QUESTION: Is the southern magnolia a messy tree? I’ve had trees before that constantly make a mess that requires a lot of raking or blowing, so I’d like to avoid that. – Wesley H
ANSWER: Unfortunately, the southern magnolia tree is considered a messy tree by most standards. So you might want to keep looking if that’s your biggest criteria. These trees drop their old leaves each spring and also drop seed pods during the later portion of summer.
Also, these trees commonly struggle with shock after transplanting. It’s common for them to drop even more leaves the first year than in the years to come.
However, if you truly love the look of southern magnolia trees, don’t let their messy nature deter you. There are ways to work around this issue and it’s a popular tree for a reason. Most people think the pros outweigh the cons!
When growing a southern magnolia, first you must ensure that your growing location can support this tree in its mature state. These trees take one to two decades to reach their full height, but they should grow to become as tall as sixty to eighty feet.
The growing location should also include well-draining soil and even moisture. However, this is a very forgiving tree as it can handle both sun and shade.
Just realize, the more sun the tree receives, the more it blooms. This tree can also handle periods of oversaturation and drought.
Yet, it’s best to keep moisture consistent (if possible) for the overall health of the tree. If you can supply these settings, then you’re ready to grow a southern magnolia tree.
The trick is to not place the tree in the center of your yard. Instead, create a decorative bed which consists of other evergreen plants such as shrubs.
Then use the southern magnolia tree as a backdrop. You can mulch this area to keep these low-maintenance plants healthy and happy.
In turn, as the magnolia tree drops its seed pods and leaves, you may use these items as natural mulch to keep this growing bed healthy and even more low-maintenance as this tree should provide a lot of the necessary mulch the plants need.
By taking the negative aspect of this tree, by some standards, and using it for the health of the tree (and other plants’) surroundings, this could provide a way for you to enjoy a southern magnolia tree and keep its growing area tidier than if the tree was standing alone in the middle of your yard.
Take these tips into consideration if you’d like to grow a southern magnolia tree. This tree’s dark green foliage and vibrant white blooms could be a gorgeous addition to your landscape.
Though the tree is inherently messy, don’t let this stop you from growing it. Instead, figure out how to make this natural tendency work for the tree and surrounding plants. Then do what you must do throughout all aspects of life: figure out how to turn a negative into a positive.