When you start looking into magnolias with their glorious, signature fragrant flowers and dramatic foliage, you’ll want one for every nook in the yard. Some magnolias are grown primarily for their large showy flowers, usually in the form of a shrub or small tree. Others grow into large shade trees, and yet others are used as evergreen shrubs, trees or hedges. Each is very easy care, resistant to many diseases and pests, beloved by migrating birds, and depending on the variety, tolerant of harsh Southern summers and cold Northern winters.
How to decide which is right for you? First, work back from size of your site to decide the right mature size variety, and then figure out how you need the magnolia to perform ( as a large shrub, accent tree, shade tree, windbreak, evergreen, etc.). After that, it’s about selecting the one whose flowers steal your heart. Varieties shown will be available between now and next spring; check with yourlocal garden centerorshopmonrovia.com.
Star: Very cold hardy (USDA Zones 4-8) slow growing, broad spreading, small trees or large shrubs that bloom with abandon even when very young.
Saucer:Deciduous trees known for spectacular flowers appearing in late winter and early spring. Can range from large shrub to 70 ft. tall tree.
Southern:Shiny green top/brown fuzzy underside leaves are its calling card along with huge fragrant flowers; size ranges from small to large evergreen trees.
Smaller Sized Specimens (under 20 ft. tall)
The smaller size and often more compact habit of these magnolias means they can dress up very large containers, frame front entries, or be the centerpiece of a large shrub bed. If you need a smaller tree for the front yard, here’s a good place to start.
Hybrid valued for its prolific, very late, long blooming habit.
About: Partial shade to full sun. Reaches up to 12 ft. tall and 8 ft. wide. Deciduous. (Zone: 5 – 9)
Use: Large container, side yard, on axis with window
Medium Sized Specimens (20 - 30 ft. tall)
When you need a bit of height and scale in the yard, or want a dense but elegant screen from the neighbors, these magnolia trees fit the bill. Just decide if you want the classic Southern magnolia look of large flowers and green and brown leaves, or something with a bit more of a color story.
Glossy leaves with orange-brown fuzzy undersides and long flowering fragrant blooms.
About: Full sun. Reaches up to 20 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide. Evergreen. (Zone: 6 – 9)
Use: Ideal for a front lawn.
Large Sized Specimens (over 30 ft. tall)
If you have the room and want BIG drama, these large, tall, wide varieties do the job when they reach maturity. While they do take up space and cast a wide pool of shade in a yard—conditions that can limit other planting choices—you’re planting a “heritage” tree that’s truly unforgettable, and a legacy in the making.