The ideal soil for magnolias is rich, porous, acidic with a pH of 5.0-6.5 and well-drained. Most tolerate moderate drought and some tolerate wet soils but plant them in full sun or partial shade and they will be happy. If you decide to plant Magnolias in your garden it is better to dig in the planting hole as much compost as possible and work well the soil in an area twice the diameter of the root ball of your plant. Magnolias should be planted in mid spring, so avoid planting in frost pockets, as this will damage the emerging buds, specially to the early-spring flowering types. You should also avoid exposed or windy sites. Place the plant in the hole then put in a strong stake before you fill it up again, so that you will not damage the root ball by putting it in afterward.
Magnolias like to have their root in a cool zone so the addition of a good mulch after planting and then in every spring will have the best result for your plant. Take care so that your Magnolia does not get too dry in the first season after planting because they spend the first year after planting just for getting settled in. If they will get too dry they will tend to sulk. Protect the young plants from frosts and from pests such as snails and slugs and water them well every 7-10 days in periods of hot and dry weather, and prune lightly if branches become straggly and untidy.
When is necessary to move a Magnolia it is best to move a block of undisturbed soil as large as possible so the stress to the plant to be reduce to minimum. If the root ball still gets disturbed or even shaken out completely, then it will be better to reduce the length of branches by at least a third. Evergreen species should be root-pruned in autumn before moving and deciduous species are best moved when dormant, though they can be treated as evergreens and root-pruned for shifting in the autumn, as long as their growth has matured when the root-pruning process starts. If you have to move one in its growth period, trim out all the active growing tips, and if possible spray with an anti-desiccant spray at label rates.
Magnolias can be propagated from: seed – but they need special handling and are slow to germinate and take a considerable time to flower, cuttings – taken after the flower buds have formed in early to mid summer and treated with rooting hormone to insure success, layering – in early spring, chip budding – in summer and grafting – in winter. For deciduous Magnolias you should use greenwood cuttings taken in early summer or semi-ripe cuttings in late summer, while for evergreen Magnolias you should use semi-ripe cuttings taken from late summer to early autumn.