A magnolia tree in bloom will capture your visual attention and awaken your sense of smell. Both extra-large trees and smaller-sized shrubs are in the magnolia family and all put on a magnificent floral show.
With both evergreen and deciduous varieties of magnolia, large and small growing trees, there is one that will fit into your landscape perfectly.
Let’s find out what varieties there are and how to grow these popular magnolias!
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
The southern magnolia is deeply rooted in the southern culture and eludes to a time when life was simpler and far grander. We can see the elegant, stately evergreen southern magnolia in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and several other southern states in the U.S.
This is an evergreen tree that can reach a mature height of 100 feet (30m) and a width of 50-feet (15m). What a giant plant.
The low-growing branches sweep the ground and grow upward in a perfect pyramid shape.
The dramatic foliage and large fragrant flowers make this a must-have tree for any large landscape in the south or similarly warm climate that has a mild winter.
The southern magnolia tree requires minimal maintenance and is resistant to most diseases and pests. It also can easily tolerate hot, dry, drought-prone climates while providing year-round beauty.
The seeds and evergreen foliage of the southern magnolia are favorites of migrating birds. The large, glossy, leather-like leaves are often used fresh and dried floral arrangements.
Plant a southern magnolia tree in full sun or partial shade and well-draining soil. Give the tree plenty of room on all sides to grow.
Water weekly during the first year, then only water during times of prolonged drought. Be patient as you wait for the dramatic blooms to appear. These will not show up until the tree is 15 years old.!
Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
The star magnolia is the star of spring and produces dramatic blooms in early spring before other flowers bloom. This is a deciduous tree and the large, colorful blooms appear before the tree foliage in spring.
Blooms will be pink and white with a heady fragrance that will fill the spring air. Star magnolia is native to Japan and is more like a large shrub than a tree. The tree has low branches and close-set stems and will reach a mature height of 20-25 feet (3 – 7.5m) and 15-feet (4.5m) wide.
Plant the star magnolia is a sunny location where it won’t be crowded. Apply 2-inches (5cm) of compost around the tree base in late winter to encourage prolific blooms in spring. Water during times of drought and prune dead or damaged branches immediately after the tree has finished flowering.