How to Care for a Jane Magnolia Tree
The small tree or large shrub Magnolia “Jane” is a hybrid magnolia. It is a cross between star magnolia and the M. liliiflora. Jane is from a series of hybrids known as the “Eight Little Girls." Jane has flowers that are red-purple on the outside and white on the inside. It is a rounded large shrub or small tree that will grow to an average height of 15 feet. This plant is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4b through 9.
Water the tree to keep the soil evenly moist during its first year. Jane is drought tolerant once established, but will perform better if watered through hot, dry or windy weather.
Place a 2-inch layer of compost on the soil over the root ball in late winter or early spring. Water after laying the compost and it will start to leach into the soil. Each watering will give more nutrients to the soil through the compost.
Apply an acid type fertilizer in the fall before the tree sets its buds. Magnolias prefer a slightly acid soil but are adaptive to many soils. The trees will respond well to annual or bi-annual fertilization, spring and fall. Follow manufacturer’s suggestions on how much to use per application per size and age of the tree.
Spread a 3-inch layer of pine needles or leaf mulch in a 6-foot diameter under the tree. Increase the diameter as the tree grows. The mulch will help to retain moisture and keep weeds from growing around the tree.
Prune the tree to shape if you like although it is not necessary. Prune right after flowers die off as buds set on these trees early. Pruning in late summer or early spring will cut off most of the flower buds.
A late winter hard freeze or early spring frost can kill the buds on these trees.