Ask a Question forum: Magnolia Start Dead?

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Jun 20, 2016 3:44 PM CST
My Husband and I had my brother give us a start to my Great Grandmothers Magnolia tree in which we used as a "unity tree" at our Wedding last year. It doesn't seem to be growing very much. It is about a foot talk and we are worried it may be dead. How can we tell? Should we fertilize and if so, using what and how?
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Jun 20, 2016 3:52 PM CST
Hannibas - are you referring to the southern magnolia? If so, I have started some from seeds from one (an emotional attachment for family member). Young ones don't tolerate full sun well and should be partially shaded in the afternoon, especially if you're in the hot south. Just average watering should be fine. If planted in the ground, do give it some protection from wild critters the first couple of years by using a wire cage around it (but not in direct contact with the tree). The tree should grow well once it settles in and develops a good root system.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jun 20, 2016 3:52 PM CST
When my magnolias die.... The leaves turn yellow and fall off.

If you have a Japanese magnolia that didn't leaf out this spring.... Probably is dead.

If it still has green leaves.... Let it be. They have periods where the growth slows down...

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