Why Won't My Magnolia Tree Bloom

Updated February 21, 2017

Although there are numerous species of magnolia tree in the eastern United States, one of the best-known varieties is the southern magnolia. According to the USDA, the southern magnolia can reach 80 feet in height and produces complex, white flowers. However, in some cases, your magnolia tree may not bloom.

Time Frame

One reason that your magnolia is not blooming is that it simply may not be old enough yet. According to the Christian Science Monitor, it can take magnolia trees 15 to 20 years to bloom for the first time.


A lack of vital micronutrients can also prevent your magnolia from blooming, according This Old House. Soil that is rich in nitrogen but lacking in phosphorus may encourage the growth of the tree, but may be preventing your magnolia from blooming.


Some pests will also stop your magnolia tree from producing flowers. If your trees develops buds that do not open, it could be thrips, insects that attack and kill developing buds, according to the University of Florida. Flowers infested by thrips may open but fall off prematurely.

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About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.