Magnolia bushes can grow up to 15 feet tall. Many different varieties of magnolia bushes exist with flowers in purple, pink and white, ranging in size from 3 to 12 inches in diameter. Magnolia varieties can grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 10, but some varieties will survive as far north as Michigan and Minnesota.
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Water should be provided once a week to once every other week during dry periods. Enough water should be added to moisten the soil at least 1 1/2 feet deep. If the leaves on the magnolia bush appear to be wilting, water deeper.
Magnolia bushes should be fertilised after the bush is established. After roots are established in the first growing season, 1 cup of 10-10-10 (nitrogen-phosphate-potassium) should be added to the soil by the base of the bush in March, May and July. The following growing season, 2 cups of fertiliser should be used in March, May and July from the base of the bush to 3 feet out beyond the canopy. During the third growing season, 4 cups of fertiliser should be used in March, May and July from the base to 6 feet beyond the canopy.
Pests and Diseases
Slugs and snails can be a problem. Spread sawdust around the base of the bush to prevent snails and slugs from climbing the bush. Slugs and snails will not crawl through the sawdust to get to the magnolia bush. Magnolia bushes that develop a fungal disease, although rare, need a copper spray treatment applied in late winter when the branches are bare.
Prune magnolia bushes after flowers are gone or midwinter during dormancy. Remove dead branches to promote new growth and thicken up the magnolia bush for the next growing season. Branches that stick out further than the rest of the branches can be cut back to give the bush a more tailored shape.
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