Magnolia × loebneri 'Leonard Messel'
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: any moist, well-drained soil, including chalk
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: April
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A beautiful, rounded, small tree or large shrub which flowers on bare branches. In mid spring, it is smothered in rose pink, star-shaped flowers with long, narrow petals that emerge from darker pink buds. The leaves are mid green and the tree is deciduous. An elegant choice for a small garden. It can also tolerate chalky soils.
- Garden care: Requires minimal pruning. Remove any broken, diseased or crossing branches in midsummer. The best time to plant is in April, adding plenty of peat to the planting hole, in a sheltered spot. Mulch in spring with manure and leafmould, especially on dry soils.
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Q:I bought two Leonard Messel magnolias last year. This spring I have had one flower on each and the rest of the buds are leaf buds. Is this normal?Asked on 21/4/2015 by Barty from Derby.
There are several reasons why plants do not flower. The most common are either not enough sun, pruning at the wrong time of the year, or not enough fertiliser. If they are getting lots of sun and you have not been cutting them back, then you could give them a bit of a push by feeding them with sulphate of potash.Answered on 5/5/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:Hi, I'm thinking of buying one of your Magnolia 'Leonard Messel'. However, I'm a bit of an impatient gardener and am wondering how large (height/spread) the tree will be when delivered and how quickly it's likely to grow. It's described as a 3 litre pot. Thanks.Asked on 16/2/2015 by Ally from Stirling
This plant in a 3lt pot will be approx 25-30cm when delivered. It is quite a fast growing variety, but it is hard to say how fast any plant will grow as external factors can affect a plant's growth, such as how much water it gets, the site, how much sun and nutrients etc.
Hope this helps.Answered on 24/2/2015 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:Hi, I would love to buy one of your 'magnolia x loebneri leonard messel' for a friend for Christmas but I have a couple of questions. Can this variety be grown in a pot & would it flower in it's first year?
Thanks so much :)Asked on 16/11/2013 by debskidimble from Pontefract, West Yorkshire
This Magnolia is beautiful but it could eventually grow to 8m x 6m, so this variety is not the best Magnolia to grow in a pot. I would go for one of the more compact varieties like Magnolia 'Susan'
or Magnolia stellata (which comes in either a 3lt or a 12lt pot).
or Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra', but even these will need to be grown in a large pot.
Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that any plant will flower in the first season as this is determined by lots of external factors, such as the amount of sun, water nutreints etc.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 18/11/2013 by Anonymous from Crocus
Q:Will Magnolias survive really cold winters
Thank you for the information on Magnolias. However, we live 1000 ft above sea level in Mid-Wales and had temperatures in January 2010 down to Minus 16C. Can I really grow Magnolias in our situation? MargaretAsked on 14/4/2010 by DerekandMaggie Parker
A:Hello Margaret, The Magnolias we sell are fully hardy in most areas of the UK, however the best indication of what will grow in your area is to see what is already there. Alternatively if you really get blasted by wind or freezing temperatures and you want plants that usually won't tolerate these conditions, then perhaps you need to create a shelterbelt, which will produce a microclimate. I'm sorry not to be more help. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 15/4/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Bees in my lawn? Also Magnolia and Hydrangea advice please
Hi Can you please help? I have thousands, and thousands, of what looks like bees, with a black body and white striped head hovering and burrowing into my lawn - they burrow like ants. What are they? Also can you tell me which pink Magnolia or Hydrangea I can plant in my garden? (chalky, with some lime) or scented shrubs Thank you MarilynAsked on 13/4/2010 by Anonymous
A:Hello Marilyn, These sound like Mason Bees, which really are very good guys in the garden. They do not swarm and will only sting if grabbed and they will ensure you have a bumper crop of fruit and flowers. As for the Magnolia/Hydrangea question, the flowers of nearly all the Hydrangeas will turn pink on alkaline soils. Some of the best include Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/hydrangea-macrophylla-endless-summer-pink=-bailmer/classid.2000011037/ Also if the soil is not too alkaline, you could grow any of the following Magnolias:- M.grandiflora http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/magnolia-grandiflora-/classid.4124/ M. x loebneri Leonard Messel http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/magnolia-%C3%97-loebneri-leonard-messel/classid.4144/ M.stellata http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/specimen-plants/magnolia-stellata-/classid.2000012898/ M. wilsonii http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/magnolia-wilsonii-/classid.7928/ Finally, the following link will take you to our full list of shrubs that grow in alkaline soils and have scented flowers. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/plcid.1/vid.10/vid.230/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 13/4/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Magnolias - can I grow them in my soil?
Hello Crocus, I've always wanted a Magnolia in our garden, and several attempts have failed completely. Although I live in the Fens, we are on a loam outcrop, not the peat. If I put plenty of peat in the planting hole, and gave it a peat based mulch every year, would a Magnolia survive and flower? Your website is irresistible! Thanks AnnAsked on 12/4/2010 by Ann Steward
A:Hello Ann, Thanks for the lovely feedback - we do try to inspire! As for the Magnolia, I think it is always best to work with what you have rather than trying to fight it, so if you really, really want one, then get yourself a really big pot and grow it in there. Opt for one of the more compact types like :- M. Susan http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/specimen-plants/magnolia-susan/classid.2000012896/ M. liliflora Nigra http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/magnolia-liliiflora-nigra/classid.4135/ They will never reach their full height in a pot, but as long as they are kept well fed and watered they will be happy in there for many years. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 13/4/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello again Ann, One more thing.... If the soil is not too alkaline, you could grow any of the following Magnolias M.grandiflora http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/magnolia-grandiflora-/classid.4124/ M. x loebneri Leonard Messel http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/magnolia-%C3%97-loebneri-leonard-messel/classid.4144/ M.stellata http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/specimen-plants/magnolia-stellata-/classid.2000012898/ M. wilsonii http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/magnolia-wilsonii-/classid.7928/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 13/4/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Thanks Helen, for both of your emails - I've decided on the pot option and ordered M liliflora 'Nigra'.Answered on 13/4/2010 by Ann Steward
Q:Will a Magnolia grow in my clay soil?
Magnolias...............I would love to have a Magnolia in our front garden. We did try one a few years back but it didn't survive. Are they ok in any soil? Ours is clay. Do they need full sunlight or will they tolerate some shade.? I would grow it in the lawn. Any advice on which of your gorgeous plants might suit us would be gratefully received. Many thanks GillAsked on 12/4/2010 by G LUMSDON
A:Hello Gill, Some Magnolias need neutral to acidic soil to thrive, while others are more tolerant of lime. They don't mind clay soil at all as long as it is not too heavy or waterlogged for any length of time. They flower best in full sun, but are tolerant of a little light shade. If you are growing it in a lawn, it will be really important that you make sure the grass is kept well away from the main stem and that it is kept well watered. I am not really sure which one would be best for your garden as they all tolerate clay soils, but we do have a lot more detailed information about each ones needs on the individual plant cards. I hope this helps.Answered on 13/4/2010 by G LUMSDON
A:........But is there a variety that will grow on my heavy alkaline soil? Thanks GillAnswered on 13/4/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Hi, I have just taken delivery of a Magnolia (Star Magnolia). At the moment it is outside, in the bottom half of the box. I have just checked on your website and it says it is best to plant in April. What should I do with it in the mean time, and how do I care for it? Regards LauraAsked on 10/12/2009 by Laura Steed
A:Hello Laura, These are fully hardy so, although the optimum time for planting is spring or autumn, they can be planted out at any time of the year as long as the ground is not frozen. Therefore I would recommend you get it into the ground as soon as you can. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 10/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello Helen Thank you for your help - I will do as you suggest. LauraAnswered on 10/12/2009 by Laura Steed
Q:Specimen Ceanothus or another large bushy shrub....
Good afternoon, When I was first looking for a Ceanothus to replace the one we have in our front garden, I looked on your website, but you only had small ones. Our once lovely Ceanothus has been pruned out of all recognition again this year, as I planted it a bit too near our boundary when it was a baby. I know it may come back, but it is getting ridiculous as every time it grows back it has to be cut back again severely and then ooks a mess for most of the year. Have you got a nice, tall, bushy Ceanothus to replace it? I love my Ceanothus but perhaps if you don't have a big one, do you have another large, flowering shrub as an alternative? Hope you can help Regards MargaretAsked on 5/12/2009 by D DRAKETT
A:Hello Margaret, it is rare to find larger sized Ceanothus as they are usually quite short-lived and don't normally live longer than 6 - 8 years. We do have a selection of larger shrubs on our site like Hamamelis, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Acer, Cornus, Cotinus, Philadelphus, Syringa and Viburnum, so you may find something of interest. They will be listed in this section. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 8/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Magnolia tree pruning
Greetings, We have a very mature Magnolia tree which grows from five thick stems (6 inches across) from ground level. The canopy starts from 4 feet and it has grown now 20 feet. It flowers well and often has a second flowering in September. It is a well known tree in our rural area. Can I prune the tree down to six feet in height with the hope it will send up sapling growth and then I would be able to control the height from ground level as now owing to heath problems I am not allowed to use step ladders. In anticipation --much appreciation.Asked on 20/9/2009 by Dick Brown
A:Hello There, It can be risky, but many Magnolias will slowly recover from being cut back hard, although it will take a few years to regain its composure. If you have a spring flowering type, then the best time to tackle this is in mid summer after the flowers have faded. It is important that you do not prune them from late winter to summer as they are prone to 'bleeding'. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 21/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
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