Ask a Question forum: Cucumber Magnolia

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Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 8:36 AM CST
Does anyone here have or grow cucumber magnolias? Being from the south, we adore magnolias, but this one, unlike the most common magnolia grown here in Tennessee & Mississippi, is decidious. It puts on fruits or seed pods after blooming that resemble a cucumber.

One of our best friends has one of these trees in their yard. They built their home on her grandparents old house place. Grandmother had bought this tree from mail order when my friends mother was yet a kid, so the tree is old. It is beautiful, and huge. Strangely though, it has never had any small ones come up around it.

Through the years, my friend wanted another tree, no one had ever heard of them. I fell in love with the tree also and have craved one. I have asked at every nursery, scoured every nursery book I could find, no cucumber magnolia. This week I got the bright idea to type it into eBay, you can just about buy anything on there except your Mom & Dad back, wish I could do that Sad . But yes! There was one seller who had trees. I bought two dormant trees, one for my friend & I. Now my question is, how do these trees reproduce? And what care requirements to give it a good start? Yes, she has one, but it was started long before her birth. She's 60 & I'm 58, so the tree is a lot older than us.

Donna, The Hummingbird Hillbilly from Hummingbird Hill
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Dec 6, 2014 8:59 AM CST
Donna, Cucumber Magnolias grow wild in wooded areas here in Kentucky. I see them in mountainous areas with cool, deep, shady woods. The leaves of young saplings get big in summer, and look almost tropical among the rest of the forest plants. They naturally propagate by seed, but I don't know what the seed requires for germination; in a lawn situation, mowing could have eliminated seedlings, or birds or other wildlife may find the fruits desirable (or perhaps they require passing through the digestive system of an animal). Judging from the environment they grow naturally, I would give them rich, well drained soil, and plenty of moisture, typical of the requirements of other Magnolia species.

Best of luck! Please let us know how your trees progress and mature Smiling
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 9:41 AM CST
Thanks Neil! I do hope it does well. There was nothing in our plant database about it much, just listed it and a couple of remarks, but nothing that helped me. I knew I looked it up online and they were supposed to grow wild in these areas, but I've never seen ANY in Tennessee. I'm wondering if any Tennesseean's have seen any naturalized????
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Dec 6, 2014 10:41 AM CST
I have seen them around the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area. The environment there is very similar to places I've seen them growing in Ky.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Dec 6, 2014 10:59 AM CST
I just added some information to our database for Cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminata)

I googled "Propagating Magnolia acuminata" and found the following information:
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/database/lppi/sp236.shtml
http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_2/magnoli...
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 11:44 AM CST
Wow Neil, we were just in Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg the week of November 12 in celebration of our 40 anniversary. Had I known this, I could have looked for them. Could have just pulled a few up out of the edge of the woods as long as I was not in the park.

Thanks Lin, I will ck this out! Hugs y'all from Hooterville!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 6, 2014 11:55 AM CST
donnabking, Donna ...

I also Googled how to propagate a cucumber magnolia and got this link:

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/plant-cuttings-cucumber-magnoli...

I can see why you love the tree. It's beautiful.

Smiles,
Lyn

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Dec 6, 2014 12:10 PM CST
Happy 40th Donna!

Aaah, the Smokies ... what a great place to celebrate! We've been vacationing in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area since the mid 70's and we've seen a lot of changes in that area. Those two cities especially have become more and more commercialized over the past fifteen to 20 years. Wears Valley used to be a favorite place and it's still pretty but it seems the commercialization is taking hold in that area as well. The Smoky Mountains are one of my favorite places; I love Townsend and Cades Cove! When we vacation up that way we always try to go before early June because summer is extremely busy with a lot of traffic!

This is a photo I took in May, along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail:
Thumb of 2014-12-06/plantladylin/f2dc7a

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 12:12 PM CST
Thanks so much Lyn! It really is. Hers is branched so beautifully! This info is great! Hurray! Thank You!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 12:16 PM CST
Thanks so much Lyn! It really is. Hers is branched so beautifully! This info is great! Hurray! Thank You! Lyn, love that pix. Smokies is my fave place to go, then Fatf Creek Falls in Pikeville TN. It has the highest waterfall east of the Rockies, 256 ft high
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 12:18 PM CST
Ooops that is Fall Creek Falls
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 6, 2014 12:26 PM CST
Donna ...

I haven't propagated trees using the method described in the link I provided, but I have propagated a lot of roses, which are woody plants.

I would tweak the propagation method described in the link I provided by using a liquid hormone product as I have found the liquid will permeate the cambium layer of the cutting better than the dry hormone powder. I have had better success with my cuttings using the liquid hormone.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 12:27 PM CST
Thanks to both Lyn's for the great links! Thumbs up
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 12:29 PM CST
Lyn, I'm thinking of using that willow tea, what do you think??
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Dec 6, 2014 12:40 PM CST
I haven't used willow tea, but people used it for centuries before there were commercial products available.

All propagation methods are an experiment to find what works for you in your climate.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 12:42 PM CST
I am anxious to give it a try! Hugs from Hooterville
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Dec 6, 2014 1:25 PM CST
Donna ...

ATP has a propagation forum. You might want to ask questions there.

http://garden.org/forums/view/propagation/

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 2:55 PM CST
Thanks Lyn, may do that, but y'all have given me very good advice. Still, they may kno another trick!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Dec 6, 2014 3:19 PM CST
They may. I've only propagated roses ... Hilarious!

Good luck.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
donnabking
Dec 6, 2014 3:39 PM CST
Thank You!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill

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