the container should be at least 4 ft in width along with the seem in-depth. Also, ensure that the container has drain holes for water drainage, remember magnolias are drought-tolerant and don’t like wet feet.

3. Once your container is in place which should be a location that gets at least 8 hours of sunlight add several inches of rocks inside of the container, the purpose for this is to ensure proper water drainage along with some weight to help anchor the container so it won’t topple over especially under strong breezes.

4.  Now that the rock is in place add good garden soil mixed with compost along with sand or peat moss is ideal, this soil mixture will help to hold the right about of moisture but will allow excess moisture to drain through. Once the container is about half full with the soil mixture remove your magnolia from the grower’s pot being very careful and place it in the container.

Now backfill the container with more of the soil mixture, leave a few inches of the container at the top free of soil, these few inches will aid when its time to water your magnolia so it doesn’t run out of the container. The top few inches of space will help when it’s time to add the mulch.

5. The use of a stake will aid in helping your magnolia tree to grow in an erect position especially under heavy winds helping to protect your plant from bending and maybe even breaking. Drive the wooden stake into the container next to the tree and fasten the wooden stake to the tree with tree tie straps 2 straps should be sufficient.

6. Now add mulch, which can either be pine straw, nugget barks, or dried disease and insect-free leaves, now give your magnolia tree a thorough soaking. The soil’s moisture should be somewhat moist not waterlogged because constant wet or soggy soil will lead to root rot. Before watering check the top few inches of soil with your finger or perhaps consider purchasing a soil probe or soil moisture meter from your plant nursery or garden center. However magnolias should be well watered (not overwater) until they are mature, once matured the soil can be allowed to dry out somewhat before applying water again.

7. Fertilize your magnolia tree once a month with 20-5-10 0r 12-4-8 during the spring months when the flower buds begin to swell. If you cannot find these fertilize types there are others that are sold especially for magnolias

The final word on growing a magnolia tree in a container

The magnolia tree is an amazing evergreen, this garden beauty is sure to set your garden on fire with its beauty and charm, the magnolia tree is in a class all of its own. You may have been wondering how to grow this garden beauty from a container well look no further you have come to the right place as you follow these simple steps that have proven to work wonders when it comes to growing and caring for a magnolia tree in a container.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

4 thoughts on “Magnolia Tree In Containers”

  1. What is the purpose of growing this plant? What purpose does it serve? I have a lot of friends who are into gardening and they like to try out new things so I will be sure to share this article with them. I will be sure to let you know what they say so thank you for this.

    • These are ornamental plants that are grown for beautification and will really bring that much-needed flavor into your landscape and garden areas.

  2. Potted magnolias are more susceptible to heat stress. So, my advice is to always place them where the tree will receive a full dose of morning sun (5 or 6 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m.) but be protected from the afternoon sun. I have had success following this simple piece of advice.


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