Tips & Tricks

Cut magnolias - how it works!


Not every plant likes to get to know the secateurs. Especially not the magnolia. If it has to be cut at all, be careful.

Magnolias do not necessarily have to be cut

Magnolias are beautiful shrubs - but they also make a lot of dirt. Especially when they throw off the flowers. If you accept this and always take good care of the plant, you will soon have a lush, very large bush in the garden. So that it does not become too large and bulky, you have to cut the magnolia.

As a matter of principle, you do not have to cut back the magnolia every year. This may be mandatory for other plants, but not for magnolia because it grows very slowly. If at all, you can only use the scissors to maintain the natural growth habit. Since a magnolia grows with several scaffold shoots, it can quickly happen that they are very close together. If this is the case, then push each other up until they have enough space to spread out. And that's why some plants literally explode. You can only use pruning shears to get the magnolia back in shape.

➤ A little tip:

If you want, you can pull cuttings when cutting back and multiply the magnolia.

Always cut magnolia with care and caution

If you want to get your magnolia back in shape, which is usually only necessary every three to five years, it is best to only use the secateurs after flowering. Depending on the variety, this time should be in late June or early July. Then take a sharp and freshly disinfected pruner or pruner and start working. You must:

  • Remove dead and sick shoots
  • Cut off competitive drives to the main stem
  • Remove inward and intersecting branches
  • lightly crown the crown

You can also redirect longer shoots to lower ones. This gives the plant more light and creates new flower shoots. It is always important that you cut off the branches directly on the trunk. Because the magnolia has a wound healing mechanism that thickens and closes the bark around the cut surface when you cut the branch close enough to the trunk. Then it is important that you seal the cut surfaces with tree wax (e.g. available here) so that no diseases develop.

Radical cut back only in exceptional cases

Your magnolia will not forgive you for a radical cut back so quickly. On the one hand you will be punished with curious foothills and on the other hand with a very slow growing magnolia. You can only carry out such a radical cut back in exceptional cases. For example, when a storm has done great damage to the magnolia. Then do the best thing:

Cut the scaffold drives on three to a maximum of five shoots. This number is quite sufficient. With strong and thick branches, however, you have to leave a little more. Also remove shoots that cross over or grow inwards. Then you have to be patient, because it can take a while for the magnolia to grow back into a stately bush. In addition, if you have a radical cut the following year, you will have to forego flowering.

By the way:

If you are holding magnolias in the bucket, you should know that you cannot cut them back. If anything, it is advisable to cut off dead branches only.