Let me share with you today two flowers which are extremely beautiful and not very common. This post is about Magnolia alba and Apricot flowers. Now magnolia is not considered easy to grow in subtropical climate where dry heat goes on for at least 3 continuous months. Magnolias like warm temperatures and not hot. They tolerate hot temperatures if humidity is high. So they like monsoon season but not the dry heat. The most common magnolia in Lahore and similar hot climates is Magnolia grandiflora – Southern Magnolia but it is a tree and cannot be grown in a pot to its full potential. Also, the flowers are not very abundant on the tree. So let me introduce you another magnolia which is easy to grow in pot and suitable for small space gardens and it has exquisite fragrance too. It tolerates cold temperatures as well, it survived 0 C temperature in winter. Remember magnolias have shallow roots and like to be pot bound so no need to put in very large pots. They like slightly acidic soils so if you use tap water (which is mostly alkaline) then try to acidify the watering to magnolia by putting a small amount of vinegar in water. You should use well drained soil media for magnolia. It is better to use peat moss in the soil not just for drainage but also for peat moss being acidic in nature. Remember magnolias are slow growing plants so do not expect tremendous growth from your magnolia. Like all magnolias, they prefer semi shade. I put my magnolia in full shade in hot summer months. In winter, they are in full sun. Here is the picture of magnolia alba i took a while ago in Lahore, it is in small plastic pot:
There are very few plants in hot climates which have capability to show leafless flowering in spring. Yes there are cherry trees in Japan which cover whole tree with flowers. But where winters are mild like Lahore then there are few options only. I have seen tabebuia trees covered with flowers. There are also some tree like Butea monosperma (Dhak) and Jacaranda (Neelam) which give prolific flowering. Another to the list is flowers of dry fruit plants. Let me show you an apricot tree in bloom in Lahore and you can see not even a leaf on the tree. It is all white flowers. I captured this in Lawrence gardens lahore but you can see some more specimens in national park near Kalma chowk Lahore. Just a treat to the eyes.