Magnolia is a real asset in the garden and beautifies it every spring with its magnificent bloom. Some varieties bloom only from March and are therefore considered harbingers of spring. The early bloom is beautiful, but the danger of late frosts can quickly make us anxious about it. But is there anything you can do to protect magnolia from frost? Below we explain what you can do to avoid damage to magnolia flowers and buds from late frosts.
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Late frost expected: what now?
For a few weeks we were pleased with the beautiful spring weather, but soon we can expect snow and frosts again. The sudden change in weather and the return of winter can not only spoil our mood, but also cause great damage to the garden. Plants that are not hardy can suffer significant frost damage, which can even cause the plant to dry out. Trees and plants where flowering has already begun can also suffer from late frost.
As an early bloomer, magnolia is especially vulnerable, and there are things you need to do if you still want to save the flowers and buds.
Here’s how you can protect magnolia from frost
The measures you should take depend largely on the extent to which the magnolia flower is already developed. For example, if the buds are still closed, you can try to delay the budding of flowers. To do this, you can apply a layer of mulch. Another option would be to protect the plant from frost with fleece or blankets.
Mulch the root zone
Mulch is a good way to protect the plants in the garden and on the terrace from frost . The sooner you mulch the root zone, the better the plants will be protected. Magnolias are shallow rooted and can benefit from a layer of mulch. To do this, apply the organic material in a thick layer around the roots to protect them from ground frost.
Cover small-crowned trees with fleece
Garden fleece is an excellent material that can serve the amateur gardener well in any season. Fleece provides good protection against frost and can save magnolia blooms, even if buds are formed. Always have a fleece sheet or other fleece covering ready to spread over the sapling before the frost is announced.
Protect magnolias in the tub from late frost
Magnolias are also popular as container plants and should also be protected from late frost. Here, a combination of both of the above methods is recommended: Apply a layer of mulch around the roots of the plant and also get a suitable fleece covering for the crown. You can further protect the container by wrapping it with a protective material (such as straw or Styrofoam) and then wrap it with bubble wrap. This in combination with the mulch will provide good protection for the roots.
No fleece available? Protect the magnolia from frost with blankets
If you don’t have any fleece available right now, you can protect the already formed flowers and buds of your magnolia tree by covering the tree with some blankets. Be sure to do this the evening before the predicted frost, as temperatures are usually lowest in the early morning hours.
How bad is frost damage to the magnolia tree?
Even one frosty night is enough to make magnolia flowers and buds look like real blocks of ice. However, what happens to the magnolia when it gets frost? The typical frost damage both the leaves and the buds or flowers – they turn brown and fall off.
Not all magnolias are at risk from a late frost. A large, old tree can survive an unexpected frost just fine. However, young saplings can suffer a lot from a late frost and should definitely be protected from it. Variety also plays a role. Tulip mangnolias, for example, are among the species that are particularly vulnerable to a late frost. Varieties such as star magnolias, on the other hand, can typically tolerate some frost without throwing petals and buds.