HOW TO GROW MAGNOLIAS FROM SEED

How to grow magnolias from seed?
Magnolia soulangeana in full bloom
Magnolias can be propagated in a number of ways but perhaps the easiest methods for the enthusiastic gardener is either by seed. In fact the majority of Magnolias under cultivation are propagated from seed.

Magnolias seeds are best sown fresh from the tree or bush which in northern Europe will be around October. Collect the seeds when the cones begin to split, then clean off the orange-red fleshy covering with water to reveal the shiny black seeds. Using a seed pan, or deep seed tray comprising of large modules, fill with a good quality, peaty seed compost. If an ericaceous seed compost is available to you then this would be preferable, or make your own mix containing a ratio of 60:40 moss peat to horticultural grit. Plant the seed 1 inch below the surface and gently water. Place the tray or pan in a cold frame over winter as magnolias seeds will need a cold period to break dormancy. If you do not have a cold frame then leave them outside either in a propagator or under a sheet of glass to prevent the seeds from being eaten by slugs, snails, or mice.

How to grow magnolias from seed?
Magnolia grandiflora seeds
Germination rates will vary depending on the species but as a guideline you can be looking at germination occurring from 8-18 months.

When the seedlings are large enough to handle they they can planted directly into a nursery bed outside or potted on into 3 inch pots containing John Innes 'No.1' and kept in the cold frame or in a plunge bed. Seedlings grown in pans should left well alone until leaf-drop in the autumn. Only then should they be lifted from the pan and even then disturbing the root system as little as possible to reduce root shock.

Continue to grow them in container for a couple more year, potting on as necessary, before Planting them out into their final positions.

Magnolia prefer a acidic, well-drained loamy soil. If you soil is particularly alkaline then add plenty of either moss peat or ericaceous compost to the soil before planting. Choose a position that is sheltered from cold north or easterly winds and support your young plants with a stake for a year or two until the root system becomes established. During this period provide a top-dressing each April of leaf-mold, moss-peat or ericaceous compost.

In text image credit - By The original uploader was Paxsimius at English Wikipedia. - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2801085

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW MAGNOLIA x SOULANGIANA