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Help - planting Michelia Alba

Posted by toffee1 9, Sunset Z15 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 12, 10 at 0:16

Hi guys, need help in picking a location and planting michelia alba.

About location:
I have two potential sites in my back yard:

1. In front of north/west facing 6' fence. Behind the fence are row/wall of 20'+ Italian cypress planted 4' apart. these very dense "pencil" trees block north winter wind. It get almost no morning sun but about 4-5 hours of afternoon sun in the summer and very little direct dun in the winter. Morning sun will become available once the tree is over 12ft tall. On each side are two Oleanders about 5' away.

2. In front of south facing 7' fence. behind the fence are neighbor's 8' tall evergreen shrub. With matured mock orange on the right and matured Persian Lilac on the left. This location gets full morning sun plus about 3 hours of afternoon sun. It does get the winter wind.

Which of these would be more suitable to m. alba? I am in Bay Area, zone 9a, Sunset magazine zone 15. Irrigation by timered drip.

About planting:
When is the best time of the year to plant them? fall or spring?

I understand m alba has shallow fleshy roots and easy to suffer root rots. I am thinking of

1.pre-digging a 2' dia hole of 2' deep,
2.at the bottom of that hole, use my landscape auger to drill a few 2" dia by 24" holes. Fill those holes with perlite or small rocks. as drainage outlets.
3. mix a bunch of chicken manure, leaf molds with the original soil then back fill it.
4. then mulch the hole and start a irrigating the hole.
5. wait for the right time of the year to plant them.

Thanks for helping.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help - planting Michelia Alba

I don't know if this helps..
I planted mine in full sun, and it gets sprinklers 2 times a week. I am in balmy south florida , zone 10...

All i did when i got the plant was, dig a hole slightly larger than the width and same depth as the pot and planted it right in. This was 9 years ago and now it is 20 foot or more in height...


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RE: Help - planting Michelia Alba

I think #2 would be a suitable choice. Spring is a good time to plant.

I dig a hole few inches wider and same depth as the pot planted mine in March 2010. Is is under a 70% shade cloth structure with north side widely open. I misted my plant in the first few weeks and now it has grown from 3 1/2 feet to about 5 feet tall. It is windy like hell here in San Francisco. Last week ONE flower bud opened.


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