Magnolias are big, beautiful trees with huge, white, or colored flowers often seen in the South of the USA. There are many varieties of magnolias, and one variety is also the state flower of Mississippi and Louisiana. If you have a magnolia tree in your garden, you may be curious about when they are in season.
Different species of magnolias will be in season at different times. For example, some magnolias will bloom in the early spring, starting in February or March, while others will only bloom in the late summer months, perhaps only in June. Evergreen and Deciduous magnolias also have different seasonal blooms.
Related: Trees similar to Magnolia
When Are Magnolias In Season?
The different varieties of magnolias will have different seasonal blooms. Furthermore, when the magnolias bloom, depends on where you live as the climate plays a significant role in the blooming periods.
A few magnolias tend to bloom in the early spring, while some only bloom later in the summer.
Saucer magnolias (Magnolia X Soulangiana) are a deciduous magnolia that blooms early in spring before its leaves grow back. This magnolia produces flowers of about ten inches in diameter and are found in pink, white, red-purple, and purple.
Merrill Loebner magnolias (Magnolia Loebneri ‘Merrill’) are another deciduous magnolia that blooms early in the season. Merrill Loebner magnolias will also bloom before their leaves reappear. It is smaller than the saucer magnolias, as are its flowers, measuring at about four inches in diameter. This magnolia produces white flowers with a light pink base.
Southern magnolias (Magnolia Grandiflora) are prized native magnolias from the south of the U.S. These magnolias bloom late in the spring and early in the summer for two or three days. Southern magnolias are known for the creamy-white blossoms as big as eight inches across.
Sweet Bay magnolias (M. Virginiana) are evergreen or semi-evergreen magnolias that are relatively smaller than Southern magnolias. In the northern regions of the south, it will be more deciduous. However, in the south, it is evergreen. These flowers are about three inches in diameter, and this magnolia blooms in mid-spring to late summer.
How Do You Care For Magnolias?
Magnolias prefer full sun and neutral, or mildly acidic, well-drained soil. You should choose where you plant your magnolia carefully. They tend to grow very big and are difficult, if not impossible, to move once they have been established.
Magnolias have extensive roots. Therefore, planting them next to a sidewalk or swimming pool might not be the best idea, as they tend to crack concrete as the roots spread.
Furthermore, grass does not grow well under a magnolia tree. This is because magnolias have a shallow root system, and whatever grows underneath the magnolia will not receive any sun. Therefore, don’t plant anything underneath your magnolia, as it will not grow and could damage the magnolia’s roots.
Magnolias require moist soil. It is important to water your magnolia tree regularly, especially if it is planted in well-drained soil. Frequent watering during the dry and flowering seasons will ensure the magnolia produces more flowers in the next season.
Magnolias don’t have to be pruned. However, if you want to prune them to control the size or shape of your tree, it is best to do so in the late summer or as soon as the tree has stopped flowering. This will ensure the magnolia tree has enough time to heal before the winter cold sets in. Dormant magnolias don’t heal well and might not produce flowers next season.
Can You Use Magnolias In A Bouquet?
Magnolias produce beautiful flowers that will look stunning in a bouquet. Unfortunately, cut magnolias don’t last very long and wilt shortly after being removed from the tree. However, by using the correct tools and techniques, you can have a beautiful magnolia bouquet for quite some time.
You can either use magnolias by themselves in a vase or bouquet for a stunning but elegant look. Or you can add the magnolias to a bouquet with other flowers, creating a statement piece. Whichever bouquet you decide to make, here are some tips to ensure your magnolia bouquet lasts.
- Cut your magnolias early in the morning or late at night. The cool air will help prevent the magnolias from wilting.
- Cut magnolia buds that are just starting to open. They will last far longer than flowers that are already fully opened.
- Use sharp pruning scissors to cut the magnolias and place them in a bucket filled with cold water immediately after pruning them.
- Removing most or all the leaves from the stems ensures the flowers are adequately hydrated. You can also seal the sap in the branch to help the magnolia flowers retain moisture. To lock the sap in the stem, dip the ends of the flower in boiling water.
- Keep your cut magnolias out of direct sunlight or hot places to help keep the flowers hydrated.
How Can You Use Magnolia Flowers?
Did you know that you can eat magnolia flowers? They have a mild, gingery taste and can replace ginger when they are pickled. Magnolia flowers are safe for humans and animals and can be used in many different ways.
Magnolias have an impressive variety of health benefits, such as treating anxiety, reducing the chances of gingivitis and gum disease, alleviating menstrual cramps, improving respiratory issues and allergic reactions. They can also serve as a weight loss aid and help manage diabetes.
There are many ways in which you can eat magnolia flowers. Here are a few recipe ideas in which you can use your freshly cut magnolia blossoms:
- Use magnolia blossoms to make tea.
- Pickle the magnolia flowers and serve them with eastern food or sushi.
- Make a syrup infused with the magnolia blossoms and add it to water, iced tea, or cocktails.
- Use the flowers in a cake batter for a beautiful magnolia sponge cake.
- Sugar the magnolia leaves and use them to decorate cakes or treats.
- Make candied magnolia blossoms to eat as a delicious snack.
Apart from the flowers, magnolia bark has long been used for medicinal purposes. Magnolia bark is also safe to consume. However, it does not taste as good as the flowers and is mainly used to make tea.
Although it appears that none of the magnolia varieties are toxic, some have traditionally been used for eating. These include the southern magnolia, star magnolias, lily magnolias, and saucer magnolias. There are other edible magnolias too. However, it is best to consult an expert before eating any variety.