Skip to content
Refine search

Best uses

This wonderful small evergreen tree is great for small gardens and is easily able to be carefully trimmed to keep its shape. This also makes it good for use as a hedge, topiary or used in a large container. Plant where you will be able to enjoy the sweet scent of its flowers. Easily able to be incorporated into mixed shrub plantings too.

Physical characteristics

An evergreen, small tree growing 4m tall and 3m wide.

Flowers and foliage

This tree has glossy pointed green leaves and in spring, pointed brown hairy buds open to produce fragrant cream flowers flushed pink. These are produced in abundance once trees mature.

Preferred site

Prefers full sun to partial shade in moist, acidic, well-drained soil in a sheltered position.

Preparation for planting

Always choose healthy, well-grown, plants and plant after autumn rains, when the soil is moist and warm allows trees to establish a good root system well before summer. Planting is often improved on clay soils by adding extra topsoil and forming raised beds. Incorporate coarse sand, bark, peat, compost or other organic material to improve soil structure. Before planting ensure the root ball is saturated and remove the planter bag or pot with minimal root disturbance. Trim any broken roots or branches and plant at the same level as in the container. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball to plant in. Long term slow-release fertilisers may be added at this stage. As soil is placed in the prepared hole tread firmly to bring soil in close contact with the root-ball. Unless the soil is very wet, water thoroughly making sure that moisture penetrates to the depth of the root-ball. In windy positions, staking may be required. Use wide ties that hold securely without chafing. Tie firmly but allow room for the trunk to increase in girth without constriction. This allows the plant to move a little in the wind encouraging the development of a strong root system without the risk of chafing or root damage.

Maintenance tips

Mulch annually to suppress weeds and help conserve moisture. Feed annually in spring with a balanced fertiliser such as blood and bone at a handful per square metre in spring as new growth begins. Check any tree ties are not too tight or rubbing on the trunk as this will cause permanent damage. Trim lightly after flowering to keep in shape if required. These trees don't often need much pruning unless they are trained as an informal hedge or topiary to keep them away from paths or encourage spindly growth to bush out.

Ecological and biodiversity benefits

Attracts beneficial insects to the garden.

Pests and diseases

Generally trouble free.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Magnolia Garden

Interesting facts and tips

This Magnolia was bred in New Zealand by Oswald Blumhardt.