How to Grow a Magnolia Tree From a Seed


Magnolia trees produce fragrant flowers that are large and cream colored. The trees are commonly grown in the temperate areas, includng the southern region of the United States. American species of magnolia trees include M. grandiflora and M. virginiana, and the species M. campbellii can be found in low valleys of the Himalayas. In the South, the magnolia is commonly found in well-drained soil and areas along the banks of rivers and creeks. Magnolia trees can be grown from cuttings and grafting, but they are most commonly and easily grown from seeds.

Step 1

Start the seed. in early March Fill a container that is at least 3 inches deep with a mixture of sand, soil and compost . Use a pot that has drainage holes.

Step 2

Wash the seed in cool running water, making sure to remove any sticky orange skin from the seed. Cover the container and store it in a location that has a temperature of at least 70 degrees. A good location to place the container is on top of a refrigerator.

Step 3

Wait up to six weeks for germination to start. The germination process will continue until up to September, a time during which the seedling can grow up to 12 inches tall. Once the seedling is fully grown you can transfer the seedling to a pot.

Step 4

Pot the seedling into a 1-quart pot after the leaves have fallen off and before new ones sprout. Keep the plant in a location where it will be undisturbed and keep at a temperature of 70 degrees. The seedling will the go into dormancy during the winter. You will not need to water the seedling during its dormant period.

Step 5

Transfer the rootstock outdoors in early spring. Dig a hole that allows the root ball to be at soil level and then cover your plant's roots with the soil. Water the soil immediately and continue watering as the seedling grows whenever the soil is extremely dry.

Things You'll Need

  • 3-inch deep container
  • 1-quart pot
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Compost


  • How to Care for Magnolias
  • Growing Magnolias From Seed
Keywords: grow magnolia tree from seed, plant magnolia seeds, magnolia seed germination

About this Author

Greg Lindberg is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in creative writing. His professional writing experience includes three years of technical writing for an agriculture IT department and a major pharmaceutical company, as well as four years as staff writer for a music and film webzine.