Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Gerald L. Klingaman
Southern magnolia is a beautiful, large broadleaf evergreen tree native to the Southeast United States. The huge, waxy, fragrant white flowers debut in early to late spring (depending on climate) and continue sporadically into fall. The glossy, leathery, dark green leaves - often with contrasting gray or brown undersides - are big and bold. Large cone-like fruits with fleshy red seeds are ornamental in fall. This magnolia drops its oldest leaves in mid-spring, just before new stem and foliage growth commences. Don't be alarmed when all the foliage seems to fold downward this time of year (it's not drought stress, but the tree naturally shedding oldest leaf petioles).
Southern magnolia likes sun or light shade and moist, well-drained soil. It may need protection from winter winds in the colder parts of its hardiness zone. Mulch the soil under the branches to protect the shallow, expansive root system and avoid planting other garden plants under large established trees. Use the southern magnolia as a shade tree or specimen plant. Choose any of the many cultivars that mature with narrower or shorter mature habits based on the size of your property. Many cultivars have been selected for compactness, hardiness, habit, leaf color, and other characteristics.
11 - 1
7 - 10
H1, H2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
20'-80' / 6.1m - 24.4m
10'-60' / 3.0m - 18.3m
Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer
Southeastern United States
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees
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