21 Growing Magnolias In Pots and Container Tips

Growing Magnolias In Pots is an excellent choice when seeking the ideal show-stopping tree. Several magnolia cultivars have a 20-foot height limit, although a typical magnolia type can grow up to 80 feet tall.

This indicates that it is possible to grow them in a container that can be relocated to meet the demands of your space and your tree.

It can take a magnolia shrub or tree 10 to 20 years to achieve its full size, making them a long-term investment. In light of this, it is important to take your time before determining the finest kind for your home.

Whichever magnolia type you choose to cultivate will depend on its blossoms, final size, and environmental factors in your home. If it’s content, it will flourish and repay you with an amazing floral show.

This article will discuss which magnolias to plant in containers and the decisions you’ll need to make to maintain their health and happiness.

Could Magnolia Be Grown Inside Containers?

Growing Magnolias In Pots

In a word, yeah! You may select from a far larger choice of magnolias and they will require much less maintenance if you grow magnolia trees in the ground.

For gardeners, magnolia inside container gardens typically requires more upkeep.

Magnolias must have a certain pH, therefore this is one very good reason why you might want to plant them in pots.

Magnolia trees like soil that is neutral or acidic. While certain Magnolias may tolerate more alkaline circumstances, it is frequently preferable to grow them in pots if your soil is extremely alkaline rather than struggling to raise the pH so they can be planted in the ground.

Magnolia trees, fortunately, have very shallow roots, making them a decent choice for planting in bigger pots.

Some varieties are ideal for growing in pots next to a dining area or outdoor recreation area because they contain aromatic blossoms.

Potted Magnolia Varieties

Both full-sized trees and larger bushes can grow into magnolia trees. It’s crucial to pick the proper kind of Magnolia if you intend to grow it in a container.

It is typically simpler to grow plants in pots if they have smaller shapes and less robust growth patterns.

Consider the following choices, which are suitable for magnolia container gardening:

  • Magnolia ‘George Henry Kern’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’
  • Magnolia ‘Susan’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Merrill’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star
  • Magnolia stellata ‘King Rose’
  • Magnolia denudata ‘Sunrise’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Rosea’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Mag’s Pirouette’
  • Magnolia denudata ‘Yellow River

Make sure you know how big the magnolia you’re thinking about getting will grow to be, and keep in mind that while some magnolias can be grown in pots, not all of them can.

Even plants that do well in containers require a large pot and the correct environment to develop well.

Positioning Potted Magnolia

  • Place them in a bright, well-ventilated area because these plants like lots of sunlight.
  • Place your Magnolia in a location with some shade if you live in a hotter, drier climate, especially folks in the US.
  • An open, sunny location should be suitable for folks in the UK, however, you may still grow them in a semi-shaded location.
  • Should you overlook watering your plants while cultivating them inside pots, they may begin to droop. The shade will keep the plant roots cool, save moisture, and avoid wilting.
  • Magnolias are often rather resilient in the UK, although early spring frosts can easily harm the blossoms of magnolias.
  • In the autumn, frost can harm magnolia’s evergreen foliage as well.
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Choosing Containers For Magnolia

  • Magnolia trees may be found in a variety of containers and can be grown in pots, which is how they are often obtained.
  • As soon as your Magnolia arrives, it is advisable to repot it into larger, heavier containers that can sustain the weight of a small tree or shrub and that won’t topple over easily.
  • Despite the abundance of repurposed items, containers may also be purchased.
  • Choose a container that won’t dry out too quickly in the heat.
  • Inadequate irrigation is one of the usual reasons why a magnolia doesn’t blossom as expected throughout the summer.
  • Remember that a container with a dark or black tint could heat up and dry up more quickly.
  • A container’s material is also crucial; for example, glazed pots retain water better than terracotta ones.
  • Additionally, it’s crucial to check that your magnolia container has drainage holes and enables efficient draining.
  • The root systems of magnolia trees develop rapidly and elaborately, so it’s critical to pick a container that will accommodate the tree’s eventual size.
  • To determine how broad the container should be, consider the trunk’s circumference.
  • A container that is at least 60 cm wide and 60 cm tall is required for a Magnolia with a 2 cm broad trunk.
  • The container should be 30cm larger and 30cm taller for every centimeter around the trunk’s circumference.
  • Therefore, a container or planter that is 1.5m wide and 1.5m tall is required if the mature magnolia tree trunk is 5cm in diameter.
  • When grown in pots, magnolia will require larger containers to reach maturity.

Potting Mix For Magnolia

As was already said, magnolias may be nurtured in both neutral and even acidic soil.

  • Numerous magnolias will thrive on a general multipurpose compost with John Innes added (or a homemade equivalent).
  • However, other magnolia kinds will flourish in more acidic environments, so you could find it helpful to use an ericaceous potting mix to fill your pots for magnolia.
  • Inside the magnolia container soil, combine 25% compost or composted cow dung and 25% coarse river sand. Its soil will become free-draining thanks to the sand, as well as acidic and nutrient-rich thanks to the composting.
  • To maintain your magnolia tree as healthy and content as possible, use a magnolia potting mix that is light, free-draining, but moisture retentive.

Growing Magnolias In Pots step by step

How to grow Magnolias In Pots
  • The best periods to plant magnolias are in the late spring or autumn.
  • It is not necessary to dig a deep hole because of the shallowness of their roots. Dig a big hole to the same depth as the pot your magnolia arrived in.
  • Check its thick roots, it might be injured, preventing flowers from blooming.
  • By surrounding the plant with well-rotted garden compost or leaf mold and keeping an eye on its level, you may avoid the graft point from lying below the soil.
  • Thoroughly water the plant, then gently press it with your hand.
  • Water the space around the plant’s base well after planting, and then cover the growth medium with leaf mold or another high-quality organic mulch.
  • This will help your planter retain water and reduce the quantity of weed development at the base of your tree.
  • Naturally, when the components gradually decay over time, it will also help with fertility by supplying nutrients.
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Watering Potted Magnolia

  • Watering is the most important part of taking care of a magnolia tree since its shallow roots are prone to drying out. It will need regular watering in the spring and summer, especially for young trees until they get established.
  • Remember that a magnolia planted in a container will require more frequent watering than one grown in the ground during dry weather.
  • These trees can withstand some dryness, but during dry times they need to get their daily water needs met. This is crucial, especially for young trees or those planted in warmer climates.
  • Daily magnolia watering does not mean overflowing the container because the soil just needs a small quantity of water to stay hydrated. Be careful not to overwater, please.
  • To keep magnolias healthy and blossoming properly throughout the summer, maintain a moist soil environment.

Feeding Potted Magnolia

  • When cultivated in the ground, magnolias normally simply need mulch and no further food.
  • If you’re raising magnolias inside pots, adding extra liquid nourishment can be helpful.
  • Early spring feeding of container-grown magnolias with a liquid feed strong in phosphorus and potassium can boost healthy development and more prolific blossoming.
  • Magnolias don’t need to be fed frequently. Use your favorite fertilizer in moderate amounts as the new growth starts to develop to prevent overfeeding the plants; a general fertilizer is good.
  • Overfed plants can typically be identified by signs of salt damage or leaf edge burns.
  • Mulching will aid in moisture retention and provide the roots with some winter protection.
  • Mulching is important because it aids in the tree’s ability to retain moisture and controls the temperature of the roots.
  • Occasionally add new mulch, but make sure it doesn’t contact the bark; this can require getting rid of the mulch from the previous season. This is so that illnesses and pests don’t have a place to breed when there is inadequate ventilation.

Pruning Potted Magnolia

  • Pruning gets rid of dead or whippy branches and keeps the tree’s form.
  • In the spring, prune annual magnolias, and in the late summer, the deciduous types.
  • Only minor pruning should be done to magnolia trees once they have flowered.
  • Get rid of any branches that are infected, dead, or crossing and rubbing against one another.
  • You may also trim to limit size partially, but you should use caution because these trees don’t like or perform well with aggressive pruning.
  • The following year’s blossoming can be diminished or stopped if you prune too heavily.
  • When you choose the suitable magnolias, place them inside their ideal planters, with the correct growing medium, as well as in the appropriate spot, raising magnolias in planters isn’t all that tricky.
  • Just be cautious not to allow them to dry out before watering.
  • If you reapply mulch annually to improve vitality, your magnolia tree ought to be satisfied within its pot garden for long years ahead.

Transplanting Magnolia

  • Magnolias may be difficult to move from one pot to another if you don’t know what you’re doing. The root ball should ideally not be harmed because the roots are crucial for the plant to re-establish itself and get off to a strong start.
  • It is now time to transplant the magnolia tree after locating an appropriate container. Prior to relocating the tree into a new container, it is best practice to cease watering the tree for around three days. This is due to the fact that compact dirt surrounding the root ball is easier to manage than damp soil.
  • In other words, they need to be planted at the same level as it was in the container initially. When planting, make sure the top roots are just below the soil line. When magnolias are buried too deeply in the ground, the bark may degrade and become vulnerable to ailments like a canker.
  • It’s also important to remember that rooted balled magnolias are available between November and March and are frequently less expensive. Essentially, they are magnolia trees that have been grown in the ground, pulled out, and had their roots wrapped in sacking in preparation for planting.
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When Magnolia Will Flower?

  • Summer is when the evergreen magnolias bloom. The blossoms of the deciduous magnolias appear in the winter and the fall, and they are gorgeous in full bloom.
  • As your magnolia tree gets older, it will blossom more frequently.
  • The full sun is excellent for magnolia blossoms.
  • Your magnolia may not be flowering because the soil’s acidity is not right.
  • Mulch and a nutrient-rich feed are essential for magnolias to grow huge, stunning blossoms.
  • A potassium-rich fertilizer will encourage blooming.

Winter Care Of Potted Magnolia

  • Magnolias cultivated in containers are more prone to harm from frost. For the winter, I advise putting them in a shady location with some protection, possibly up against a wall.
  • Additionally, to protect the roots and plants, I advise enclosing the pot in bubble wrap or sacking. You may also buy a fleece garment or wrap the plant with fleece.
  • Remove the fleece in the morning when temps are more comfortable to enable the plant to operate properly.
  • If you have a cold greenhouse, you might leave it there during the winter; just remember to check on it from time to time to see if it needs watering and give it some if the soil is dry.

Why Magnolias Are Suitable For Growing in Pots

Depending on the variety, magnolias can either be deciduous or evergreen.

Although the roots of these plants are known to cover a large area, they don’t penetrate the soil very deeply. Therefore, their containers do not have to be outrageously large, bigger is generally preferable.

Magnolias’ moderate pace of development is another factor in their popularity as container plants. Since it usually takes these trees more than ten years to reach full maturity, there is more than enough time to move them to the ground if necessary.

However, with a little tender loving care, you may leave them in pots forever if you stick to the smaller magnolias, like the Stellata.

Growing Magnolias In Pots FAQS

Q: Do Magnolias Need Full Sun?

Give your magnolia the ideal environment, which includes six or more hours per day in direct sunlight.

Q: Can I Keep A Magnolia Tree Small?

Several lesser cultivars have a 20-foot height limit, although typical magnolia variants can grow to be up to 80 feet tall.

Q: Do Magnolias Lose Their Leaves In Winter?

Numerous magnolia species are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves throughout the winter.


The ideal conditions for magnolias are full sun, rich, well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

Because frost can harm the blooms, pick a protected area that is not in a low-lying frost pocket. Choose a magnolia that blooms late if you reside in a chilly region.