Can A Magnolia Tree Grow Inside In A Pot?

When most people think of magnolia trees, their first thoughts may be beautifully manicured lawns with large magnolia trees bearing pink and white flowers.

Magnolia trees are known for their large root systems, which is why you typically see them planted outdoors. But can you grow them indoors in a pot? We've looked up the answer to this question, and in this post, we will share it with you.

Yes, there are magnolia tree varieties that you can grow indoors in a pot. These varieties are usually referred to as dwarf magnolias, and they can be grown from seed or purchased as a sapling to plant.

If you want to plant a small magnolia tree indoors, you've come to the right place. Here we will cover how to choose the best pot for your magnolia tree, common dwarf varieties to choose from, and other factors to help maintain your plant.

Continue reading to learn how to grow your magnolia tree indoors.

Can A Magnolia Tree Grow Inside In A Pot?

Choosing The Right Magnolia Variety 

A gorgeous magnolia flower of a magnolia tree placed on a small glass jar

The first thing you'll need to do when deciding to plant a magnolia tree indoors is to decide which variety you'll want to plant. If you are buying your tree locally from a nursery, you can ask the associates about the best variety to grow successfully where you live. 

Remember, all magnolia varieties cannot be grown indoors. A few varieties that can be grown indoors include Dwarf Southern Magnolia, Chinese Magnolia, Magnolia Red Lucky, Ann Magnolias, and Star Magnolias.

You may even be able to grow a Jane Magnolia variety if you have enough space and large enough containers.

The most important thing to remember is that magnolia trees have very large and complex root systems that require frequent watering and feeding. This leads us to our next point.

Choosing The Right Container

A small white magnolia inside a living room

The next consideration that you'll need to think about is the pot in which you grow the magnolia tree. If you plan to keep the tree in a pot permanently, it's best to choose a pot that is significantly larger than the root ball of your magnolia tree. Dwarf Magnolia trees will still grow fairly large roots, and they will need their space to thrive. 

Another notable tip is that the size of the pot should be manageable. Remember that you will have to move this pot at some point, and if it is too heavy once the tree and soil are planted, it can create an issue. The pot should be well-draining so that water can drain quickly, not to develop root rot. It should also be sturdy enough to house a large indoor plant. Ideally, you want your pot to be about eight to ten times the size of the trunk of the magnolia tree at its expected maturity size. 

Soil Requirements 

Preparation for planting magnolia into soil. Small tree in container ready for transplanting in fall garden. Digging hole with shovel

Though magnolias or quite hardy trees, they do require specific soil maintenance and root conditions to thrive. The most important thing to remember is that the soil of these plants must have sufficient drainage. The roots of magnolia trees need air to survive and provide nutrients to the plant's bark and leaves. Overall, magnolia trees prefer soil that is fairly acidic or neutral, though this can change depending on the tree's variety. 

To keep your soil healthy, you can mix it with moss, sand, or compost. This will help it to maintain a balance with neutral acidity. When planting your tree for the first time, be sure to leave about two to four inches of space at the top of the planter pot for mulch or wood chips. Having an organic top layer will help the soil to retain moisture; this is an important step.

You can also fill the bottom of the pot with any stones, rocks, or other hard and solid aerating materials that you have available in your home. You want the pot's soil to be as free-flowing as possible, as root rot can be very difficult to eradicate once it develops. It's also a good idea to check the soil every week or so, just to ensure that it's in a healthy state. Ensure that it's moist and free of foul smells, which can indicate root rot.

Water Requirements

Though the watering requirements will vary depending on the variety of your indoor magnolia plant, you will generally need to water the plant several times a week, at least for the first two to four months. However, it's best to play this by ear as the main goal is to keep the soil moist without it being overly wet. One quick way to determine the soil's moisture level is to simply stick your index finger in the soil about two to three inches deep. 

See this watering can on Amazon.

If the soil is dry, it's definitely time to water the plant. You can also take a screwdriver or a thin stake and stick it in the soil. If the object is easy to push in, then the soil is likely moist and not in need of watering. If you notice that the object is hard to push in, the magnolia plant may need a watering session.

See these plant stakes on Amazon.

Where to Place The Pot

Magnolia trees love light, and indoor magnolias are no different. It's best to plant your magnolia tree in an area that has full sun or partial shade. You may need to experiment with this a little to find the perfect spot, but remember, more light is better than minimal light. If you find that your magnolia tree has started to display wilted or lowering leaves, light could be a factor. Magnolia trees prefer warm climates, so ideally, temperatures that average around 65 degrees to 88 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal.

Bets Pots For Indoor Magnolia Trees

 illustration of magnolia trees in a black flowerpots isolated on white background

The pot that you grow your indoor magnolia tree can help your plant thrive or hinder it from reaching its full potential. Indoor magnolia trees need pots that are sturdy, durable, and well-draining. We've looked into a few pots that meet these criteria. 

Indoor Round Modern Fiberglass Resin Planter Pot 

These modern planters are sturdy and have just enough weight to support indoor magnolia plants. They have a simple cylinder shape that can easily fit into a small corner of a room or office. They come in sizes of 8 to 12 inches and have easily removable drainage holes as well as a drainage plug to help prevent over-watering and allow easy air circulation. If you are looking for a temporary pot for your indoor magnolia plant, these may be worth checking out.

Click here to see this pot on Amazon.

Full Depth Round Cylinder Pot 

These 12-inch multi-purpose pots are also worth mentioning. They work well on the floor, out on the deck, or in a sunroom. They are a great alternative to expensive, heavy, and fragile ceramic pots. These pots have sufficient drainage layers on the bottom and allow for easy plant transfers.

While they are fairly lightweight, they are sturdy and have a sophisticated look that's guaranteed to match well with any contemporary decor. These pots are ideal for magnolia trees as their light build will make it easier to move your tree around your space to find the best lighting. They also have an easily accessible snap-on tray to allow for more water drainage if necessary. 

Click here to see this pot on Amazon.

Seagrass Planter Basket Indoor 

If you are looking for something a bit different, check out these natural seagrass planter pots. Seagrass is a natural eco-friendly substitute for your typical plastic or ceramic planter pots. Not only are they beautifully unique, but they are lightweight and as sturdy as they come.

They are also chemical-free and available in sizes of 8-12 inches for your Magnolia plant. These pots also come with a built-in interior plastic coating to prevent water leakage and a tray for sufficient water drainage. If you are looking for a different planter that offers more of a rustic feel, these pots may be the perfect look.

Click here to see these pots on Amazon.

Bloem SP1423 Saturn Planter & Saucer  

One of the bigger indoor pots available, this planter pot is extremely durable and offers excellent water drainage. It has a scratch-resistant matte surface, which also hides fingerprints and dirt marks. It includes a matching plant saucer and has five drainage holes on the bottom. The pot is also UV ray-stabilized, which means that it is essentially fade-resistant, perfect for your sun-loving magnolia tree. This pot looks good in any setting, and it comes in several sizes and colors to match a variety of both indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Click here to see this pot on Amazon.

How Do You Keep An Indoor Magnolia Tree Healthy?

illustration of magnolia trees in a black flowerpots isolated on white background

The best way to keep an indoor magnolia tree healthy is to provide it with full sunlight or partial shade daily so that it continues to produce new foliage and grow. You also need to water it throughout the week so that the soil stays moist and healthy. It's best to check the soil before watering to ensure that a watering session is needed. Lastly, be sure to maintain the right temperature and humidity for the indoor magnolia tree. 

Do Magnolias Need More Water In A Container?

Magnolia trees grown indoors don't necessarily need more water. However, their soil should be monitored throughout the week to ensure that it stays adequately moisturized.

How Tall Will An Indoor Magnolia Tree Get?

Beautiful blooming magnolia tree, tender pink flowers in the park, outdoors

Dwarf Magnolia tree varieties grown indoors usually reach about four to six feet in height, on average.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has provided you with enough information to get started on your indoor magnolia tree journey. Remember, the first step to a successful indoor magnolia grow is choosing the right variety, as all varieties cannot successfully be grown indoors. 

Before you go, be sure to check out other posts:

How Much Do Magnolia Trees Cost?

Can Magnolia Trees Bloom Twice A Year? [Including In Florida, Texas, And California]


  1. My magnolia tree in a pot produces new leaves but they turn brown, then fall off. What might I be doing wrong? I check to make sure soil is moist. Thank you.

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