Star Magnolia Bonsai care and details: Beautiful white flowered bonsai

Star Magnolia Bonsai care and details: Beautiful white flowered bonsai
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Image Source: Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Magnolia Stellata or Star Magnolia Bonsai are deciduous trees with attractive star shaped flowers. These trees are grown as a larger bonsai and can take many years to develop into a thick trunk tree. The plants have relatively less pruning and maintenance.

Quick Details of Star Magnolia Bonsai

Other Common NamesStar Magnolia
TypeOutdoor flowering plant
MaintenanceModerate/ high in case of bonsai
LightBright direct sunlight, can tolerate partial indirect light.
WaterWhen the soil is dry
TemperatureWarm conditions
SoilWell drained sandy soil
FertilizerAny fertilizer rich in nitrogen
Common DiseasesYellowing of leaves
Scientific nameMagnolia Stellata

Overview of Star Magnolia Bonsai

Start Magnolia Bonsai are shrubs or trees native to Japan and can grow to a height of 2.5m in their natural habitat. They belong to the family Magnoliaceae. They bear white star shaped flowers during spring. These are slow growers and mostly grown as large bonsai trees.  It is most commonly seen in single or multiple trunk informal upright styles. The trunks can take many years to thicken.

Usage and Advantage Star magnolia

  • Grown as an ornamental plant.

General Care for Star Magnolia Bonsai

Special Care:

Re-potting: Re-potting can be done when the flower buds start to extend or during early spring. The plants do not prefer to be disturbed hence re potting can be done once in 3 or 4 years. They are slow growers and hence will not outgrow the pot quickly. The root can be cut back to ¼ its normal height. New potting mix can be used while re-potting the tree.

Pruning and wiring: Since they are slow growers, they do not require much pruning. Pruning can be done after the blooming season. The stems can be pruned back to ¼ its normal length. The best time to prune is during June. The trees start to prepare the formation of flower buds after this period, pruning back after June can result in a lower number of flowers the next season.

The soft branches can be wired early spring. The wiring should not be tight as this can cause cuts or marks on the branch as they grow during spring- summer


Magnolia Stellata Bonsai can survive extreme conditions. The plants prefer bright direct sunlight. Place them in places where there is bright direct sunlight. During winters they can be shifted indoors. Even though the plants can survive in harsh cold, sudden exposure of the frosted flowers and leaves can make them lose their colour and wilt. In places with moderate cold they can be left indoors or outdoors.


Any well drained potting soil. A bonsai mix can be used. Or the normal potting soil can be used sandwiched between layers of gravel. They prefer acidic to neutral soil.


Magnolia Stellata Bonsai can be watered regularly. The soil should be maintained moist. They shouldn’t be over-watered. Over-watering can lead to root rot. Care should be taken to make sure that the soil is dry before watering them. They do not require deep watering. During winters the interval of watering can be reduced to ones or twice a week.


Magnolia Stellata Bonsai require direct sunlight. The plants can also survive in partial direct or indirect like. It should not be placed in shade for long.


A nitrogen rich fertilizer can be added once a week during the growing season i.e.spring – summer. Once the growing seizes a balanced fertilizer or nitrogen fertilizer can be fed once or twice a month throughout winter till there is an appearance of new growth.

Pests and other problems for Star magnolia

Magnolia Stellata Bonsai are not prone to any diseases or pests.

The leaves turn yellow when the soil is less acidic. Adding an acid rich feed can bring back the colour to the leaves.

The plants can be attacked by aphids and scale insects while flowering. Any organic insecticide or pesticide can be sprayed to keep the pests away.

Propagation of Star magnolia

Stem cutting: Propagation can be done through stem cutting or root cuttings collected during summer or while pruning the plants after the flowers are formed. These cuttings can be dipped in rooting hormone and planted in moist soil and watered regularly.

In some cases, propagation is also done by seeds but it is very rare.

reema shaju

reema shaju

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