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Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolia The flower of a Southern Magnolia
Southern Magnolia
University of Delaware Extension Service
The flower of a Southern Magnolia
University of Delaware Extension Service

Scientific Name: Magnolia grandiflora

Summary
Foliage: Evergreen broadleaf
Height: 60 to 80 feet
Spread: 30 to 50 feet
Shape: Upright

The large, lustrous foliage is evergreen. Its large, white flowers are very fragrant.

Plant Needs
Zone: 7 to 9
Light: Partial shade to full sun
Moisture: Wet to moist
Soil Type: Sandy or loam
pH Range: 3.5 to 7.0

Functions
Suggested uses for this plant include shade and specimen plant.

Planting Notes
Plant in early spring using plants with balled and burlapped roots or those grown in containers. Select site with wind protection to protect large leaves from wind damage. Requires good soil drainage, and prefers acid soil. Leave a lot of space for the plant to develop.

Care
Easy to maintain. Tree litter can be a nuisance in high traffic areas. 

Click here to learn how to improve the soil.

Problems
No insect or disease pests.

Alternatives
Consult local sources, including historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of MAGNOLIA GRANDIFLORA
`Gloriosa' has large flowers, broad leaves; one of the best varieties.

`Goliath' has flowers up to 12 inches across.

`Majestic Beauty' has large, glossy, thick, dark green leaves and a pyramidal shape.

Related species
MAGNOLIA VIRGINIANA (Sweet Bay) has attractive foliage, gray bark, and fragrant, white flowers in early summer.

Comments
The large, lustrous, evergreen foliage makes the Southern Magnolia a desirable ornamental plant.  Its flowers are produced more abundantly in southern areas than in northern areas.