(What I Use) Best Fertilizers for Magnolia Trees & Grower Guide – 2022 (Reviews)

The Magnolia, a disease-resistant, rich in nutrients, an ancient plant, that belongs to the family of Magnoliaceae. The species of magnolia vary in color, size, and shape. Magnolia blooms in April and keeps on blooming till June. Seeds that are planted in the late winters and early spring nourish well.

Your magnolia tree will eventually require fertilizer to replace its nutrition. When it comes to magnolia tree fertilizers, there are a lot of options, which might make it difficult to choose the right one for your plant. Because magnolia roots are readily injured, careful fertilizing is required.

The most commonly used fertilizer for a magnolia tree is one with an NPK of 12-4-8 or 20-5-10.

So, I have decided to help you choose the best fertilizer for your magnolia tree and give out a few instructions on how to use them.

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Magnolia grows well in moist and slightly acidic soil.

They have big waxy leaves and their summer blooms are also thick and creamy. Some species bloom in late winters while others bloom in summer.

It is recommended to look for places that are less exposed as strong winds can damage flowers and branches.

They are less tolerant of salt spray and winter cold. Because of their enchanting beauty and pleasing fragrance they are now being naturalized around the globe.

Fertilizing Magnolia

Carefully planted magnolia can be stimulated with light fertilizers. Fertilization is generally done after two or three weeks when the soil drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. A slow-release fertilizer works well for nourishing magnolia as it supplies all necessary nutrients throughout the growing season.

If your Magnolia tree looks healthy and is blooming well please avoid fertilizing it. Baby magnolia should also not be fertilized.

The majority of magnolia tree kinds thrive when they are fertilized with plenty of nitrogen, and therefore they must be fertilized.

The most crucial fertilizer to offer for magnolia trees is nitrogen.

Choose a slow-release fertilizer that is either all nitrogen or has around three times the amount of nitrogen as phosphorus. On product labels, the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are listed. 12-4-8 fertilizer has 12 percent nitrogen, 4 percent phosphorous, and 8 percent potassium.

The amount of fertilizer provided depends on how much nitrogen is needed. For a magnolia tree, a basic rule of thumb is to apply 1/10 pound of nitrogen per inch of trunk diameter.

All-purpose fertilizers, on the other hand, can benefit magnolia plants as well.

What a buyer should look in a fertilizer

Nitrogen is considered the best and most forgiving fertilizer for tree growth.

A fertilizer containing three parts of nitrogen and one part of phosphorus or a fertilizer containing only slow-release nitrogen will do the job for you.

2-4-8(12% nitrogen, 4%phosphorus, 8 percent potassium)or 20-5-10(20%nitrogen, 5%phosphorus, 10%potassium) is ideal for magnolia trees. 


Here is the list of Best Fertilizers available for Magnolia in the Market.

1. TreeHelp Annual Care kit For Magnolia (Slow-release fertilizer for magnolia) 

The TreeHelp all-in-one complete care kit is specially designed to give you a complete and excellent solution.

The four components, biostimulant, mycorrhizal treatment, premium fertilizer, and biostimulant, are kept together to bring your plant to life.

It is proportioned to treat two or three baby plants or one fully grown magnolia tree.

This complete solution can be used anytime during the year however it is recommended by the makers to avoid using it in winters and late fall.

Mycorrhizal treatment is specifically designed for roots as it is said that only a healthy foundation can make a building stand tall and strong.

Mycorrhizal fungi go into roots and create excellent conditions for roots to grow.

The high amount of potassium, phosphorus, and slow-release nitrogen helps in producing larger and bountiful flowers.

The water-soluble biostimulant gives your plant an overall health boost. It can be used for other trees and shrubs too.

This highly recommended blend of micro and macronutrients comes with complete and detailed instruction and the TreeHelp replies to your queries in 24 hours. 

  • Promote root development and disease resistantnEasy application according to recommendations
  • Excess use can burn plantsnApply recommended amount

2. Osmocote Fertilizer 19-6-12, Slow Release

The two main slow-release nitrogen and phosphorus parts of this 19-6-12 osmocote fertilizer put it on my list of best fertilizers for magnolia trees.

This safe-to-use fertilizer releases all essential nutrients at the right time so the magnolia plant can grow stronger.

It is a slow-release fertilizer but its release time depends heavily on media temperature.

At 60 degrees its release time is four to five months at 70 degrees its time is three to four months at 80 degrees its release time is two to three months and at 90 degrees its release time is one to two months.

One good reason to go for this fertilizer is it is readily available in the market. It increases shoots and promotes root development.

Application rate:

For ground plants

 2 to 9 pounds per cubic yard is sufficient. 

For containers pots

1 gallon of container(3-14 grams) 

2 gallons of containers(6-29 grams) 

3-gallon containers( 11-18 grams) 

5-gallon containers(18-82 grams)

7-gallon containers(26-117 grams) 


1-2Ibs per one hundred sq. Ft

The company suggests following instructions as improper application is harmful to the environment.

  • Nutrients are encapsulated within multiple layers of polymeric resin.nEasy Application method
  • Available in large quantitynBit higher to afford

3. The Anderson PGF Complete fertilizer

Why is this general plant and grass fertilizer on my recommended fertilizers list for magnolia trees?? Well because of its handy design.

 All the necessary ingredients come enclosed in one bag.

This easy to go with fertilizer can fill up the needs of the magnolia tree. Slow-release nitrogen keeps feeding the roots for up to 8 weeks.

Humic and fulvic acid create a better environment for roots to grow. This product is a result of a year’s hard work.

It is tried and tested on plants by doctors before it is made available for sale in the market.

This cheap general fertilizer is not designed for magnolia trees actually it is designed and manufactured to improve soil conditions and the overall health of various plants.

The company claims that is it promotes flowering and builds stronger roots. Having all the needed nutrients in one bag makes it easier to store and apply. Its weight is 40.2 pounds.

Excessive use should be avoided as it can damage your soil and plant but it can also not be considered as a drawback because excessive use of anything is bad. 

4. Southern Ag Chelated Liquid Iron, 16 OZ

As its name suggests, it is formulated to fulfill iron deficiency in magnolia and other plants.

 It prevents yellow leaves and premature leaf drops.

It ensures a balanced iron supply to all needed parts of the plant.

Correct use may bring resistance against disease and droughts in your magnolia and other trees.

It promotes a rich deep green color. It aids in increasing stalk strength and promotes rapid growth.

Following proper instruction may bring dramatic change within a week. 

  • Application: Mix with water and use it as drenching spray. 
  • Comes with detailed instructions. 
  • Size:16OZ
  • Rated as best Iron Fertilizer and Amazon’s choicenQuick action and multi purpose
  • Available in liquid form so handle with care

5. Natural Liquid Fertilizer 16-4-8 NPK Gallon

Easier application and being organic in nature puts it on the list of one of the best natural fertilizers available in the market.

 It comes in liquid form and folia is used for its application. Studies have shown that liquid fertilizers give instant results.

One good component which is not found in any of the above-mentioned fertilizers is its salt index feature.

This advanced feature ensures less tissue burning as your plants will be less exposed.

It contains B-1, Gibberellins, Auxins, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Cobalt, Manganese, Molybdenum, Sulfur, and B-12. Besides magnolia, it works well for house plants, vegetables, shrubs, trees, and lawns.

The company claims that it is pet friendly. Excessive use should be avoided as it may result in tissue burning. 

For best results water your plants after 6 to 8 hours

Item weight:10 pounds per pack

  • Promotes root growthnEnvironment and Pets friendlynQuick action
  • Overuse can cause burning

6. Fertilome Tree And Shrub Food(best fertilizer for magnolia grandiflora)

This tree and shrub food is recommended by most gardeners. It was made available in the market after being tested practically.

 It is excellent for increased disease resistance, chlorophyll formation in trees and shrubs.

This fertilizer aids in moving balanced food to the feeder roots. Its scientific formulation eliminates the need for digging holes.

Equally beneficial for nut trees, shade trees, citrus, tropical, evergreen, and flowering trees. It works well as most reviews suggest but it is a little pricey. 


For shrubs

½ cup per sq. Yard of soil area. 

For trees

20Ibs can feed up to ten 4″ diameter trees. 

Chart available for detailed information. 

7. Scotts evergreen, flowering tree and shrubs( Best for magnolia  hydrangea and evergreens) 

Scotts fertilizer is an Amazon choice for magnolia, hydrangeas, evergreens, dogwood, and other acid-friendly trees and shrubs.

It is a hundred percent safe and can be applied directly to the soil. This fertilizer works equally well on container pots, planters, bed areas, and plants in pots.

 It is not only highly recommended for all types of flowers but it is also safe for vegetables like tomatoes and peppers.

The careful application improves soil condition and promotes root growth. 

Application rate

1 cup is sufficient to cover 35 square feet. Apply evenly on soil. Water your plant thoroughly as it is water-soluble. Apply every 2 months during peak season.

For best results and beautiful flower blooms, keep feeding your plants every one or two weeks. 

Item weight: 3 pounds per packet.

8. Jobe’s organic tree, shrub and evergreen fertilizer spikes with biozone

This environment-friendly fertilizer is also on my list because of its excellent blend of nutrients and microorganisms i.e mycorrhizal fungi, archaea, and healthy bacteria.

As per recent research, these microorganisms clean the soil thoroughly and aid in bringing the soil back to a healthier state This excellent combination promotes root growth, nutrient absorption and generates resistance in plants against diseases.

Because it is organic it is one hundred and ten percent safe around kids and pets. This in-ground feeding system brings long-term benefits to trees/plants and specifically magnolia trees.


Take your first step towards fertilizing by watering the plant thoroughly. Drive the spikes into the soil, distancing it 30 inches from the trunk, using a hammer and plastic driving cap. Distribute the spikes evenly around the roots. Your job is done. 

Available sizes

8 spikes per pack and 6 spikes per pack.

General guideline for magnolia fertilization

General guideline for magnolia fertilization

It is generally said that a fully grown magnolia tree needs  1/10 pound of slow-release nitrogen for every inch of trunk diameter. 

How to Fertilize Magnolia Trees?

Magnolias are good plants for landscaping since they are very easy to cultivate and do not attract a lot of pests. Large green foliage and lovely blooms are produced by the trees. While fertilization is not required for the growth of a magnolia tree, it will help it thrive if it is done properly.

It’s best to fertilize your magnolia tree in the spring if it’s already established. You may use 3-8 ounces of fertilizer per diameter of your tree’s trunk with most fertilizers. However, it’s preferable to err on the side of caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make careful to apply the fertilizer to the full area of the tree when doing so.

Because magnolia tree roots prefer not to be disturbed, apply the fertilizer during a watering session or, if using spikes, put them on top of the soil and then water over them. It’s preferable not to work the fertilizer into the soil with your hands.

Always give the plant a gentle watering after fertilizing it. Remember that when the leaves begin to emerge in the spring, magnolia plants may require additional nitrogen.

If you want to fertilize your magnolia tree in the fall, you’ll need a greater potassium content than nitrogen. The potassium will assist the tree in performing routine maintenance and regular development tasks throughout its dormant seasons.

You may also utilize natural sources like kelp meal, granite dust, and wood ashes if you run out of fertilizer. If your magnolia tree’s foliage is in good shape and the tree bloomed profusely in the spring, you may not need to fertilize at all during the fall season.

However, if the new leaves are thinner or have a yellowish hue than prior seasons, your tree may be suffering from an iron deficit. In this scenario, using a fertilizer with a wide range of vitamins and minerals will assist to correct the deficit.

When Should You Fertilize Magnolia Trees?

After all of the deciduous leaves have fallen, the optimum time to fertilize trees is in the late fall. Fertilize evergreen types three to four weeks before the soil temperature is projected to dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Roots will continue to develop in the chilly ground until this time, storing nutrients for use in the spring. Fertilizer can also be applied in the spring before the start of new growth.

If your magnolia tree is in a pot, make sure to feed it regularly throughout the growing season.

Deep feeding magnolia

Fertilization of little magnolia plants is very simple as the roots of magnolia are very close to the surface so even distribution of fertilizer is all you need to do to deepen your little magnolia.

Mature magnolia tree roots go up to four times the diameter of branches. To feed these roots well you’ll have to dig small holes(4 to 6 inches deep) around the tree in an even pattern.

The number of total holes can go up to 5 holes per inch of trunk diameter. Then fertilize the holes evenly.

Things to keep in mind while fertilizing Magnolia 

  • Avoid over fertilization as it can damage your tree. 
  • Magnolia trees should only be fertilized if the growth is weak
  • Magnolia tree sheds its leaves every day so it’s healthy and it should not be taken as a sign that magnolia needs fertilization. 

Common types of Magnolia Trees

There are more than 80 types of magnolia trees in the world but some common types of magnolia trees are listed below 

  1. Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) 
what does a Southern Magnolia look like?

2.Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana) 

Saucer Magnolia

3. Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) 

Star Magnolia

4. Loebner Magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri) 

Loebner Magnolia

5. Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) 

what does a Sweetbay Magnolia look like?

6. Cucumber Tree (Magnolia acuminate) 

what does a Cucumber Tree (Magnolia acuminata)  look like?

7. Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) 

what does a Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla)  look like?

8. Kobus Magnolia (Magnolia kobus) 

what does a Kobus Magnolia (Magnolia kobus)  look like?

9. Lily Magnolia ( Magnolia liliflora) 

what does a Lily Magnolia ( Magnolia liliflora)   look like?

10. Umberlla Magnolia (M. tripetala) 

what does a Umberlla Magnolia (M. tripetala)  look like?

Why should you have magnolia tree in your garden

  • Because most fully grown magnolia requires less care they can tolerate hot summers and moderate droughts. 
  • They are naturally resistant to pests. 
  • If a magnolia tree is given right growing conditions it can live upto 100 years. 
  • They give a very eye-catching sight in spring. 
  • Because magnolias are versatile and disease resistant. 
  • They are easier to care for. 
  • They are not fragile and they have large blooms. 
  • Because they are loved by migrating birds. 

Health benefits relating to magnolia 

Magnolia trees are favorite for some medical reasons as magnolia barks and flower buds are used to make medicines.

Magnolia is also used to treat depression, anxiety, stress, inflammation, headaches, fever, constipation. It can help you in losing weight. Its flower buds can be used to treat issues like runny nose, cold, sinus pain, and stuffy nose. It eases tooth pain.

When should you plant magnolia 

According to the united states national arboretum:

Evergreen magnolia 

Early spring

Deciduous magnolia

If you live in North  – Spring

If you live in the south  -Fall

What Zones Do Magnolia Trees Grow Best?

Star magnolia, a Japanese native, may be cultivated as a shrub or small tree in USDA zones 4 to 9, where it looks best in a site with early sunshine and partial afternoon shade.

The southern magnolia is a large, upright tree that can reach 80 feet tall and spread 50 feet. Cup-shaped white flowers with a strong fragrance. The tree grows well in USDA zones 7 to 9, and it can tolerate both partial and full light. Despite being evergreen, leaf drop is possible at the colder end of its range. Strong gusts can destroy the glossy 4-inch leaves of the southern magnolia, so they should be planted in a protected area.

Saucer magnolia is a low-growing tree that grows to be no more than 25 feet tall and thrives in USDA zones 5 to 9, where it will put on the most abundant floral display in a bright, full-sun setting. The flowers might be lavender, pink, or white with a rose tint. Saucer magnolias, like other magnolias, require damp, acidic soil that has been supplemented with organic matter and blanketed with a thick layer of mulch.

Sweetbay magnolia, a white-flowered, lemon-scented tree that blooms in early summer, and “Little Gem,” a compact miniature Southern magnolia cultivar with beautiful little leaves, are among the other kinds. USDA zones 7 to 9 are suitable for both trees.

Best Growing Conditions for Magnolia Trees

Magnolias like mildly acidic soils with a pH of 5.0 to 6.0, and no fertilizer will aid them if their mineral absorption is hampered by a higher pH. Spread 2 pounds of sulfur evenly over every 100 square feet of soil in the autumn or early winter, then till it is 6 inches to 1 foot deep.

Work 1/2 pound of sulfur into the top 1 inch of soil around an existing magnolia for every 100 square feet to acidify the soil. Repeat the pH test every four to six weeks.

Most magnolias thrive in wet, well-drained, slightly acid soils, although they may also thrive in neutral to slightly alkaline soils. Magnolias may thrive on clay, loam, or sandy soils, but they do not do well in damp or poorly drained conditions. Drought tolerance can be modest in well-established plants.


Magnolias have a high nutritional need. When fertilizing based on demands, the different phases of the plant’s development must be taken into account as usual.

A proper fertilizer is required for the magnolia to produce its lovely blossoms.

We hope that this article has given you a few fertilizer options to think about for your magnolia tree. For gorgeous blossoms, fertilize your magnolia plant at least once a year!


Are coffee grounds good for Magnolia trees?

It is best for acid-loving plants. If your soil is alkaline. You can apply coffee grounds but prevent fresh coffee grounds.

What should I feed my Magnolia Tree?

Magnolia trees should be fed with an optimum level of fertilizer. The best fertilizer should contain all ingredients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and potassium with minerals.

Are Eggshells Good for Magnolia Trees

Eggshells are beneficial for the garden, but remember to wash and smash them first before putting them in the beds. Eggshells are abundant in calcium, a vitamin needed by plants for good cell development, and would hopefully benefit your magnolia plant too!

Are Banana Peels Good for Magnolia Trees

Because banana peels contain potassium, they are beneficial to plants. Potassium is beneficial to plants that are grown for their fruiting and blooming rather than their foliage. Therefore adding banana peels would encourage your magnolia tree to blossom!


1 thought on “(What I Use) Best Fertilizers for Magnolia Trees & Grower Guide – 2022 (Reviews)”

  1. Great article but I have a question. I have two large, 60 plus year old magnolias and we had subzero temps for about 4 days straight. It’s blooming well right now but they look pathetic. The leaves don’t have a healthy green color. It’s June 5, NW Arkansas. Is it too late to fertilize now?


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