Diseases of the star-shaped magnolia

Question: diseases of the star-shaped magnolia

My magnolia stellata, about a meter high, has branches covered with a kind of moss and has only 2 buds. Can it be a disease ??

Answer: diseases of the star-shaped magnolia

Dear Valter,
mosses and lichens that grow on the trunk of the trees and on the branches can simply be a sign of a very humid season, which has favored its development; in general, at the arrival of spring and the heat that follows, usually most of the lichens dries and does not harm the plant in any way. But the presence of fungi, molds, lichens, in large quantities, even on the thinnest branches, may be that the plant is affected by some problem related to fungal diseases, which from inside the stem or roots, are now also manifesting outside the bark. An example of this type of fungal disease is given by the mushrooms of the good little family, or so-called small nails, which grow at the base of the stem of the plants whose roots have been attacked by the fungus. Clearly, if your magnolia has been attacked by a fungus, which has also come to appear on the cortex, it should also show other serious symptoms, such as scarcity of new shoots, and future leaves should quickly appear to be ruined, or the apex of those thin twig should turn dark and dead. If, in addition to the lichens on the stems, there are no other symptoms of any kind, your plant is fine, and when a warmer and drier climate arrives, even the lichens will quickly withdraw. Consider that spring 2013 has been particularly cold and wet for now, and therefore some shrubs are suffering due to the climate, which was still very low at night below seasonal averages in many areas at the beginning of April. they remembered much more than the month of November, rather than the spring months. Poor flowering could be a first symptom of excess water in the soil, which causes the plant not to vegetate at its best; but your magnolia is still very small, and the climate is so bizarre this year, that it could simply be a climate-related issue, which will tend to resolve itself over the coming months; clear that now for this year you will only see those flowers, but the plant will resume growing luxuriantly, producing beautiful foliage. If you are worried that the plant is really bad, when you expect a few days of good weather, and the earth around the plant is able to dry, try a treatment with an antifungal product, maybe systemic, that you will add to the water of the watering, in order to avoid any damage of parasitic origin favored by high humidity.