Unreliable Magnolia Blooms

Q: My parents planted a store-bought magnolia tree ten years ago. It has never bloomed or even shown buds. My Mom is still around and would love to have blooms.

A: Magnolias are famously recalcitrant in blooming. One may do so a few years after planting or it may wait much longer. Nothing you can do will hurry the process. Tell your Mom to enjoy the glossy foliage of her tree but you make sure to clip blooms from a neighbor’s tree and float them in a bowl of water so she can enjoy the smell too.

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