Answer: Based on your description I am not certain what has happened but it is possible, especially with a fall-planted tree, that there was some winter damage to the buds. Magnolia soulangiana flower buds are often subject to damage by spring frosts as well -- when the temperatures oscillate the buds may begin to open prematurely and then be killed by a frost. As long as the foliage is growing normally then it should be okay. If you are worried you could check back with the retailer where you purchased the plant and/or with your county extension. Enjoy your magnolia!
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