Japanese Magnolia – Propagate

Q: I would like to try to propagate cuttings from a Japanese magnolia from my Grandmother’s yard in Thomasville, GA. The tree must be over 60 years old and has pink flowers.

Could you please give me any advice other than general propagating instructions? I will only have one try at this.

A: Japanese magnolia is pretty easy to propagate. In January or February, take several 12″ cuttings from the tips of various branches in the interior of the plant. Try not to get cuttings with a fuzzy swollen tip bud; these are flower buds and will inhibit rooting.

Bury each cutting horizontally in the ground, just an inch deep, with the tip bud sticking out of the ground in the air.

When leaves begin to appear in May, you know rooting has occurred. I’d wait until October to transplant the rooted cutting .