How to Propagate Southern Magnolia From Cuttings


Southern magnolia trees are tall with glossy dark green leaves and large creamy white and fragrant flowers. Southern magnolias grow best in hardiness zones 6 through 10. The tree can be propagated several different ways including from cuttings. Softwood cuttings taken from the previous year's growth are relatively easy to start

Step 1

In the spring or early summer, remove a new branch no larger than the diameter of a pencil with healthy leaves. Ensure that the branch is kept clean and moist by wrapping it in a damp paper towel until you're ready to plant.

Step 2

Cut the branch into sections around 3 to 5 inches long. Be sure each cutting has at least three pairs of leaves.

Step 3

Remove the bottom pair of leaves and any flower buds with a sharp knife. If the leaves are too large to allow cuttings to be spaced closely, remove a third of each leaf.

Step 4

Dust the cut end to be planted with rooting compound. Tap the cutting to remove any excess.

Step 5

Fill a planting flat with a rooting medium of equal amounts of potting soil and coarse sand and water to dampen the mixture.

Step 6

Insert half of each cutting into the moist rooting medium. Tent the cuttings with a large, clear plastic bag. Place them in a warm, sunny area, watering regularly.

Step 7

Watch for signs of growth. As the cuttings begin to sprout leaves, remove the plastic bag.

Step 8

Once the cuttings are well rooted, transplant them to individual one gallon containers filled with potting soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting compound
  • Potting soil
  • Coarse sand
  • Planting flats
  • Large clear plastic bag
  • 1 gallon containers


  • Propagation of Woody Ornamentals by Cuttings
Keywords: southern magnolia cuttings, propagating southern magnolia, start magnolia cuttings

About this Author

Located in Jacksonville, Fla, Frank Whittemore has been a writer and content strategist for over 15 years, providing corporate communications services to Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics that stem from his fascination with nature, the environment, science, medicine and technology.