Purchased a grafted magnolia (90cms tall) this spring and planted it in a large 75cm wide, 60cm deep pot. Due to the cold wet spring, it did nothing until now and it has a few leaves near the top but also growth near the graft. Did I plant it too shallow? Should I have covered the graft and how to do I encourage it to flower next spring? Please give me a feeding regime.
Magnolia Trees are not the best choices for a container tree. The variety Little Gem is Southern variety and is slow growing--it will take 20 years to reach 20 feet.
I have heard of people growing them in containers for a few years and then moving them to the garden.
When replanting the tree, you should make sure you place it into the new container at the same depth that it was planted. Never place the graft line below the soil level.
You should check the branches of the tree to see what is alive or what has died off. Dead branches will snap and break. If they are alive they should bend. You can also scratch the bark to check to see if the tree is still alive.
Any growth that is below the graft line is come from the root stock. These root stock shoots should be removed from the tree.
If the tree has died, if could be due to the cold weather. A potted tree has less insulation and protection for its root system in a container.
The roots may have suffered cold damage.