The Q&A Archives: randy magnolia dying?

Question: My randy magnolia tree leaves turned all brown. I was advised to repot in a larger pot, and that it may have been overfertilized. I did this about 2 months ago and a few new green leaves have showed up but now they are starting to turn brown too.

Do you think I should plant it in the ground to insure it is getting plenty of water? The tag says full sun but I have a fairly shady spot I was considering for it because I know it gets a lot of water there. Please let me know what you think it will take to revive this plant.

thank you!
ashley vincenti

Answer: If your tree put out healthy new growth after being repotted, it's a good sign. If the leaves are again beginning to turn brown, there's something definitely wrong with your watering practices. Planting it in the ground should remedy the situation, but don't plant it in shade, in soggy soil. It won't flower without enough sunshine, and overly saturated soils will suffocate the roots.

It's difficult to judge just how much water to apply to a containerized plant, but the best course of action is to water thoroughly, then allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry out before watering thoroughy again. I make sure my containerized plants are watered completely by placing the container in a larger container of water and letting it sit for 15-30 minutes. This drives out any air pockets around the roots and completely wets the potting soil. Allow to drain, then wait until the top inch or two of soil dries out before watering again. Hope this information is helpful!

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