Plants: Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra Select' - purple lily magnolia

Posted by 21.02. 2008 08:51:38 (23128 readers)

Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra Select' - purple lily magnolia

This lily magnolia is a special selection from Italy, found by Mr.Giovanni and Mr.Rolando Tesi in their nursery in late 1980´s. It has deep burgundy petals on the outside with light to rich purple red inside. It belongs to the darkest purple magnolias in the market. The cup shaped flowers are borne erect on the stems and appear late in April, rather in May, and continue blooming for as many as 4 weeks even when the shrub is in leaf. This selection opens its flowers fully more reliably compared to original Nigra variety.

It is a hardy variety of spring magnolia with an excellent advantage: its flowers open latest of all magnolias thus avoiding late frosts that may damage flower petals or entire buds. It forms a dense shrub, growing about 2-3m high and 2m wide, in a narrowly pyramidal shape.

Magnolias are not supposed to be pruned. You can prune old shrubs if ill, or trim them to shape or to reduce size, or make an elementary cut to young plants of unsightly or unhealthy appearance. Do this as soon as possible after flowering to secure setting of flower buds for the following year. Be aware that each magnolia can respond differently to pruning.

Deciduous magnolias are quite easy plants. All they need is light, well-drained, acidic soil with equal moisture throughout the year. Once established they can do with occasional drought but will not look as nice as the ones with regular watering. Just pay attention to how to plant your magnolia. First, find it a spot where it will live forever and ever. It does not like transplanting. And as it makes shallow roots reaching well over its spread stay away from disturbing the roots by digging or messing about around it. Just cover the soil with bark mulch and do not plant anything else near it after say the second year after planting onwards. You could damage the very important top roots that absorb maximum moisture and nutrients from the soil. Also avoid planting magnolia too deep. Thus you could be digging its grave. It is fully hardy to -29°C (USDA zone 5), just make sure it is not in a too exposed windy area.
Milan Havlis, Specializované zahradnictví
Chlumec 23, 382 32 Velešín, Czech republic
www.havlis.cz
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