We hear some customers around Tampa Bay talk about problems with their Magnolia tree leaves turning brown after transplanting from one area to another or into different pots. Almost all transplanted trees or plants will go through a state of “shock” because the root system is harmed. Once that process takes place, usually takes about a month, maximum health should be restored as the tree acclimates itself to the new environment. A little browning of the leaves will certainly occur, especially on a Magnolia. A mature Magnolia will shed a lot of leaves even when it is healthy.
Make sure you give it plenty of water during the transition time, at least every day if not twice a day for a few weeks. Another best practice during the transition it to have a burn built up around the base of the tree about two feet out to keep the water at the base of the plant during watering.
You do need to look out for circular spots; either raises spots with a halo or raised spots that are a brown color. This is a fungal problem called Algal leaf spots.
You don’t need to be fertilizing with anything during the transition time. However, in two or three months, we would recommend a sprinkling of Ironite around the base of the plant to help green up the leaves.