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The Yellow River magnolia gives the impression of being extremely delicate. It impresses with its beautiful, fragrant flowers, which are intense yellow as buds and fade as they develop. Yellow River can repeat flowering in late summer. It's usually grown in shrub form. It reaches a height of 6-7 m, with an annual growth of around 25 cm.
General description: This variety of magnolia (Magnolia denudata) is often called the lilytree, the Yulan magnolia or the naked magnolia.
Flowers: Yellow River has huge, beautifully fragrant flowers that can be up to 15 cm in diameter in full bloom. They are composed of nine thick petals that are yellow when closed in a bud, but slowly turn white as blooming progresses.
Blooming: Yellow River flowers develop before its leaves, in April-May. Sometimes a repeat flowering in summer is observed with this variety, but less abundant than in spring.
Leaves: This magnolia’s leaves are ovate or elliptical, vivid green, glossy, pointed at the tip, 10-15 cm long and slightly tomentose on both sides.
Cultivation requirements: Yellow River likes sunny or semi-shaded locations, sheltered from wind. It prefers moist, fertile soil with a slightly acidic pH.
Care: The earth around the shrub should be lined with conifer bark. This will help the soil dry out more slowly. As the bark has an acid reaction, this solution is very beneficial for magnolias.
Pruning: Magnolias do not respond well to pruning, they densify poorly, and regrowth is slow. In addition, pruning can reduce flowering for a year or two. Pruning should only be done in certain situations: if a stem breaks, if it gets frostbitten, becomes diseased, or if a shoot is clearly in the way. Pruning should always be conducted after flowering.
Overwintering: Yellow River is resistant to frost (hardiness zone 6b). Young magnolias are sensitive to harsh frosts, but older magnolias tolerate them well. Despite its frost resistance, flower buds freeze at -15°C and below -25°C frost threatens entire shoots. For safe and sure flowering, protect young seedlings before winter by piling a mound of soil and a thick layer of bark or sawdust around the plant’s base is advised.
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