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How To Grow Magnolia From Seed Like An Expert. Follow These 5 Steps

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If you want to know what a Magnolia plant is, then you’re in the right place. The plant encompasses about 210 species of plants in the Magnoliaceae family.

It is also treasured for its beauty, and it produces colorful flowers with a strong scent. Magnolias originated from South America but have been introduced to the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Thanks to their natural appeal, many people have chosen to grow magnolias in their gardens. If you have an appropriate place for the tree, you can turn your garden into a centerpiece by growing it from seed. Here, we will guide you on how to grow magnolia from seed.

How To Grow Magnolia From Seed Magnolia tree with flowers
Magnolia tree with flowers – via Wikimedia

An Introduction To Magnolia Trees

Magnolia has many species and cultivars, one of the most popular plants. It is a large-sized tree that grows up to 50 feet tall, but most species only grow 10-20 feet tall with a broad crown of leaves.

Magnolia plants are associated with the country’s southern parts, and they come in many fragrant and gorgeous varieties.

Most of the magnolia plants prefer partial sunlight or shady area to grow. The large leathery leaves and white or pink flowers are among the most remarkable feature of Magnolia.

The flower appears at the start of spring, even before its leaves appear. These plants are evergreen and remain green throughout the year. However, some species of Magnolia are also deciduous.

There are many beautiful magnolias, including Magnolia stellata, liliripes, Black Tulip magnolia etc. Magnolia grandiflora is the most common type of magnolia tree. Over 80 types of exotic magnolia varieties exist, and we are going to discuss the few:

Anise Magnolia (Magnolia salicifolia)

Anise Magnolia How To Grow Magnolia From Seed
Anise Magnolia via Wikimedia

The anise magnolia is native to Japan and grows in 6 to 9 USDA zones. This colorful tree grows up to 30 feet. Its leaves resemble willow trees or shrubs but are less wide than usual magnolia leaves. The flowers of anise magnolia are commonly white with strappy petals.

Ashes Magnolia (Magnolia ashei)

Ashes Magnolia How To Grow Magnolia From Seed
Ashes Magnolia via Wikimedia

Ashe’s Magnolia stands between a large shrub or a small tree and is native to Florida. However, the height depends on its pruning patterns. It may also be considered subspecies of the bigleaf Magnolia for having 2 feet longer leaves. The flowers are also big, with around 1-foot-long petal size.

Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla)

Bigleaf Magnolia How To Grow Magnolia From Seed
Bigleaf Magnolia via Flickr

Bigleaf Magnolia was first found in the Southeastern U.S. Mexico, and its USDA growing zones are 5 to 8. As the name suggests, bigleaf Magnolia has about 32 inches long leaves, and it usually stands 40 to 60 feet long.

It is a deciduous species of Magnolia, but warmer zones can make it stand evergreen. The flowers of bigleaf Magnolia are purple, and each petal is around 10 inches.

Lily Magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora)

Lily Magnolia How To Grow Magnolia From Seed
Lily Magnolia via Wikimedia

The lily Magnolia is among the smaller-sized Magnolia with 8 to 12 feet in height. It is native to Southwest China and placed in 7 to 10 USDA growing zones. Beautifully scented flowers of reddish-purple or pink colors appear in the spring, and elliptical leaves appear later.

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Southern Magnolia How To Grow Magnolia From Seed
Southern Magnolia via Wikimedia

Magnolia grandiflora or Southern Magnolia is the most common Magnolia native to the southeastern U.S., Standing 60 to 80 feet tall. It is a large evergreen tree that needs plenty of sunlight and ample space to grow. Its flowers are the state flower of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Growing Conditions For Magnolia

The reason why Magnolia is so popular in different cultures is that it is a symbol of happiness. When it blooms, people are guaranteed to have a happier mood for that day or season. And when they are in mourning or grieving, the smell and beauty of the magnolia plant can soothe them.

Before moving to the answer of how to grow Magnolia from seed, you should know the needs of a magnolia plant to grow well. They are:

  • You should know the type you are growing as few magnolias need small space to grow while others are massive and can’t be suitable for your lawns.
  • These plants prefer shady conditions and partial sunlight.
  • The soil must have good drainage as magnolia plants cannot withstand wet and baggy soil.
  • The most important thing is to ensure that it has enough water, especially during the hot summer months.
  • It is also important to fertilize the tree regularly.

5 Steps on How to Grow Magnolia From Seed

Growing a Magnolia from seed can be tricky. It will take patience and careful attention to provide the right conditions to grow as this delicate, flowering tree attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and adds beauty to your garden.

Therefore, the homeowners and gardeners are looking for ways to grow Magnolia from seeds. In this section, we will cover the basics of growing Magnolia from seed.

1.     Collect Magnolia Seeds

First, you have to collect the magnolia seeds from the desired tree. Make sure you take a standard species’s seeds rather than taking a hybrid magnolia’s seeds. A hybrid’s seed will produce a parent variety, not the one you wanted. Also, look for the seeds opening their follicles and releasing the seeds.

2.     Harvest Magnolia Seeds

If the follicle or seed coat is not already opening, put the seed aside until it starts opening. You can also soak the seeds in water overnight to loosen their coats. Drain the water the other day and place the seeds on a dry towel. Squeeze the red coat a little, and the magnolia seed will come out.

Magnolia Tree Seed Pod How To Grow Magnolia From Seed
Magnolia Grandiflora Tree Seed Pod via Flickr

3.     Stratification Of Seed

In horticulture, stratification is a process that replicates natural conditions that seeds need to germinate. So, you have to break the seed’s dormancy by placing it in a container with a little moist sand. This container will go for refrigeration for about 3-4 months until it is ready to be planted.

4.     Plant Your Seed

Plant your seed in a pot with a good quality potting soil mixture. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil around (0.5 cm.) and water them well. After a week or two, the seedlings will start to appear. A few things to be considered here are:

  • Plant the seed in the spring season.
  • The temperature should be around 70° F
  • Be careful not to overwater your plant as this can cause it to rot from too much moisture.
  • The soil should be evenly moist to help the seed germinate.
  • Prevent the new seedlings from direct sunlight for at least a year.

5.     Transplant The Seedlings

Now it is time to transplant the seedlings to their permanent place, ensuring they have grown to some extent. You can transplant it to a big container or the ground with rich soil suitable for plant growth. Ensure your new plant has partial shade, adequate watering and the right amount of fertilizer to grow properly.


You must have taken in an adequate arrangement about this article on how to grow Magnolia from seed. So, you might want to grow it on your own now. Follow the simple steps mentioned above and beautify your garden with the fascinating Magnolia tree.

Feel free to share your experience and tips with us when you go about it. Happy gardening!