Do Magnolia Trees Keep Their Leaves In The Winter Or Lose Them?

Deciduous magnolia trees shed their leaves in winter which grows back by springtime.

Magnolia Trees Lose Their Leaves

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Magnolias are widely recognized and loved for their stunning fragrant flowers and beautiful oval-shaped leaves. The dark green leaves are coated with a waxy layer of fatty acid that helps the trees to retain their water and repel pollutants.


Many homeowners are concerned about magnolia trees dropping their leaves in winter. Also, is it normal or some special magnolia care can prevent the shedding of leaves? So, if you are one of them, reading our post will help you to know if these trees shed their leaves in winter regularly or is this something you should be concerned about.


For starters, you need to know that Magnolias are both evergreen and deciduous. Some evergreen varieties retain most of their leaves throughout the year. This is part of their natural life cycle.


However, many species of Magnolia are deciduous. Now, just like any deciduous tree, Magnolia also loses their leaves in winter which come back in the next growing season.


During winters, trees tend to lose a lot of water. Healthy trees also drop up to 10% of their leaves during drought periods as it helps them conserve energy and moisture that is otherwise lost through transpiration.


Do Magnolia Trees Keep Their Leaves In The Winter?

Magnolia Trees Keep Their Leaves In The Winter

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No, they don’t keep their leaves in winter, because most deciduous trees shed their leaves in winter. In late fall or early winter, Magnolias prepare for dormancy.


In the cold weather, the hormones of Magnolia start to absorb the moisture from the leaves and store it in the tree’s branches and trunk. All the nutrients from the leaves are also absorbed and they lose their chlorophyll.


This makes the leaves turn yellow, red and orange during the fall. Once they have shed all their leaves, they remain in a dormant state until spring.


As Magnolia trees require a lot of energy to produce flowers during the spring season, they lose their leaves to conserve energy during the winter. If your Magnolia is dropping a lot of leaves, you don’t have to worry as they will start producing new leaves once the flowering season is complete.


Do All Magnolias Lose Their Leaves In Winter?

Yes, all deciduous magnolia trees lose their leaves in winter to conserve energy and maintain water loss. Once this happens, you should not worry that your magnolia is dying. It is a regular cycle that happen in winters and the leaves grow back in spring.


Other Reasons Why Magnolia May Lose Leaves?

Other Reasons Why Magnolia May Lose Leaves

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Even if your Magnolia tree is an evergreen variety or a deciduous one, if your tree is losing all its leaves then it would be good enough to ensure that your tree is healthy.


Excessive water, environmental changes, nitrogen deficiency and air pollution can also make your tree lose its leaves.


Look out for a few signs:

  1. If the leaves are turning yellow and falling off, they are most likely getting ready for dormancy. This should not be a cause for concern.
  2. If the leaves are brown and wilted, it is probably a sign of water and nutrient deficiency.


Related: Magnolia Tree Lifespan | Magnolia Tree Growth Rate


Things You Can Do To Save Your Leaves from Falling

Save Your Leaves from Falling

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You should ensure that your tree is not suffering from any kind of nutrient deficiency. Feed your tree with a balanced slow-release magnolia fertilizer during the growing season to make sure that your tree has all the nutrients it requires to produce large beautiful flowers.


Add a little bit of mulch in the soil where your tree is growing as this will prevent the soil from becoming compacted. Compacted soil will prevent the oxygen from reaching the roots which may cause damage to your tree.


You can even add pine straw or bark. Applying mulch can also help you keep the weeds at bay.


You should also make sure that your tree is not under or overwatered. Ensure that the soil around the tree is moist during the summer months. If the trees are not watered adequately, the leaves will turn yellow and wither and in some cases will start to drop.


Always do a finger test to know if the tree is getting enough water to thrive well. If you stick your finger in the soil and it feels moist, then there is nothing to worry about. Remember the soil should not feel dry.


Do Magnolia Trees Lose Their Leaves In The Winter and Grow Them Back?

Magnolia Trees Lose Their Leaves In The Winter



Many times, when gardeners see their Magnolias losing out most of their leaves, they get pretty concerned. If you are one of them, then you should know that your tree will eventually grow back its leaves. A Magnolia tree loses its leaves for the blooming season. They grow back during spring when Magnolia starts to bloom again.

If you notice that the leaves are not growing back, then it means your tree is experiencing stress and it needs care.

Also, if you notice that the leaves on your tree are growing smaller and smaller over the years, then it could be a sign of a serious health issue. In case of any other strange symptoms like stunted growth or discolored flowers, you should get your tree checked by a tree expert.

Summing up…

Having a Magnolia tree whether evergreen or deciduous can add glamour to your garden. These trees are low maintenance species so it is the best bet for new gardeners. However, it is extremely crucial to plant a magnolia variety that thrives in your hardiness zone. It is all time better to plant a local variety in your yard.