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I have a magnolia susan which never seems to flower well, flowering is sparse at best, as per the photo where you can see just a few flowers at the very top of the plant.

Its in clay soil and gets sun most of the day. I have a magnolia tree nearby which flowers wonderfully every year. The magnolia susan is about 6ft tall. I haven't ever pruned it and I'm wondering if I should?

Last edited: 16 May 2017 23:01:12


Hi Leadfarmer - I don't think magnolias like being pruned - they send up lots of watershoots.  I'd try giving it a dose of feed and a good mulch instead, and see if that makes a difference.  Also, make sure it gets lots of water in August/September - like camellias and rhodies, I think that is when they are making the flower buds for next year.


Excellent advice above.

We found a very poorly specimen when we moved here in October.  No foliage left and looking very old and gnarled   I gave it's roots a good soaking and lots more water in the following weeks as we were having a drought.  After some proper rain arrived in December I tipped a bag of ericaceous compost round its base and more water and then a generous dollop of pelleted chicken manure early in late January.

This spring it started slowly on just one branch but has now been flowering all over for 2 months and has healthy leaves.  Definitely worth persevering and some TLC but no pruning unless you have dead wood.

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