Hey all, just north of Houston, TX here and the magnolia trees all have bright red seed pods forming. Is this the appropriate time of year for this (I wouldn't think so) or are the wonky weather patterns at work with our pretty wooden friends? I couldn't find anything online except how to grow from seed, which in this case is not what I'm needing to know. Thank you!
I am not in TX, but I do have a Magnolia on the Eastern side of the US and I can tell you that the seeds on my tree do reach maturity in the fall.
I also know that magnolia's have a hard time producing seeds that reach maturity. You may be seeing this for the first time simply because the weather this year was conducive to successful magnolia pollination.
I have a 4-year old 'Green Back' magnolia (underside of leaves are bronze and then turn green with age). I have never had a flower on the tree, though it is 12-feet tall. It gets full sun most of the day until the late afternoon. It grows approx. 2 foot every year, so growing isn't a problem. I do use grey water from my washing machine on the garden in summer to help with the watering. Can you give me some suggestions as to why it hasn't flowered?
It sounds like it could be any of four things.. Most of the large growing southern magnolias won't bloom until they have some age on them. It is common for young plants to be 8-10 years old before having a lot of blooms.
You might consider having the soil tested. Magnolias prefer an acidic soil, and you can easily alter the pH if needed.
It could be the type fertilizer you are using. Too much nitrogen can cause a plant to put out foliage instead of blooms.
AND, the greywater could be too alkaline. Greywater containing sodium, bleach or borax can damage plants.
I have a Magnolia stellata, which I purchased from mail order. Have had it for about 18 months (planted in the garden) but it did not hardly develop. Now I have moved it in a pot with some sand to improve drainage, but I think it is still struggling as the roots are in a clay ball. Could I uproot it, wash the clay from around the roots, and then replant it in a alkaline based soil? Can I add lime to the soil to make it alkaline? What should be the pH?
This article night answer some of your questions: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/magnolia/magnolia-tree-care.htm
You can locate other articles by entering "magnolia" into the search box at the beginning and end of the article.
If your plant is only 18" tall, you might consider planting in a nursery pot with a 50-50 mix of good topsoil and potting soil until the root system is more developed. Even after planting a tree with a good root system it can take 2-3 years before you will see optimum growth. (Rule of thumb: first year, it sleeps; second year, it creeps; third year, it leaps.)
I feel really upset that I decided to prune my mature magnolia before seeking out more information. I cut off some dead branches, some suckers, and one thicker branch, ~ 2 inches in diameter that was mostly dead. I don't think I took off more than 5% off the branches, but I am hoping I didn't damage the tree. I used new tools and covered the large cuts with spectracide pruning seal. When will I know if I damaged the tree? Is there any remedy if I did?
You haven't damaged the tree. It is a good idea to remove dead and making the plant more aesthetically pleasing is always good for you. All is well. As far as remedy for pruning, once something's been cut, it can't be reattached.
My magnolia tree does not bloom.
There are several reasons. These links have good information:
I live in Maryville, TN. and there was a lot of rain this summer. Most of the leaves have fallen off. There is a powder residue on the leaves but looks like new growth is growing.
The powdery residue is from a fungal issue called powdery mildew. You can try treating the tree with neem oil, often sold as fruit tree spray in some places. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/get-the-cure-for-powdery-mildew.htm
An older Magnolia tree (about 8-9 years old) has suddenly started to turn brown and lose its leaves from the top of the tree. The tree is about 12-14 feet tall and seemed to be in great condition until about a week ago. About 5-6 feet of the upper part of the tree in turning brown. Except for watering the tree, we have done no other care to the tree.
It sounds like the tree has a fungus. I would treat the tree with a fungicide every 2-3 weeks for a few months. I personally like neem oil as a fungicide, as it is systemic and you do not need to be able to reach all parts of the tree in order for it to be effective.