Simply Magnificent! Magnolias are a very ancient genus with fossilized remains showing their presence on earth even before the honey bee arrived. As a result of this you will find that Magnolias are usually pollinated by some form of beetle. The genus was not actually called Magnolia until the 17th century when they were named after a French professor of Botany called Pierre Magnol. Deciduous Magnolias are from Asia and evergreen Magnolias are mostly from America.
These days a strong influence on the development of the genus comes not from France, Asia or America but New Zealand. The Jury family from Taranaki and Oswald Blumhardt from Northland have raised many highly desirable hybrids and introduced them to the world. If you want to plant a New Zealand bred deciduous Magnolia look for such delights as "Athene", "Atlas", "Iolanthe", "Vulcan" and "Star Wars" to name just a few.
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Once you have chosen a Magnolia or 3 then this is one tree that must have the correct planting position. This is important for many reasons, not the least being that they resent being moved. The trees do not have a tap root but their fibrous roots are sensitive to disturbance. Do your best to choose a sunny position away from strong cold winds. Magnolias can tolerate frost, however a late frost in spring could damage the emerging flower buds.
The soil must be free draining and if possible rich with organic matter. If your soil is poor, add some compost, rotted leaf mould or peat and mix in well. As with many trees with fibrous roots, Magnolias don';;;;;t like their surface roots getting too hot so they will thank you for a nice layer of mulch aplied just before summer. They are acid lovers, so a side dressing of acid fertilizer aplied in early spring will also keep them hapy. You can buy especially formulated acid fertilizer from any good garden centre. Never aply lime. Water well during dry periods.
Magnolias need space to grow to really show off their beauty so consider this when planting. Little pruning should be required other than to maintain a nice shape.
Now sit back and wait for spring when the bare branches of deciduous Magnolias will be covered with beautiful large goblets with a tantalizing perfume. The colour choice ranges from crisp white, softest to deepest pink, ruby red, wine red and warm yellow.
Evergreen Magnolias have large scented cream flowers that apear in summer and autumn. In contrast to the above they are far more tolerant of wind and can cope with more moisture in the soil. Whilst I adore the deciduous Magnolias I respect the evergreen cultivars and would not be without them in the garden. The large dark green glossy foliage with tactile russet under-felt always looks good. Top that off with beautiful waxy cream flowers with a fresh fruity fragrance and you have a very handsome specimen tree. Definitely on my top 10 list.
Magnolias should not be overlooked in any planting scheme; I certainly would not consider creating a garden without them.
Raised in NZ by Vance Hooper this hybrid will flower from a young age. Its growth habit is shrub like but with upright growing branches. The spring flowers are large and a rich deep violet red shade. Dark green foliage. Plant in a wind free spot in acid soil. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Purple / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 2.5m
A magnificent Felix Jury hybrid that will flower well from a young age for those of you who want instant gratification. The flowers are large with lilac-pink exteriors and pale pink interiors and appear in late winter. Happiest in a sheltered spot and acid soil. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Pink / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 3.5m
A NZ hybrid with blooms of immense proportions. Up to 36cm! Simply breath taking when in full bloom. The flowers are pink on the outside and pure white inside. As the blooms are so large it is important to plant in a sheltered position to avoid wind damage. Deciduous. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Pink / White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 8m x 4m
Raised in NZ by Mark Jury this stunning Magnolia has large cup shaped blooms of an exceptionally dark ruby-red. Generous with bloom from a young age and a vigorous grower. Plant in a sunny sheltered position in acid soil. Deciduous. PVR. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Brown / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 4m
An exceptionally hardy Joe McDaniel hybrid producing most unusually coloured, beautiful blossoms in late spring after damage from late frosts has passed. Each erect, fragrant flower reveals complementary hues of yellow, green, purple and rose. Prefers heavy, rich and moist lime free soil in a sheltered position, but quite adaptable.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 10m x 6m
A stunning Magnolia with a narrow upright habit making it perfect for those awkward corners that need something special. The deep, burgundy wine flowers have a generous quantity of long narrow petals in a most attractive 'star' arrangement. Bred right here in NZ. PVR. Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Brown Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 1.5m
A truly beautiful Magnolia with soft yellow fragrant blooms that when fully open dance on the branches like giant butterflies. Flowers appear from late winter until early spring. Will grow in full sun or part shade, protect from strong winds. Deciduous. Est.10.yr.growth.
Colour: Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 3.5m
Campbell's Magnolia hails from Himalayas and is a handsome tall Magnolia that produces masses of huge white goblet shaped flowers that eventually open to a water lily shape. Flowers in late winter on bare branches. May take several years to flower but well worth the wait. Est.10yr.growth.
This is a tree that you will plant to be enjoyed by generations. It has been described by many as simply magnificent when in full bloom - the sooner you plant one the sooner you will get to see why.
Colour: White / Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 7m x 4m
A Magnolia with all the right heritage as it was raised at Kew in the 1940's. The buds are a seductive blush rose pink. The blooms are large - 23cm - and fragrant. Plant in a sheltered spot in acid soil.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 7m x 5m
With large, sumptuous, cupped blooms of rich cerise purple 'Cleopatra' is certainly a beauty to behold. Bred in NZ this relatively small tree blooms from a young age and is stunning in full flower. Plant with protection from wind in acid soil. Deciduous. PVR. Est.10yr. growth.
Vance Hooper who bred this tree proudly received the 'Best New Tree' Award at Essen, Germany in 2012.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 3.5m