How to Start a Magnolia From Cuttings


A native to places around the globe, magnolia trees are one of the most spectacular. Grouped in a large genus of over 210 species, magnolia trees can be deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen plants, making it possible for them to successfully grow in many locations. Their waxy foliage draws attention to their colorful blooms that range in size from 3-12 inches in diameter. Taking cuttings from a magnolia tree to spread its beauty around your yard can be a challenging but rewarding task.

Step 1

Use pruning shears to remove semi-soft shoots during the summer season. The cuttings should be approximately 4 to 6 inches in length. Take cuttings from young magnolia plants for best results.

Step 2

Fill medium-sized pot(s) with a potting composition such as vermiculite. Use a pencil to create small holes into the vermiculite. The holes should be large enough to insert the cuttings easily. You can purchase vermiculite at your local garden specialty store.

Step 3

Dip the end of the cutting into a hormone rooting gel, which will provide proper nutrients for the clipping, allowing it to root easily. You can purchase hormone rooting gel at your local garden specialty store.

Step 4

Insert the cuttings that have been dipped into the hormone rooting gel into the holes in the vermiculite.

Step 5

Cover the pot(s) that contain the planted cuttings with a plastic shopping bag or place the pots in a greenhouse. The cuttings will need a warm, dry climate to root properly. The clippings should take root in 8 to 12 weeks, but can take much longer.

Step 6

Plant the clippings, once rooted, in a nursery bed or a large pot in a greenhouse until the following spring. Then plant the small magnolia trees into your lawn or garden in an area that receives full sun and plenty of moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Hormone rooting gel
  • Medium-sized planting pot(s)
  • Rooting medium
  • Pencil
  • Plastic shopping bags


  • The Flower Expert: Magnolia Trees
  • The University of Florida: Magnolias
  • Home Harvest: Rooting Hormone Gel
Keywords: Rooting Magnolias, Magnolia Tree Rooting, Propagating Magnolias

About this Author

Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on sites such as eHow.