The Q&A Archives: Planting Star Magnolia Cuttings

Question: I have several star magnolia cuttings that are in a small pot. Can I plant these now so they can get established before winter?

Answer: If they are well rooted, I would suggest moving them to individual, slightly larger pots for the next month or six weeks, until the end of August. take care when you do this as the roots are a bit stiff and brittle. This will allow them some additional time to develop larger, deeper root systems prior to being planted in the ground. This is important to helping them withstand the freeze/thaw action of fall and spring, as well as to preventing them from drying out.

When you plant them, try to select a very sheltered spot where you can keep an eye on them. The soil will need to be kept evenly moist but not sopping wet up until the ground freezes, they should also be well mulched (use several inches of organic mulch and do not allow it to touch the stems) and protected from hot afternoon sun as well as from wind. They can be transplanted the following fall when they are large enough to be visible in say an open lawn and thus less likely to be stepped on or accidently mowed.

Alternatively, you could try overwintering them -- in the larger pots -- in a cold frame and planting them out next spring. Congratulations on rooting the cuttings!

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