Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Magnolia Care for the Southwest:
Contrary to popular belief you can grow a Magnolia tree in the southwest. Usually in elevations below 5,000 feet above sea level. This tree should be on a drip system if at all possible. It should also be planted with plenty of organic matter such as Back to Earth Compost or peat moss.
If your tree is on a drip system it is recommended to occasionally flood the entire root zone to leach away any soil salts that may build up over time. This will minimize or eliminate marginal leaf tip burn.
If the leaves develop a sunburned appearance in the summer it may need additional watering. If the lower leaves drop prematurely and the outer leaves look a whitish yellow then it may be receiving too much water.
I have excellent results with this particular tree when I feed it with Gro More 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer. If you can’t find this, any other water soluble fertilizer will do. Start feeding in spring when new growth appears then stop feeding at the end of October. If you find that your fertilizer is not keeping your tree a healthy green color then try using an acidifier such as Ironite or Organic Iron Chelate. Remember to use this in addition to your fertilizer.
You will need to water at least 3 times per week during the hot summer months. Irrigate at least twice per week during the spring and fall months. Water 3 to 4 times per month during the winter months. This is after the first year of establishment. You will need to water more often when newly planted.
If you have trouble getting your magnolia to bloom try using a water soluble fertilizer with high middle number such as Br-61, 9-58-8 or Super Bloom,12-55-6. These plant foods are designed to get just about anything to bloom.
By Gary Guzman
Guzman’s Garden Centers