QUESTION: Are southern magnolia trees hardy? I don’t want to plant one if it’s just going to die during the first cold winter. – Raquel A
ANSWER: It depends upon your location. One might assume that because these trees have the term “southern” in their name that they can’t make it in many climates.
In reality, southern magnolias are hardy in planting zones six through ten. However, providing the right planting zone is only half the battle.
Southern magnolia trees have a variety of growing conditions which must be met. This tree must grow in an area with proper drainage.
It can also thrive in full to partial sunlight. The trick is the more sunlight the tree receives, the more blooms you’ll receive from it.
This tree can be grown in a container if you live outside of the ideal planting zones. This way you could enjoy the tree outdoors over the summer.
Then, when the temperatures turn cooler, you may move the tree indoors or into your greenhouse to help it survive the colder portion of the year.
Southern magnolia trees do face a few threats from pests and diseases. Their main issues for pests are scales, thrips, caterpillars, and aphids.
You may treat pests with insecticide or spray your tree forcefully with soapy water. This should dislodge the pests and their homes from your tree.
The most common diseases this tree faces are verticillium wilt, cankers, and leaf spot. There is no cure for verticillium wilt.
In most cases, with smaller trees, the tree won’t survive. In cases with larger trees, if you continue to trim away damaged areas, the tree’s life typically is prolonged.
The other issues are fungal based. It’s best to treat fungal issues with a fungicide. You may also plant the tree in a location with well-draining soil and warmth.
Fungal diseases grow in areas with cold, wet soil. By supplying the opposite growing conditions, you’re naturally deterring these issues.
However, there is no cure for cankers. The best way to handle this disease is to prune away any impacted areas.
In summary, southern magnolia trees are rather hardy plants. They do well in 50% of the planting zones, and though they face some issues with pests and diseases, it isn’t an usually high amount of issues.
Help this tree thrive under your care by providing the right growing conditions and staying alert to potential threats.
This will help this hardy tree thrive in your growing location and should allow it to bring your landscape beauty for years to come.