Magnolia care starts with the identification of your tree. How Should I Care for It? Q.-- I Have a Southern Magnolia. How Much Should I Prune Off? Questions about magnolia care range from problems regarding specific plant parts (e.g., problems with the leaves, problems with the buds, etc.) Read the FAQ linked to above to learn why context is everything in addressing this problem. Why Are My Emerald Cedar Leaves Turning Brown? Is It Dying? The appearance of brown leaves out of season is always a troubling sight. Remain calm and apply a little scrutiny, following the steps I provide in this answer. Star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) are slow-growing deciduous trees. She has done work for stations including WTVN, WMNI and WOSU (NPR). Click the link above to learn more.. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. How Should I Care for It? What Causes Southern Magnolia Leaves to Turn Yellow? 12 Common Species of Magnolia Trees and Shrubs. They're actually both effects, not causes; consider their presence a signal for what's really wrong. Q.-- Would Dropping Coffee Grounds Around My Magnolia Tree Solve a Problem or Create One? Well, that depends. Don't assume that the ants and the black coating are the sources of the problem. What's Wrong? There are a number of possible reasons why magnolia buds fail to open in spring. Plant star magnolia trees six or more feet apart in well-draining soil for roots to spread and foliage to dry after rainfall. Some plants die quickly, while others may die within a couple of years. Growing in U. S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, star magnolia trees have white or pink fragrant flowers that bloom in early spring. Read our. Pruning affected branches and removing fallen leaves may help to control the alga if the tree has only a few areas of leaf spot, says the University of Arkansas Extension. I also suggest ways to implement the principle that says, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.". I Have a Southern Magnolia. How come? Are My Specimens Dead? Varieties such as “Dawn,” “Jane Platt,” and “Royal Star” are susceptible to gray mold, verticillium wilt, leaf spot and canker. Are My Specimens Dead? Follow package directions for particular use on star magnolias. Some questions aren't readily answerable unless one has access to the landscape in question. View the picture in this FAQ to see what caused one reader to worry; armed with this knowledge, you won't make the same mistake (there's plenty else to worry about without enduring false alarms, right?). Treating a Magnolia Tree With Ants and Sooty Mold. in the root system of star magnolias. Fungicides containing copper hydroxide are effective, but spraying large trees can be costly. Frequent rains and wind spread algal spores to wet leaves and twigs. Prune infected branches with sterilized shears -- sanitize them again before clipping other trees and shrubs. If leaf spots spread, leaves may turn yellow or drop prematurely. This is really a two-fold question: Q.-- I'm Growing a Magnolia Tree in a Container? Remove infected tissue from the plant and bury it under 1 foot of soil. How come? How Much Should I Prune Off? Some homeowners feel that their specimens are getting too big and wonder about pruning them to make them more compact. Diseases of the Star Magnolia. This problem may not be as dire as it sounds. What is an optimal amount of irrigation in one landscape may be too much or too little water in another. The star magnolia contends with many of the same problems that other magnolias deal with. Cankers usually kill branches and may kill the tree but pruning damaged leaves and limbs helps to control the disease if the tree’s trunk is not affected. Q.-- When Should You Prune Magnolia Trees? Although a cure for verticillium wilt does not exist, notes the University of Illinois Extension, removing infected trees may help. Cankers -- dead areas on stems or branches -- occur on star and other magnolia species. My Magnolia's Leaves Developed Black Spots, Turned Brown and Fell Off. Cankers may or may not be visible; various fungi cause them to grow underneath tree bark. It affects the trees’ vascular systems, choking their ability to draw in moisture and nutrients. What's Wrong? But it's an understandable mistake for a beginner. But in the following FAQ, I provide information in response to magnolia care questions that are at least partially answerable: Q.-- The Flower Buds on My Magnolia Tree Aren't Opening Up. And, if you are going to prune one, what's the best. Q.-- My Tree Now Has Dead Branches on It, After a Harsh Winter. Have the soil tested before you plant in it again. This Fall, I've Found Some Funny-Looking Bumps on My Magnolia Trees. The Flower Buds on My Magnolia Tree Aren't Opening Up. Star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) are slow-growing deciduous trees. Would Dropping Coffee Grounds Around My Magnolia Tree Solve a Problem or Create One? Fertilize symptomatic plants with a chemical mix that is low in nitrogen and high in potassium. Q.-- This Fall, I've Found Some Funny-Looking Bumps on My Magnolia Trees. Botrytis develops on moist, live and dead plants in temperatures from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to about 84 F. Environmental control is the best defense for star magnolias against gray mold, advises the University of Illinois Extension -- sunlight, air circulation, well-draining soil, dry foliage and flower petals. Magnolia care begins with proper identification of your tree (e.g., southern, star or saucer type). Don't fall into the solution-in-search-of-a-problem syndrome. Two of those reasons have to do with weather. The "bumps" in this case turn out to be a false alarm. Also, help answer other questions about General Gardening and Magnolia Trees, and plants at When is the Best Time to Prune Magnolia Trees? There's a Black Coating on My Specimen, and Ants Are Running All Over It. Is It Dying? Q.-- My Magnolia's Leaves Developed Black Spots, Turned Brown and Fell Off. Here I resolve care problems reported by readers. What type of magnolia tree do you have? There are, of course, many other types of specimens known for their blossoms that are available for residential landscaping. The alga (Cephaleuros virescens) creates small, light green or pale red circular spots on foliage.