Grow Well Guides


Few trees make as much of a statement in late winter as magnolias, with their beautiful, scented flowers ranging in size, shape, and colour, deciduous or evergreen, there is one suited to any garden size or container.

Planting Calendar


The best time to plant Magnolias is autumn to early spring (May - August), although they can be planted at other times of the year. Deciduous magnolias will flower from July until September. Evergreen magnolias flower from summer to autumn.



Best grown in full sun to part shade. Magnolias can tolerate windy conditions, but planting in a sheltered position will protect against flower damage from wind.


When planted into the ground Magnolia likes a free draining soil that is rich in organic matter, with a PH of 5-6.5, adding Peat to the soil at planting will alter the PH. To improve the organic content in your soil, break up the soil and add Kings Compost and Kings Sheep Pellets then mix together well. When growing in containers, plant into Kings Container mix. This mix contains added water storage crystals and Saturaid, two products that help maintain moisture in the soil.


When planting into the ground, gently tap the plant out of its pot. Dig a hole twice the depth and width of the plants root ball. Mix Kings Compost into your existing soil at a 50/50 ratio, add Sheep Pellets, Peat and Kings Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Fertiliser, then mix together well. Back fill the hole with this soil, so that when planted the top of the plant’s roots sit level with the surrounding ground. Stake well to protect from winds. Firm the soil down gently and water in well with Aquaticus Organic Garden Booster. In heavier clay soils, where drainage is likely to be an issue, plant onto a raised mound and sprinkle Gypsum Clay Breaker into the bottom of the hole, this helps slowly condition the soil and help to break down the clay. When planting into containers plant into Kings Containers mix, as this has water retention crystals in it, which will help in keeping the soil moist. Firm the soil down gently and water in well with Aquaticus Organic Garden Booster.



Watering is essential especially in the first year of planting to allow the roots to get well established. Water slowly allowing the water to sink down into the roots, rather than allowing it to run off the top of the soils surface. Add Saturaid into the soil at planting as this will help channel the water deep down into the root zone.


When planted in the ground liquid feed every month with Aquaticus Garden Booster, from spring through to the end of autumn, this encourages root growth and increases the microbial activity in the soil. Monthly applications of Kings Sheep Pellets will help with soil conditioning and plant health. In addition feed in Spring and Summer with Kings Azalea, Camellia, & Rhododendron Fertiliser. If planted into a container feed with Kings Liquid Fast Food along with monthly applications of Aquaticus Organic Garden Booster this encourages strong roots and a healthy immune system.


Drainage is key when growing Magnolias, wet soil can cause root problems. If pests are present talk to our team instore for the right product.


Mulch around the base of the plants (make sure that the mulch does not come into direct contact with the stem of the plant) with Living Earth More than Mulch. Mulching helps to reduce weeds as well as aiding the soil to retain moisture.


Magnolias do not need much pruning, remove any branches that are damaged or crossing over each other and to maintain shape and size.The best time for pruning is soon after the tree has finished blooming, in either late spring or early summer. Pruning too late in the season will result in fewer blossoms the following spring.

General Care

When using sprays, chemicals or fertilisers always read the label and follow the instructions. Apply sprays in the evening to avoid harming beneficial insects.

Beginner Tip

Evergreen Magnolias shed their old leaves throughout the year, they go yellow and then drop from the plant, this happens more just before or after flowering. Scoop them up and put them into your compost.

Expert Tip

Star Magnolias: (deciduous) Can tolerate a colder climate. Slow growing with small star shaped flowers well suited for smaller gardens and container growing. Flowers range in colour from white-pink and are produced in spring. Saucer Magnolias (deciduous) Saucer and other large-flowered hybrid Magnolias are well recognised for their spectacular display of flowers appearing before the foliage in late winter and early spring.. The fragrant flowers open before the foliage and range in color from white to pink to purple. Flowers are often darker on the outside of the petal and lighter on the inside. Southern Magnolia: (evergreen) Known for their glossy evergreen leaves that are often covered by brown/bronze felt like hairs on the underside that contrast against the dark lush green above. Adorned with large elegant beautiful flowers, the evergreen Magnolia comes in many shapes and sizes well suited when used as a specimen tree, shade tree or to provide privacy.


Keep your plants well watered during the hot summer months to avoid leaf drop

Top Varieties

Magnolia Black Tulip

Magnolia Black Tulip

Bred in Nz this beauty is a vigorous upright variety which has large cup shaped flowers that are dark-ruby red. A prolific flowerer staring at a young age. A deciduous variety with an upright growth habit growing to 6m x 4m in 7/10 years.

Magnolia Iolanthe

Magnolia Iolanthe

Bred in Nz, flowering over a long period this beauty is adorned with breathtaking large cup shaped flowers in shades of lavender, pink and cream. Iolanthe is a evergreen variety that grows to 6m X 4m in 7/10 years

Magnolia Brixton Belle

Magnolia Brixton Belle

Bred in Taranaki this deciduous variety bearing flowers at a early age. It is absolutely stunning soft rich pink flowers blushed with a softer pink on the inside. Deciduous with an upright habit it grows to 4m x 3.5m in 7/10 years.

Magnolia Genie

Magnolia Genie

Bred in Nz is an award winner that has beautiful deep wine fragrant flowers from a young age. Great for containers and small gardens. Deciduous with an upright habit it will grow to 3m x 1m in 7/10 years.

Magnolia Denudata

Magnolia Denudata

Another award winner that is adorned with ivory white flowers with a fragrance of rich lemon appearing in late winter to early spring before the leaves appear. Striking when in flower a great variety for shade or specimen tree. Deciduous with an upright/spreading habit this stunner will grow to 8m x 10m at maturity.

Magnolia Felix Jury

Magnolia Felix Jury

Bred in Nz and named after its breeder this beauty is adorned with magenta pink flowers that are huge. This one will make a real statement in you garden. Deciduous with an upright habit it will grow to 6m x 4m in 7/10 years.

What you need to grow well

Frequently Asked Questions