Call 855-660-4261 with your lawn & garden questions every Saturday from 8:06am to 10:00am ET. Then listen to Mort answer your questions. Or email anytime at questions@themagicgarden.com
Listen to the weekly archive 24 hours a day 7 days a week on demand.
Keyword Search Results for:
Magnolia

13 Found

Question: 115-5201
We have a 10 inch diameter Magnolia grandifolia that is planted within a foot of the house. We also have some other plants up against the foundation. The magnolia has brown edges on the leaves. What can I do? Jim, Amarillo, TX

Mort's Answer:
You have two choices. In the late fall around the beginning of December in your area, you can hire a tree service company with heavy equipment to come to your house for a transplant of the required trees that are too close to the foundation. It should be at least thirty feet from the building. You can also invite a dozen brother-in -laws on a weekend to a barbie and put them to work moving the trees or the house. You can not leave the trees in that location for much longer. The stress will invite insects and disease.

back to top




Question: 116-5201
My Magnolia, which is about 15 ft. high; my azaleas and gardenias, which are about 5-6 ft. high, are not doing well. I donšt see any sign of insects. They are in the shade. Any suggestions? Joe, Brunswich, GA

Mort's Answer:
You need to feed them some 5-10-10 fertilizer. Dig 8 holes at the leave drop of the azaleas and gardenias that are 8-10 inches deep. Dig a dozen holes about 4˛ from the trunk of the magnolia that go done a foot. Fill these holes with the fertilizer. I remember the soil being very sandy in your area. You should add organic matter, like aged manure, peat and shredded leaves to the entire area. This will help hold moisture that is especially needed for the azaleas and gardenias.

back to top




Question: 117-5201
My Magnolia did not bloom this spring. It looks very healthy. It usually starts out as a red bud and produces a large white flower. What could be the problem? There are no signs of insects. Ida, Pawcatuck, CT

Mort's Answer:
It was a unusual spring with the 80 degree day at the beginning of April. This sudden surge in zone 6 made a lot of plants burst prematurely. Although this isnšt early for Magnolias, you could have had some wind chill the following weeks from the ocean. If there isnšt any other signs of disease on your Magnolia soulangeana, I would just add the fertilizer as described for Joe in Brunswich. Joe probably has M. grandiflora but the remedy will work just as well.

back to top




Question: 118-5201
My full grown Magnolia has termites in the trunk. A lot of the leaves did not come out this past year. Do you have any suggestions? Erleen, Kewanee, IL

Mort's Answer:
Your tree is in critical condition. I would hire an arborist to come out to your property to decide whether or not the tree can benefit from surgery. Your initial problem was earwigs. Termites and ants are present after earwigs have entered the cambium. Your trees life line to the top is through the fibrovascular tubes, which are in the outer ring inside the bark. Earwigs set up shop and lay their eggs in this softer tissue. Later, the ants and termites appear. If the earwigs have not completely girdled the tree, it could be salvaged. An arborist or tree surgeon will cut out the affected area. Eventually the tree can recover, if at least half the fibrovascular tubes are still free. Your tree will need heavy pruning, as well, to survive. You should also fertilize the tree, if you opt for surgery. Dig a dozen holes with a crowbar that go done three feet in a circle about 6 feet from the stem. Fill the holes with 10-6-4. Hopefully, these earwigs will find out that they have been barking up the wrong tree.

back to top




Question: 120-5201
Can I transplant my large leaved five foot Magnolia this time of the year? Ed, Jackson, MS

Mort's Answer:
You can move your Magnolia grandiflora any time before the flower buds open this year. This beauty can grow as large as 100 feet. Be sure the new area will accommodate the evergreen Bull magnolia. Dig a trench about 4 feet from the trunk. Continually shave the soil away with the reverse spade or shovel until you start cutting roots that are an inch thick. Dig under the ball around two feet. Build a sleigh to drag the ball. Canvas or heavy burlap works well. Your new hole should be 150% as large as the ball. Do not put any fertilizer in the hole. Wait until the fall to feed the tree.

back to top




Question: 121-5201
I have a Magnolia that has a couple of dead branches. It is about 5 inches at the trunk. What can I do? Rosie, West Greenwich, RI

Mort's Answer:
I would first check to see, if the bark has been cut by a mower near the ground. If there is a tear or a cut, there is a possibility of a invasion of earwigs. I would clean out the wound by making a leaf shaped incision with a razor knife. There should be a point at the top and at the bottom. It should be as wide and long as necessary to encompass the entire affected area. Cut out all brown wood and scrape until you have reached white wood. Dab the area with malathion and seal with tree sealer. If there are no tears, then your tree is probably suffering from the drought. I would dig 6 holes that go down 18 inches with a crowbar or tire iron. These holes should be about 4 feet from the trunk. Fill the holes with water until the water bubbles to the top. Repeat this every 10 days until the rain resumes in earnest. Lastly, remove the dead branches by sawing them off at the next green juncture.

back to top




Question: 376-3410
What specie of Magnolia will do well in Atlantic City, NJ? Mary

Mort's Answer:
Magnolia grandiflora is evergreen and hardy from south Jersey to Florida. A more hardy choice would be the deciduous M. soulangeana or M. stellata. M. soulangeana has a red or purple bud and also a white flower. Newer varieties have pink-white flowers. M. stellata has a smaller star shaped white flower.

back to top




Question: 411-3410
My Magnolia, which is about 15 ft high; my azaleas and gardenias, which are about 5-6 ft. high, are not doing well. I don?t see any sign of insects. They are in the shade. Any suggestions? Joe, Brunswich, GA

Mort's Answer:
IYou need to feed them some 5-10-10 fertilizer. Dig 8 holes at the leave drop of the azaleas and gardenias that are 8-10 inches deep. Dig a dozen holes about 4 feet from the trunk of the magnolia that go done a foot. Fill these holes with the fertilizer. I remember the soil being very sandy in your area. You should add organic matter, like aged manure, peat and shredded leaves to the entire area. This will help hold moisture that is especially needed for the azaleas and gardenias.

back to top




Question: 412-3410
My Magnolia didn't bloom this spring. It looks very healthy. It usually starts out as a red bud and produces a large white flower. What could be the problem? There are no signs of insects. Ida, Pawcatuck, CT

Mort's Answer:
It was a unusual spring with the 80 degree day at the beginning of April in 2003. This sudden surge in zone 6 made a lot of plants burst prematurely. Although this isn?t early for Magnolias, you could have had some wind chill the following weeks from the ocean. If there isn?t any other signs of disease on your Magnolia soulangeana, I would just add the fertilizer as described for Joe in Brunswich. GA .Joe probably has M.grandiflora but the remedy will work just as well. Use 5-10-10.

back to top




Question: 442-3510
We have a 10 inch diameter Magnolia grandifolia that is planted within a foot of the house. We also have some other plants up against the foundation. The magnolia has brown edges on the leaves. What can I do? Jim, Amarillo, TX

Mort's Answer:
You have two choices. In the late fall around the beginning of December in your area, you can hire a tree service company with heavy equipment to come to your house for transplant of the required trees that are too close to the foundation. It should be at least thirty feet from the building. You can also invite a dozen brother-in laws on a weekend to a barbie and put them to work moving the trees or the house. You cannot leave the trees in that location for much longer. The stress will invite insects and disease.

back to top




Question: 453-3510
My Magnolia soulangeana is six and a half feet tall but it looks like a shrub. When and how should I prune it? Carol, Berkley, MA

Mort's Answer:
Sometimes the Magnolia have shrub like tendencies. M.soulangana is a hydrid cross of M.liliflora, which is a shrub. You can cut the bottom foot of branches flush to the trunk. Pruning can be done in the summer or winter. Wait another two years before cutting higher on the trunk. All of the tree will eventually ascend into a beautifully shaped tree. M.soulangana leenei has a purplish interior in the white flower, when it blooms. Because of all the rain in 2003, you will probably see a second wave of flowers this fall.

back to top




Question: 1426-1917
My 50 year old plus Magnolia has not done well the past few years. Last year all the buds were killed by a late frost. This year the bloom is weak and the color is not that deep pink. There are no signs of insects. I have never sprayed or fertilized. Joyce, Ithaca, NY

Mort's Answer:
You need a good boost of fertilizer into the ground around the tree. Make a dozen holes with a crowbar in a circle around the tree near the leaf drop. Fill them with 5-10-10 granular fertilizer. This will be good for five years. The tree has exhausted the phosphorus that is in most soils.

back to top




Question: 324-5201
I have a Magnolia that has a couple of dead branches. It is about 5ž at the trunk. What can I do? Rosie, West Greenwich, RI

Mort's Answer:
I would first check to see, if the bark has been cut by a mower near the ground. If there is a tear or a cut, there is a possibility of a invasion of earwigs. I would clean out the wound by making a leaf shaped incision with a razor knife. There should be a point at the top and at the bottom. It should be as wide and long as necessary to encompass the entire affected area. Cut out all brown wood and scrape until you have reached white wood. Dab the area with malathion and seal with tree sealer. If there are no tears, then your tree is probably suffering from the drought. I would dig 6 holes that go down 18 inches with a crowbar or tire iron. These holes should be about 4 feet from the trunk. Fill the holes with water until the water bubbles to the top. Repeat this every 10 days until the rain resumes in earnest. Lastly, remove the dead ranches by sawing them off at the next green juncture.

back to top