Irritating Plant of the Month November 2016

Dear reader, for this month's irritating plant wall of shame I give you......
.....Magnolia 'Fairy Blush'.  I have had this shrub for good few years now.  I was lured into buying it with tales of it being new and exciting.  I am a great fan of magnolias and this was just too enticing for me to miss and a purchase was made.  It looked great when I first bought it and admittedly I did give it a false start.  I planted it somewhere where itsoon looked unhappy; indeed I thought it would die.  It looked a bit, well, only a little bit worse than it does above.  So I took the brave step of digging it up and relocating it.  I worked on the principle that if it died it was dying anyway.  If it lived then it was a magnificent success.

Dear reader, it did neither, it has sulked and looked a bit poorly and quite frankly gives me reproachful looks at every opportunity.

I gave it a year to think so that it might just pull itself together:  it hasn't.

I have given it some frequent feeds of liquid seaweed in the hope that it might respond favourably: it hasn't.

Yet still I cannot quite bring myself to give up on it.  It continues in this almost limbo state of being being quite dead enough nor quite alive enough.  Maybe next year, it will be happy, maybe next year it will finally shrug its shoulders, pick its teddy up from the floor and start to leaf up and flower.

as ever, time will tell....


  1. Oh dear, such a pretty name. So much promise... I've been reading about a trial at Kew where they are mulching shrubs and trees that are struggling with composted bark mulch. Results look good. I'm going to try, nothing to lose. Good luck with yours.

  2. I like the idea of irritating plant of fbe month. I have pulled out a couple of shrubs recently that irritated, I did procrastinate for a long time but felt so much better when I did. In terms of magnolias I remember hearing TImothy Walker from Oxford Botanical Gardens saying that magnolias don't like competition and it affects flowering. They had some underplanted with euphorbia and after advice they removed the euphorbia and the next year the magnolia flowered. Is your magnolia growing in grass, if so maybe create a cleared area around it and as the other comment says give it a good mulch to keep the moisture in

  3. Replies
    1. I think I've too guilty so far, but maybe I should.

  4. Dear Alison
    I had two of these - a creamy pink flowered one and a white flowered one. The white flowered one was rubbish and died, but the other is doing well and flowered last Spring. It is in a pot which may have helped as it doesn't have any competition. Perhaps the white ones are more temperamental? I am a firm believer in talking severely to plants and threatening them with the compost bin. (However, I am also fatalistic - if a plant dies, it's another planting opportunity!)
    Good luck with your plant.
    Best wishes

  5. Mmm - everything I hear about Magnolias recommends mulching in Spring. Which is pretty much what everyone else is saying. Not sure it can wait that long though. Do you have any other more successful varieties?

  6. Why is it so hard to give up on some plants,Magnolias being one.Had one that was sulking and mulched with mixture of shredded leaves and composted bark and it seems to have helped could be the extra mycorrhizal it encourages


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