After a long Minnesota winter, many of us are craving the sight of the spring blossoms. Hardy Magnolias have proven to be one of the best landscape plants to provide early spring blossoms that are large and showy.
While crocuses, daffodils, tulips and cilla are other great plants to get a fix of early spring flowers, the hardy Magnolias can give a nice upright mass of lovely blossoms in a variety of mature sizes and colors. With spring coming late the Magnolias have just started blossoming this last week.
Royal Star Magnolia has a nice white fragrant blossom with about 25 petals arranged into a width of 3-4 inches. This is a smaller sized Magnolia maturing to 8’-10’ tall.
Merrill Magnolia also has 3” plus white blossoms with wider petals, and a sizeable mature size of 30’ to 40’ tall by 30’ wide.
Leonard Messel Magnolia sports pink and white blossoms and a medium mature height of 15’ -20’ which makes a showy statement every spring.
Ann Magnolia is another short variety, growing to 8’-10’ and has eye catching reddish purple blossoms for people who prefer more color intensity. All 4 of these magnolias have demonstrated very good hardiness.
We do recommend on all these magnolias a once a year application of systemic insecticide to prevent Magnolia scale. This procedure requires no spry, since the recommended soil drench requires only a pail, 1 gallon of water, a few ounces of product and 1 minute of time to mix the solution and pour it on the ground around the trunk. Also, when planting Magnolias it is a good idea to add some additional peat to the soil as Magnolias do like a more acid soil.