Magnolia Vine (Schisandra chinensis), what's it like?

rootman(zone 5/6 W.PA)June 4, 2006

I purchased a small Magnolia Vine which I intend to grow all around a stone pillar 5 ft. tall and three ft. both across, left to right and front to back. My main question is this,"Is the area suffcient space for the vine If I keep it diligently pruning?" I want the vine to completely cover all sides of the stone pillar. I assume it climbs by twining around, so that I intend to fasten a support system to the pillar for it to cling to.

Also, does Magnolia Vine develope a sizable trunk and armature like tree magnolias? Probably the most important question is, "Is it a worthwhile vine to grow?"

Thank you.


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hello. i have had my vine for three years. i does not have a "sizable" trunk, but many smaller "branches." it is a bit bushy at the base while those younger ones develop. i think you could keep it sufficiently pruned. i also assume, that as with climbing roses, if you pinch back the growth tip, it will grow more side shoots. i assume b/c i have read that on roses and am trying it with mine.

i am liking this vine more and more b/c it grows leaves earlier than i can get any annual to cover! i would have to go look, but i don't think i spirals quite as much as some vines. mine is weaved through a trellis on my shed.

imo, the blooms aren't very impressive. we will see how showy the berries get this year!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 3:11AM
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I think this is another vine that tends to thrive in a colder climate zone. I grow three including a male variety which promptly
gave up once the weather got above 105. Just like a man ;-] Em... maybe I haven't got the hang of growing it yet!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 7:09PM
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hmmm, male? the info i have read says they are-oh, what is the word?- self fruiting anyway. so, i assumed the sexes were on the same plant. i would love to hear your thoughts and experience on this!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 3:34AM
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I think you have to have both a male and a female plant to get berries, and you'll only get them on the female plant.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 6:08PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

There is a self-fertile cultivar called Eastern Prince or something like that.

The flowers are about dime sized (maybe smaller) something not mentioned in advertising about the plant (or maybe mine were just especially small as this is the first year for it).


    Bookmark   June 10, 2006 at 8:52PM
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chills, i agree, to all of your above. :)
perhaps mine is eastern prince, or whatshisname...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 6:03AM
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grrrrrrrr, upon visiting my vine this morning, i am missing my green, unripe berries! i'll never get to try them. i don't get it. i did find two of the "droops" that seemed all dried up. very strange. i can't help but point fingers at my ongoing earwig armies. i can think of no other reason for their demise.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 3:49AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I'm betting the earwigs thought it was a clematis. I hate the little buggers!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 8:42PM
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i second that, chills! lucky for me my clem bloomed earlier this year. well, lets just say i have no blooms now.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 11:07PM
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I have a single female that I planted perhaps ten years ago. It has required no care at all, and while we don't see 100+ degrees here on the Chesapeake Bay, high humidity is ours 9 months it has fruited amply for about 6 years. The vine has a bushy lot in the first 3 feet and is 20 feet up my radio tower. It's a little over 3/4" in diameter. I have propagated it quite easily by seed and cuttings. Stuck 'em in the ground and they grew (seeds) and rooted cuttings and then transplanted them.
The fruit gets about the size of holly berries, it actually twines around my Scarlet Goumi berry bush, and has to be constantly pointed in the right direction.
The seeds are about the size of a small grape seed and there are one and sometimes two per fruit. (I wouldn't advocate eating the seeds). The pulp in each berry is minimal and I've only used them for eating out of hand. The flavor is quite dramatic (per berry) and the taste is certainly tart, bordering on slightly bitter although I don't find it unpleasant at all.
I don't seem to have any insect pests that have interest in the vines (or the fruit) and for that matter, only minimal interest from the bird community.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 7:52PM
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