Am planning a garden bed along the front of my front yard. It faces Nth East and is very sunny. I love port wine magnolias and am thinking they'd make a good screening plant? Anyone have any bad experiences or knowledge of why they may not suit?
Very interested in your thoughts
Solved! See most helpful response
Welcome to Workshop Sue (@suequarford). We're pleased you could join us and trust that you'll receive lots of helpful advice and inspiration for your projects around the home and garden from our ever-helpful and knowledgeable members. Please feel free to post whenever you need a hand or have a project to share.
Can you please let us know where you are based? I'm sure it will help other members determine whether the plant is appropriate for you and provide more specific advice. And do you know what kind of soil you have?
I know that resident Workshop horticulturalist and D.I.Y. expert @Adam_W wrote a couple of plant guides on magnolias for Bunnings so I'm sure he will be happy to kick off the discussion when he can.
Hey @suequarford & welcome, welcome, welcome!
Port wine magnolias (Michelia or Magnolia figo) are one of my all-time favourite plants.
Use them as shrubs, hedges, large topiary or small feature trees they are just excellent & super hardy.
They'll survive in most positions & conditions but do best in a sunny sort of spot with good soil.
They won't take well to cold conditions though so if you get regular frosts they may not be the ideal choice. Some say not to plant them if temperatures drop below 0˚ but I have had them in gardens that do get light frost & haven't had any issues.
They make an excellent screen or hedge, very dense, but the trick is pruning – tip-prune early and often to keep them nice and bushy.
Although they prefer good sun you'll find they do quite well in part-sun or even lightly shady spots too but will need more pruning to keep them dense.
Great, thanks for the extra detail, Sue. Let me tag another of our expert members in @Noelle in case she has anything to add to Adam's excellent reply.
Completely agree with @Adam_W re his thoughts on your wish for a Port Wine Magnolia hedge. The tip pruning as he suggested is very important to get and keep the plants in check so they bush up rather than head for the sky! Your location should be OK frost-wise being coastal but the trees might need some wind protection (hot and cold) until they're established. Good luck - and keep us posted!
Thanks for sharing your expert advice @Noelle, very much appreciated. I'm sure Sue and other members who read this discussion are very thankful.
You might also have something to add to this post today about improving soil - https://www.workshop.com.au/t5/Garden/Should-I-add-clay-to-a-shale-yard/td-p/26453
Thanks so much @Noelle . Yes, it does get a bit windy down here. Anyway I'll give it a good crack and post some photos once I have some to share.
Thanks all, great advice.
Just checking in to see how you were going with your new front yard garden bed. Have you made any progress yet?
Please let us know if you need a hand with anything. We are looking forward to seeing progress pics if you can share some.
Thanks for the post... Was only just thinking the other day I must post some pictures We've only just finished, but I ended up planting a Port Wine Magnolia at each end with Camelia Sesanquas in between. We have so many beautiful examples of the Sesanquas used for hedging down this way I thought I'd to that but still incorporate some Port Wines. Now I can just sit back and enjoy watering them watching them grow