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What is the Best Fertilizer for Magnolia Trees

One of the most elegant and showy ornamental trees is the Magnolia tree. Magnolia is a remarkably diverse genus of plants with various species suitable for cold and warm climates. They grow in shrub form, some as deciduous trees, which means they shed their leaves while others as evergreen trees, and this is largely dependent on where they are growing. There are more than 100 species of magnolia with distinct features.

Some of the common magnolia species include Anise Magnolia, Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla), Lily Magnolia, Kobus Magnolia, Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana), Star Magnolia (magnolia stellate), Sweet bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), and Umbrella Magnolia. Most of these magnolia tree varieties have their primary growth center in East and Southeast Asia, Central America, eastern North America, and some Southern America.They are one of the most beloved trees known for their beautiful, graceful, and fragrant flowers, and each species seems to usher in the spring.

Your magnolia will need fertilizers to replenish its nutrients, prepare for a change in weather, or fight pest Infestation. Careful fertilization is needed because magnolia roots are easily damaged. However, there are lots of fertilizers available, making it difficult to choose a perfect one. The best fertilizers for magnolia trees should contain a permanent blend of primary nutrients and essential trace elements. Below are top bloom-boosting, strengthening, and organic fertilizers for magnolia trees in no particular order.

TreeHelp Annual Care Kit for Magnolia  

The TreeHelp Annual Care Kit is the best fertilizer for magnolia trees. The complete package contains a bag of Premium Fertilizer, Biostimulant, and Mycorrhizal Fungi Treatment. The care kit provides supplements that are important, specific, and appropriate. Also, it promotes long-term vitality to all types of magnolia and can treat one large tree and 2-3 small trees or little gem magnolias.

Bio-Advanced 12 Months Tree and Shrub, Protect and Feed

This protects your magnolia plant from insect infestation. It is a slow-release fertilizer that provides 12 months of nutrients and protection; one treatment can last up to 12 months. It requires no spraying, and just measure, mix and pour at the tree root. Fertilizer analysis is 2-1-1, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. If your magnolia tree looks sick and dying due to insect damage, Bio-Advanced Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed Fertilizer will help you with the recovery efforts.

Espoma Organic Holly Tone Fertilizer

The Espoma Organic Holly Tone Fertilizer is an organic fertilizer for such acid-loving plants (acid soils work well) like magnolia. It contains 5% sulfur which helps lower soil pH to an acidic soil level. The fertilizer contains a blend of beneficial microorganisms (high in organic matter) that helps promote agile health conditions and aid nutrient absorption for more blooms and bright colors. It also helps to fertilize your plant twice a year, in early spring and late fall. To use your Espoma Fertilizer, you must sprinkle it evenly where your magnolia plant is and add enough water.

Monterey Dr. Iron Soil Acidifier Granules

With 22% iron and 55% sulfur in a stable sulfate form, the sulfur ensures the pH of the soil is lowered to a level suitable for growing and maintaining the health of your magnolia tree. Dr. Iron fertilizer with additional iron properties ensures your magnolia is free from iron deficiency and produces healthy dark green leaves. It is OMRI listed and approved for organic gardening and the best results.

Bayer Advanced Rose and Flower Care

The fertilizer is a 3 in 1 product that acts as disease control, fertilizer, and insect control. It is still one of the best fertilizers for magnolia. It works for up to 6 weeks and has a 6-9-6 NPK ratio.

Tree Secret Tree Fertilizer 64oz

This is one of the best liquid fertilizers, and it contains 60 natural ingredients fermented using beneficial microorganisms. Spraying the roots of your magnolia shrubs helps create bio-available nutrients that are absorbable through the root system. Quality backpack sprayers aid the application of this all-natural tree fertilizer which also helps an ailing magnolia tree recovery. If you are puzzled about what to look for when purchasing a backpack sprayer, check here for quality backpack sprayers.

Southern AG 10-10-10 All Purpose Granular Fertilizer

The Southern AG Fertilizer is a multi-purpose fertilizer and can be used on your magnolia plants. It has a 10-10-10 NPK ratio suitable for the growth and health of a magnolia tree. This 5-pound bag of fertilizer contains additional magnesium to help promote growth in depleted sandy soils. All you need to do upon application is to broadcast evenly over the area and water in.

VPG Inc. Tree and Shrubs Food

This liquid fertilizer has a 19-8-10 ratio of NPK, meaning it contains an extra amount of nitrogen, promoting the development of healthy and fresh leaves for your magnolia, especially in the growing season. It’s a very economical fertilizer that comes in a 20-pound bag such that if you have multiple trees or shrubs to fertilize, you can feed up to ten 4-inch diameter magnolia trees. It is suitable for evergreen magnolia, like the southern magnolia and the sweet bay magnolia.

Jobe’s Tree and Shrub Fertilizer Spikes

These premeasured fertilizer spikes provide continuous nutrients below the surface of your magnolia tree, where the active roots are growing. They are best-release fertilizer spikes for magnolia trees that last for 60 days in the soil to fully produce nutrients. Jobe Tree and Shrub Fertilizer Spikes are also good for sandy soils, which quickly become depleted of nutrients.

Down to Earth All Natural Tree and Shrub Fertilizers

This is a special blend made specifically for hardwood trees. The Down to Earth All Natural 4-2-4 fertilizer is excellent for magnolia trees that are already growing in acidic soils. It doesn’t contain any ingredient that can further lower the pH of your soil, and it protects the survival of your deciduous magnolias like the Bigleaf magnolia from environmental extremes that can even negatively impact a young plant’s growth potential. It contains ingredients like Greensand, AZOMITE, Humates, and Mycorrhizal Fungi.

Earth Total Advantage Rose and Flower Fertilizer

This is an organic or granular fertilizer made from human and feed-grade ingredients such as multi-minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates. It is suitable for magnolia and other flowering plants for abundant and larger blooms, and it has an NPK ratio of 4-6-2.

Miracle-Gro Shake’ n Feed Rose and Bloom

This product comes premeasured, and it is made up of natural ingredients that aid smooth and colorful blossom for your magnolia.

Osmocote Smart-Release Flower Food

This is one of the most popular fertilizer brands for magnolia. It is suitable for magnolias indoors, outdoors, and in gardening containers. With this, you can’t go wrong! All you need to do is apply every six months.

EZ-Gro Flower Food

This is a super product with a 10-30-20 NPK ratio. It instantly feeds your magnolia and increases magnolia buds and supply abundant micronutrients for your indoor and other magnolia plants planted anywhere in your garden.

Jack’s Classic Blossom Booster

With an NPK ratio of 10-30-20, the Jack’s Classic Blossom Booster is another great fertilizer for supplying your magnolia with optimal nutrition. It is perfect for preventing burning, making it great for strong roots and green foliage.

Espoma Rose Plant Food

It’s a natural and organic granular fertilizer that contains all essential nutrients needed for your magnolia to bloom and grow way bigger. It has a 4-3-2 NPK ratio.

Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster Flower Food

This fertilizer can be used in large areas and applied to your magnolia from time to time without damage. It has an 18-18-21 NPK ratio, creating better and more colorful blooms.

These are the top fertilizers we have selected to be suitable for your magnolia (trees and shrubs), either evergreen or deciduous magnolias. With these fertilizers, it is then important for you to know when exactly to fertilize your plant, which will be the right time they need nutrients for growth and survival.

When to Fertilize Magnolias

Magnolia trees benefit from yearly fertilizers. You can do this in the fall after magnolia blooms, petals begin to fall, the leaves have dropped, or in early spring before new magnolia buds form.

What Nutrients does Magnolia Need?

Magnolia needs three main nutrients to grow and bloom excellently. These nutrients include:

  • Nitrogen (N): This helps with root and stem growth and aids a strong base for plants
  • Phosphorus (P): It helps the root absorb nutrients better
  • Potassium (K): It helps the color of magnolias and protects them from diseases.

Other nutrients include:

  • Sulfur: This provides protein needed for an agile and healthy life.
  • Magnesium: Helps better sunlight process in plant
  • Iron: This helps the magnolia have a strong base
  • Manganese: Helps growth and sunlight process

What is an NPK Ratio?

NPK stands for the ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Importantly, magnolias need 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

How to Fertilize Magnolia Trees

There are two basic methods to go about this.

  • Apply fertilizer to the soil’s surface: This is an “all-safe and simple method.” Sprinkle a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 or any of the top products listed above over the soil and water it in. Avoid spraying too much to avoid the fertilizer running off.
  • Apply via Drill or Dug holes: Dig evenly spaced holes around the tree (depending on the size of your tree and how deep the root is), fill the holes with fertilizer (each hole will need at least 2 pounds of fertilizer each), top the holes off with soil and water it in firmly. This method is common with granule fertilizers.

Your magnolia tree should do well under these two methods. If you notice any shed or the leaves are getting smaller, the tree may need more fertilizer application. “You can either give it an additional application via the above methods, supplement with tree spikes designed for acid-loving trees or use a water-soluble fertilizer during the summer.” Use liquid fertilizers for small magnolias.

How Do I know If My Magnolia Needs Fertilizer?

– Dull foliage, weak flower buds, and falling leaves mean your magnolia needs phosphorus

– Small pale flowers, no new growth, and yellow leaves mean your magnolia needs nitrogen

– Brown leaves, yellow edge on leaves, and poor buds mean your magnolia needs potassium.

Alternatives to Magnolia Fertilizers 

Don’t want to use commercial flower fertilizers? There are alternatives you can use that will help your plant and the soil around it. If you’re going to go this route, we recommend you check that you have the correct amount of fertilizer.

  • Epsom Salts: Magnolia is a heavy user of magnesium. If the soil is low in magnesium, you can use Epsom salt to increase the green color of your plant. It can be mixed at the rate of one teaspoon- to a gallon of water and sprinkled over the ground’s surface as if you are watering your plant.
  • Alfalfa Meal: This also qualifies as a complete fertilizer as it supplies nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth in the NPK ratio.
  • Kelp Meal: the kelp fertilizer is valued for its micronutrients and macro-nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, and you can use it to add more nutrients to your magnolia.

Types of Fertilizers

  • Liquid Fertilizer 

This type of fertilizer needs to be diluted before application. A hose can apply it, backpack sprayer or watering can will absorb it quickly.

  • Granular Fertilizer 

This is a dry fertilizer, and it can either be slow-release or quick release. By slow-release, nutrients are released to the plant steadily over a while (fertilization applies once or twice a year). Quick-release means nitrogen needed by the plant and soil is supplied immediately.

  • Spikes

These are fertilizers in the shape of sticks directly inserted into the ground, which are slow-release fertilizers.


Although there are many options to choose from in the long list of fertilizers for a magnolia tree, whether young trees or mature trees, we have highlighted the most suitable products for your magnolia to aid growth and nourish development. Now that you have the list at hand and what each fertilizer does, it’s time to supply your magnolia with great nutrients for positive results. These fertilizers can be used more than once, and you can always get them for subsequent years.

Be sure to check for the details above about each of the products provided before purchase, so you know which is most suitable for your type of magnolia plant.

All magnolia should be fertilized throughout the year. Any of the above fertilizers are great options, easy to use, reasonably priced, and can rapidly improve the growth of your magnolia plant and blooms. Also, you can rotate these fertilizers throughout the year for the best success and result.

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