Guide to the cultivation and care of the starry Magnolia, multiplication, pruning, characteristics, advice, things to know, photos.
There Starry magnolia also known as magnolia macrophylla, it is a plant belonging to the Magnoliaceae family that is cultivated for ornamental purposes in pots, in gardens and municipal parks for its splendid flowering.
Read also: Color Magnolia house walls: style and elegance
Characteristics of the star magnolia – Magnolia macrophylla
There Starry magnolia it can be grown as a shrub or as a tree and generally reaches heights even higher than 3 meters.
On the trunk, covered with greyish bark, expands a crown with a rounded and densely branched shape.
The leaves lanceolate and light green in color appear immediately after the flowering.
THE flowers, delicately scented, large, showy and very decorative, when fully open they look like many cream-white stars.
Flowering : star magnolia blooms in spring.
You may be interested in: Kitchen sink: complete guide to brands, prices and advice
Magnolia stellata cultivation
It is a plant that loves bright and sunny positions and develops well even in areas with very rigid temperatures below 0 ° C. Late frosts could compromise the spectacular flowering.
It prefers rich, deep and well-drained soils. The pot-grown plant requires a new substrate rich in organic matter every 2-3 years.
Plants in the ground are satisfied with rainwater while those grown in pots should be watered approximately every 2-3 weeks and only when the soil is completely dry.
At the end of winter, bury mature manure or slow-release granular fertilizer at the foot of the plant.
In spring, once a month, add fertilizer rich in nitrogen and potassium, diluted in the water used for irrigation.
Magnolia stellata: cultivation in pots
The star magnolia is an easy plant to grow in pots on the balcony or terrace of the house.
The pot must be wider and deeper than the ground loaf of the plant.
A layer of expanded clay covered with a layer of a mixture of universal soil mixed with peat and mature manure is placed on the bottom.
Place the plant in the center and add more soil up to the height of the collar, compacting it well and taking care not to leave air gaps.
The pot is moved to a sunny and sheltered area from the wind and then watered abundantly.
Subsequently, the water supplies must be regular during the flowering period and in the summer months, but without excess.
Every year, fertilizer for flowering plants must be added, preferably in autumn, and chelated iron to combat excess limescale.
Repotting the magnolia
For the harmonious development of the plant it is recommended in the first years of life to repot when the roots come out from the drainage holes of the watering water and then just renew the soil contained in the pot every 2-3 years.
Multiplication of the star magnolia
Magnolia stellata propagates by seed in early autumn or by semi-woody cutting in summer.
It is carried out in autumn, burying the seeds in a seedbed containing loose and fertile soil kept just humid until germination has taken place. After about 1 year, when the seedlings are sufficiently developed and easy to handle, they are placed in single pots until the moment of final planting, after 3-4 years from sowing.
Propagation by cuttings
In summer, cuttings at least 10 cm long are taken from the main healthy and vigorous branches and rooted in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts. Once rooting has taken place, the new seedlings must be repocked in individual containers and reared in them for at least 2 years before being planted in the ground.
Magnolia stellata should be planted in the open ground or in pots in March – April, or in autumn in holes twice the size of the root system. Young plants must be guided in the first years of growth by special tutors.
Magnolia is a plant that grows very slowly and therefore pruning should only be done to eliminate dry or frost-damaged branches after flowering.
Diseases and pests of the star magnolia
The star magnolia fears the attack of aphids and is prone to gray mold among fungal diseases.
Plants grown in pots suffer from root rot caused by excessive watering and water stagnation in the saucer.
L’root system of the Magnolia stellata, like magnolia grandiflora, it fears frost and therefore requires winter protection with a mulch of straw or dry leaves.
In February, when the flowers are still in bud, to prevent attack by aphids and the development of fungal diseases, the foliage of the plant must be treated with a broad-spectrum insecticide and also with a specific fungicide.
Variety of Magnolia stellata
There is also the variety of Magnolia stellata with pink flowers: the Magnolia stellata Leonard Messel.
Magnolia stellata Leonard Messel
A stripping shrub variety native to Magnolia, about 4 meters high and 3 meters wide, often confused with the pink star magnolia. In spring it produces numerous flowers composed of 10-15 very fragrant pink petals. It is a plant that loves the sun, resists the cold and adapts to all types of soil as long as it is deep and well drained. It is very beautiful as a pot plant.
Magnolia stellate like the other varieties is cultivated for ornamental purposes in public parks and gardens as an isolated plant, as groups and hedges. It is often used to create urban avenues for its resistance to smog.
Indigenous peoples use the bark to make furniture while flowers and leaves are used for medical purposes to cure various ailments.
In ancient times the leaves were used for the preparation of an infusion considered a febrifuge.
Magnolia in the language of flowers
Giving magnolia flowers has two different meanings based on their color:
- the white flowers of the magnolia symbolize purity;
- the pink flowers of the magnolia symbolize modesty.
In America, the starry Magnolia is considered a lucky and auspicious plant and for this reason it is grown in almost all gardens surrounded at the base with bulbs of muscari, daffodils or early flowering tulips.