How to Water Magnolia Trees


Stately magnolia trees reach heights up to 90 feet, thriving in warm climates. Magnolias are evergreen, providing interest in the landscaping year-round. They produce large, cream-colored blooms in spring then release seed pods in summer. While magnolia trees prefer plenty of moisture, they also tolerate the short drought periods that are often common in the southern areas where they grow. Proper watering helps the trees remain healthy and better equips them for when soils are drier.

Step 1

Mulch around new trees after planting to help conserve moisture in the soil. Apply a 3- to 5-inch mulch layer around the tree out to the drip line--which is the soil directly under the canopy of the tree. Replenish this mulch each spring to maintain the 3- to 5-inch depth.

Step 2

Water magnolia trees once weekly during the first two years they are planted. Provide 15 to 20 gallons of water at each watering. Water at the base of the tree slowly so the water leeches into the soil instead of forming puddles.

Step 3

Water established trees that are more than two-years-old every two week. Provide 15 to 20 gallons of water slowly to the base of the tree.

Step 4

Irrigate the tree in the winter months during extended periods with no natural precipitation. A single monthly watering is sufficient.

Tips and Warnings

  • Leave a 2-inch space between the mulch and trunk, otherwise pests may nest in the mulch and chew on the trunk of the magnolia. High winds quickly dry out magnolia trees. Additional water may be necessary in windy areas to counteract this problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch


  • Friends of the Urban Forest: Southern Magnolia
  • University of Illinois Extension: Southern Magnolia
Keywords: watering magnolia trees, flwoering tree care, magnolia irrigation

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.