The Q&A Archives: Galaxy Magnolia

Question: Can I plant it in a 45" clay pot? I would like to know what it needs in the way of plant food. Will it survive in the pot if it is fed and watered properly. I asked the garden center where I bought it if it would get the pods on it that the plants my father has get. I sure hope it doesn't! (They told me it didn't...)

Answer: A magnolia can be grown in a container but it won't be as long-lived as one grown in the ground. Magnolias have lots of surface roots, and they don't like having their roots disturbed. Eventually you'll need to repot your magnolia, replacing the potting soil with fresh soil. Your magnolia will resent being uprooted and repotted and will most likely sulk for a while afterward. It may even drop some leaves after being repotted. If you won't mind putting up with this kind of behavior, go ahead and plant it in a container. Feed monthly during the growing season with a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer; water regularly, and make sure there are several drainage holes in the bottom of the container to provide good drainage. Best wishes with your magnolia!

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