Ask a Question forum→Magnolia Bush

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Valparaisio, IN (Northwest)
LOskierko
Jun 1, 2020 10:36 AM CST
Hello,
I have had a Magnolia bush on the southwest corner of my property for at least a decade. When spring time rolled around it had many blossoms actually more than I can remember in the past. I live in Northwest Indiana and this Spring was very unusual. We had some days when the temperature dropped below freezing at night and some very light snow fall as late as the first week of May. I now have noticed that the leaves are not sprouting as much as they do this time of the year with a considerable bare area in the middle of the bush. I have broken off some small branches in areas and some seem very dry and brittle while others are soft and pliable . I really hate to remove this bush because it is an anchor in the landscaping and I am planning on placing my home on the market this coming Winter and would not like the extra expense of removal and planting something else. I would really like to save it as well because it has been a favorite and very hard as well. I have attached some images of it's current status.

Thanks much,
Laurie
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central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
Jun 1, 2020 11:09 AM CST
It's a bit hard to tell, but it looks like the leaf buds got frozen and died, and the plant is trying to grow new leaves from dormant buds.
(probably, more close up photos of brown & green leaves would let me be more certain, but we certainly had conditions for that this year!)

This happened to one of my marginally hardy magnolia's this year. It is stressful for the plant, since it has to grow leaves twice, but if it is pushing out new growth it has a good chance of survival. You may lose a few branches - you can prune them out in a few weeks if they haven't sprouted new leaves by then. Make sure it stays watered if it gets dry again this summer so it can recover its vigor.
Valparaisio, IN (Northwest)
LOskierko
Jun 1, 2020 11:43 AM CST
Thank you so much for the quick response! I will keep an eye on it and see what happens. Will also keep an eye open for dryness this summer. I will definitely keep my fingers crossed and hope all is well with it next year.

Thanks again,
Laurie

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