The Q&A Archives: Star Magnolia

Question: My Mom has had a star magnolia for about four years now. It has never bloomed. When is the star magnolia supposed to start blooming? What can we do to incourage it to bloom?

Please help!!

Answer: These trees usually bloom beginning at a young age and small size, so there may be an environmental or cultural problem. In some years, especially if the tree is in a frost pocket or exposed location, frosts or windy conditions may destroy the flower buds; sadly there is little the gardener can do to prevent that -- except relocate the plant.

Improperly timed pruning can remove flower buds; these trees require very little pruning and any discretionary pruning should be done in late spring only.

Finally, these plants do best in full sun or at least a half day of sun and prefer soil that is evenly moist yet well drained, meaning not soggy. Overly dry conditions or lack of sunlight could reduce blooming.

I hope this helps you trouble shoot.

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