April 3, 2013

forcing magnolia

forcing magnolia blossom

forcing magnolia blossom

When it comes to Nature, I am beginning to feel a little impatient. Our garden is fabulous for Spring blossom: the first to bloom is a large magnolia tree, which is followed by an ornamental cherry and a purple lilac. By the end of last March, the magnolia was coming to the end of its short but glorious season of blossom. Here we are, already in April and its buds show no sign of opening. Having done a little reading up on the subject, I have decided to have a go at bringing some magnolia buds inside and forcing them, in the hope that they will bloom sooner than the tree outside. I was reticent about the title ‘forcing magnolia’; I was aiming for something more along the lines of gentle encouragement. However, as the technique involves bashing the stems with a hammer and then submerging the buds in a lukewarm bath, I have to concede that forcing is probably an appropriate word for it!

Whether or not the branches will respond remains to be seen, but in the meantime, there is a strange beauty in their twisted shapes and soft grey buds.


12 thoughts on “forcing magnolia

  1. katie

    Hi, interesting to know your magnolia is slow too, I pruned mine lots in the autumn, it was taking over the garden beautiful though it is. I had assumed it was my overambitious scalping that had caused it to be bare for this time of year. I look forward to seeing how yours comes on. katie x

  2. jen

    I can’t wait to see how this progresses. The magnolias in our area are just starting to bloom. Such a beautiful time of year!

  3. Ali

    I had a go about a month ago with a branch that got torn off our magnolia by a delivery truck. No joy. I just enjoyed the fuzzy buds and the twig and then chucked it after about 3 weeks of zero action. Hope you have more success!

  4. Leanne

    I’ve never heard of that process to ‘encourage’ magnolias. I hope it works, although they do look lovely with just buds in these photos 🙂


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