Magnolia denudata Yellow River ('Fei Huang')
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, well-drained, neutral to acidic soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: April to May
- Hardiness:fully hardy
Large, elegant, creamy-yellow, goblet-shaped flowers open from yellow buds in April and May on bare branches. This magnolia forms a natural dome shape and has spreading, horizontal branches that give it an elegance even when not in flower. This rare variety makes a superb specimen tree for a small garden. It is best grown in fertile, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. A great tree for a woodland garden where it can be sheltered by other trees - it does not like exposed, windy sites.
Magnolias can be a little tricky to grow to begin with but the rewards are well worth it. The main thing is to avoid planting in a frost pocket as this will damage the emerging buds. The same is true for exposed and windy spots. Once established, magnolias are fairly low maintenance though newly planted trees benefit from a good, deep mulch in spring to get them started.
- Garden care: Requires minimal pruning. Remove any broken, diseased or crossing branches in midsummer. The best time to plant is in April, adding plenty of peat to the planting hole, in a sheltered spot. Mulch in spring with manure and leafmould, especially on dry soils.