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Advice on a Magnolia please

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by pauli535, Apr 24, 2021.

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  1. pauli535

    pauli535 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all, i bought a Michela Evergreen Fairy White Magnolia. It arrived and I don’t know what to do with it.
    I have attached a photo, there are 2 branches growing out from the main stem, but the main middle stem has been cut.

    is this normal? If so any advice for how to make it grow up instead of out?
    Thank you
     

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  2. flounder

    flounder Gardener

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    It's been pruned, or 'stopped' to make it bushier. it gives it a better appearance when it get bigger. If you left it, it would grow up but I would stop it again at about two/three foot
     
  3. pauli535

    pauli535 Apprentice Gardener

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    Thank you for your reply, I want it more tree like than bushy so please can I ask how do I get it to grow tall? It has arrived with a massive stake but none of the branches are attached to the stake? Thanks again
     
  4. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    • Informative Informative x 1
    • pauli535

      pauli535 Apprentice Gardener

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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Maybe the cane was there to help protect the plant during the carriage.

      You could try training it as a standard but I think you will need to start out by removing probably half of the growth you have there.
       
    • noisette47

      noisette47 Total Gardener

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      It's drastic, but if you really want a standard, you need to cut off the two lowest shoots, flush with the main stem. Then leave it alone, as the others are upright growing. Don't over-feed or water until it's made some new growth.
       
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      • pauli535

        pauli535 Apprentice Gardener

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        You could try training it as a standard but I think you will need to start out by removing probably half of the growth you have there.[/QUOTE]

        Thank you, would I be cutting the side stems, or trying to make one of the side stems the leader?
        Thank you
         
      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        Thank you, would I be cutting the side stems, or trying to make one of the side stems the leader?
        Thank you[/QUOTE]
        As @noisette47 says above, its a bit brutal, and I think delay flowering, but its your choice.
         
      • pauli535

        pauli535 Apprentice Gardener

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        Thank you, and thank you Pete. I am new to gardening, at my old house I had a tree shape magnolia and it was beautiful, I was tempted to take it with me when I moved.

        if I remove the 2 lower branches now do you think I could try to root them?

        thanks again everyone
         
      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I dont think they would root, but you never know.:smile:
         
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        • noisette47

          noisette47 Total Gardener

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          Been reading up on this, because Michelia and Magnolia are two different things, normally. So, this is a cross between the two. And all the info suggests that it's growth habit is bushy. It'd be a shame to sacrifice all those lovely flowers trying to make it behave like a tree! Get yourself a Magnolia soulangeana or one of it's hybrids and plant the Fairy Blush somewhere where you need a shrub :)
           
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          • misterQ

            misterQ Super Gardener

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            If you want a tree shape then don't prune anything just yet. Instead, plant it and leave it for at least a year to let it establish and get healthy.

            When planting, plant it at a slight angle to make the leading shoot appear vertically straight (or at whatever angle you desire). It could also be trained using stakes and/or wire to follow whatever shape you desire.

            Once it is growing well, prune the middle branch but leave the lower branch to fatten the base of the trunk. When the base has grown to your desired thickness then hack off the lower branch.
             
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            • pauli535

              pauli535 Apprentice Gardener

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              Thank you for your help. I wanted an evergreen Magnolia which is why I bought this one. On balance I think I will try Mister Q advice and leave it for a while to see how it grows. I have put the most upright branches on a stake so fingers crossed it trains it a bit. Thanks again guys.
               
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