The Q&A Archives: Magnolia Propagation

Question: Is there an easier way to propagate Magnolias than air-layering, perhaps soft-wood cuttings? Air-layering seems complicated and I hear it takes months to root.

Answer: Cutting or grafting would be the preferred methods, but seeds can also be used. According to Michael Dirr's "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants", Southern Magnolia or Magnolia grandiflora can be propagated by seed or cutting. Firm wood cuttings taken in July or August should root in 6 to 10 weeks. Magnolia soulangeana and M. Stellata cuttings should be taken when the terminal bud has formed. In general, all magnolia seeds need a three to six month cold moist startification period (32 to 41 degrees, a cold refrigerator should work.

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