Hello, does anybody know what soil type magnolia stellate prefer? I'm thinking of getting one for my mum for mothers day, but she has heavy clay which is quite alkaline, so if that wouldn't suit would it do well in a large pot?
Lisa I think stellata is far too big for a pot. Magnolia Susan will be okay, if you are happy to have a different colour.
She likes stellata, but I shall make some under cover enquiries.
You can grow that in your clay soil but dig in lots of organic matter, it will be fine. BTW a quick google for the name of the plant plus RHS will tell you in a fraction of a second.
The magnolia that I know about is Grandiflora, which can become very big. That was planted in clay which had been worked for years, it far exceeded the approximate 10yr height in 5yrs. I don't think they respond well to pruning, this one has only had damaged and lower branches pruned, for mower access.
The Magnolia Stellata (Star Magnolia) is both slow growing and small. Usually no more than 10ft (3m) tall with a similar spread. Lovely white flowers. Try to plant it in a sheltered spot to protect it from late frosts. It prefers an acid or neutral soil but will tolerate a degree of alkalinity.
We grew 2 stellatas in pots for about 10 years and they were fine (although they were big pots). They are now in the ground, and still doing well. At the time we were advised to use a soil based compost rather than multipurpose in the pots.