Is magnolia good for bonsai

Having bonsai in your house can easily enhance the beautiful experience of welcoming spring and saying goodbye to cold days. Bonsai has now become extremely popular since people have started growing them in small pots without dealing with a lot of mess and fuss.

As there are various trees and their types to be used as bonsai, people ask whether you should make magnolia bonsai or is magnolia good for bonsai? If you too are standing on this edge of the bridge, this article will help you reach the other end by getting a good amount of useful information.

Can magnolia be bonsai?

You can make some of the best bonsai using the magnolia tree but the thing that confuses people is that magnolia bonsai are not frequently seen in households even if there are many other bonsai presents.

The reason that makes them a not-so-good option for bonsai is that it only looks beautiful when there are flowers on it and this phase only lasts for a couple of weeks in the whole season. Apart from this, magnolias usually have large and dense leaves, sometimes equal to the size of a plate, which does not give a real experience of a bonsai tree.

Some species of magnolias, especially the Asian ones, are best for bonsai as they can be grown in various shapes and sizes. The best thing about magnolia bonsai is the versatility of colors as different types of bonsai have varying flower and leaves colors ranging from pink and white to red and yellow as well.

Which magnolia tree is best for bonsai?

Magnolia trees can bring various shapes, colors, and attractions but the thing that makes them questionable is their size. Any magnolia whose flowers are according to your tastes and leaves are not too big can be used as bonsai. Talking in a general sense, Asian species of magnolia are best suitable for bonsai while the European ones are the least favorite.

Southern magnolia bonsai

Southern magnolia can be a great option for bonsai because it can provide you with attractive white color flowers that will enhance the overall experience while uplifting your mood as well.

It is considered the best magnolia for bonsai as they can grow in almost all kinds of indoor as well as outdoor conditions.

All you need is to just provide it with the necessary sunlight and water. If you go with the right process, you will get exactly what you see in pictures of southern magnolia bonsai.

Magnolia liliiflora bonsai

Magnolia Liliiflora

Magnolia liliiflora is probably the most common and favorite tree for bonsai as this is one of the few magnolias that have small size leaves and beautiful flowers of regular size.

They have thin twigs and have pink to bluish color flowers that change color with the changing season and almost become yellow or orange at the end of autumn.

Magnolia liliiflora bonsai can easily go up to the size between 1 to 2 feet while covering an area of 6 inches to 1 foot in radius.

Its leaves are usually more in numbers as compared to flowers but because of their design, style, and pattern, they can enhance the place wherever they are placed.

How to bonsai a magnolia tree?

How to create bonsai from magnolia plant

To make a magnolia tree into a bonsai plant, you need to cover some aspects so that you can get the best result.

As not all magnolia varieties are best for bonsai, you should first choose the best suitable magnolia and the best way is to have a conversation with your nearest nursery owner.

The second most important thing is to determine the size of the container as the roots of the magnolia tree go too large which requires a good enough size of the container.

  1. Start by removing all the unnecessary branches of the magnolia tree.
  2. While cutting twigs, you should focus on 3 Ds: Dead, Diseased, and Damaged
  3. Use a fruit pruner or cut in a way that the branch has a diagonal cut instead of a straight one.
  4. Cut down the twigs and branches that are pointed to the center of the tree. This is essential so that magnolia bonsai can grow outwards and enhance its beauty.
  5. Now use wiring and tie branches to shape your magnolia bonsai according to your desires.
  6. While shaping the branches with wire, make sure that you keep the tip end of the branch pointing to the upside. This will allow bonsai to move in the right direction instead of just falling down.
  7. Use a clipper or hook to remove the soil attached to the roots of the magnolia tree. Make sure that at least 90% of the soil has been removed.
  8. Trim magnolia bonsai roots while cutting the old ones completely.
  9. Take a bonsai pot and tie a plastic mesh with wires on the drainage holes of the pot.
  10. Add bonsai mixture, organic fertilizers, and soil inside the bonsai pot.
  11. Place previously processed magnolia plants into the mixture and cover the roots thoroughly with the soil and nutrients.
  12. Use a wire to keep the magnolia bonsai tree in its place in the pot.

Can you root a magnolia tree in water?

You can definitely root a magnolia tree in water using its cuttings. It is recommended to get your cuttings during the summers and the best time is just after its buds set.

Focus on newly growing branches and take pieces of about 5 to 9 inches to be used as cuttings.

Place these cuttings then in a pot of water while removing all its leaves and flowers if necessary. Keeping cutting in water will initialize the process of propagation resulting in magnolia tree roots.

Can we put magnolia bonsai indoors?

It is a clear fact that most of the magnolia tree varieties are not suitable to be grown indoors. Most of these usually grow too large in size or have requirements that may not be met in an inside environment.

The most unique magnolia varieties that are considered good for indoor bonsai include Star Magnolias, Ann Magnolias, Red Lucky Magnolia, Chinese Magnolia, and Dwarf Southern Magnolia.

All these can not even be grown in small indoor containers but have an attractive shape and look as well. You can also grow some other varieties that may grow large and will require big containers but still can be grown indoors, Jane Magnolia is one of such varieties. 

Can you grow magnolia bonsai in the shade?

The only issue of growing magnolia bonsai in the shade is that most such trees cannot blossom their flowers to the maximum.

This thing has been proven with various magnolia kinds while stellatas magnolias are an exception as they can grow efficiently with beautiful flowers without any issues.

In general point of view, magnolia bonsai requires a full sunny or partially shaded area combined with a warm climate to thrive properly. This thing makes them good even if you grow bonsai in the shade.

Although they are frost-hardy, they should be protected from extreme temperature as it may ruin their normal functioning, resulting in improper or slow-growing bonsai.

How fast do magnolia bonsai grow from seed?

The time taken by a magnolia bonsai to grow from seed may vary depending on their types, cultivation conditions, sunlight, watering, etc.

Southern magnolia bonsai will be visible coming out of the soil within 20 to 40 days but it still takes about 6 to 12 months to reach a height of 2 feet or more.

The reason is that the standard growth size of a magnolia southern bonsai is 2 to 3 feet per year.

It can be said that magnolia bonsai will require at least a season to grow from seed, in the best suitable conditions that too if you choose the right variety of magnolia trees for bonsai.

Magnolia bonsai tree care

Magnolia bonsai tree care includes various aspects and you need to cover all of them in order to get the resultant bonsai tree just like you imagined and desired. The most important care guidelines include:

  • Proper placement of the tree inside the pot.
  • Watering bonsai on a regular basis but in an appropriate amount.
  • Use liquid or solid organic fertilizer once a month.
  • Periodic pruning of the tree.
  • Wiring the branches to shape magnolia bonsai.
  • Repotting and propagation.
  • Protecting trees from diseases and pests.

How many hours of sunlight do magnolias need?

This may vary with type as well as the temperature of your region. On average, a magnolia bonsai tree requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight in a single day but you should take suggestions from a local expert or nursery owner in your region.

Magnolia bonsai pruning

The best time to prune and wire magnolia bonsai is during the summer as small branches are not usually overflowed by large leaves. It is essential to trim branches and remove extra-large leaves on a periodic basis in order to give room for new buds and branches while keeping your bonsai in an attractive look.

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