Did you know that GardenCenterPoint offers more ornamental Magnolia trees than anyone else? There are about 210 varieties and while some are hard to keep in stock, we have carefully cultivated this beloved tree. Would you believe that millions of years ago, the very first flower looked a lot like a Magnolia?
Nature knows a good thing when it sees it! Magnolias have been growing for over 100 million years.
Like you, we simply love the large, fragrant flowers in a range of colors from white, purple, yellow, pink and red. The long, glossy, dark green leaves and the lovely branch structure of this ancient tree variety are also quite ornamental. You’ll even love seeing the cute orange seedpods develop, which give the Magnolia its nickname “Cucumber Tree”. (Now, don’t try to eat these “cucumbers”, instead leave them for your local songbirds to enjoy.)
Selecting a Magnolia Tree
Magnolias can be either evergreen, where they’ll hold their leaves all winter, or deciduous with an annual leaf drop. The large leaves are easy to pick up. Please know that even the evergreen varieties will occasionally lose their leaves, and that’s normal.
No matter how large or small your lot is, or where you live, chances are there is a Magnolia variety that will work for you. Site it correctly, so it has room to spread out. You won’t want to have to prune this plant for size control and risk losing the weighty, showy, glamorous flowers.
Their massive flower displays are the reason for their popularity. This is a bold and colorful plant that gets better each year. Magnolia is a tough, disease resistant tree that can handle some urban pollution.
Large, Broad-leaved Evergreen Magnolias are Handsome Shade Trees
Known throughout the South, Magnolia grandiflora is commemorated as the state tree of Louisiana and Mississippi. If you want to make a real statement in your landscape, look at the ‘Green Giant’ and ‘D.D. Blanchard’. These large trees should be used as an anchor in a large garden border. Need something smaller? Try ‘Little Gem’.
Magnolia grandiflora’s root systems are too aggressive for use as a street tree. They aren’t the best choice for a lawn tree, as they will provide shade and make it a bit challenging for grass to grow underneath. Instead, you could mulch under the tree line and underplant with a wide variety of shade plants such as Hosta, Ferns and some Azalea varieties.
Place these amazing trees where they will command your attention. Use them as marvelous accents where you can see them from your house or street. What a gift to give your family and neighborhood as they bloom during the shift from spring to summer. The leathery, evergreen leaves will give welcome shade in summer, and provide visual interest all year.
Deciduous Magnolias Make Wonderful Ornamental Trees or Privacy Screens
We have several mid-sized Magnolias that are perfect to use as an accent tree. They make a fabulous focal point in a corner of your landscape. Try them outside your picture window, or outside the kitchen window.
These selections include ‘Royal Star’ (10-20′), ‘Saucer’ (20-30′), ‘Butterflies’ (20-30′), and ‘Alexandrina Saucer’ (20-30′). Grow these as either single-trunked trees or allow them to grow into a shrub form with multiple stems.
Lower branched plants will put more flowers closer to the ground for your enjoyment. Magnolias grown in shrub form make excellent screening plants, too.
Have fun looking at the eye candy. There are so many sizes, shapes, and colors to look at. Each flower is a wonder, with up to 18 “tepals”, or fused petals and sepals. Each spring, they’ll develop large buds that look a bit like Pussy Willows. They will bloom before the leaves emerge, so it’s really quite a show.
Growing a Magnolia in a cold climate? When Nature grants you a great Magnolia spring, you’ll be absolutely thrilled.
Dwarf Magnolia Trees Are Wonderful Planted Near Patios
‘Ann’, ‘Jane’, and ‘Betty’ are all part of the “Little Girl Series” that were developed and bred purposely to open a bit later in the season. This makes them less susceptible to late spring frosts that could damage the flower display.
Their flowers will all resemble purple or reddish purple tulips with elongated buds as the flowers begin to develop. The darker colored petals open to expose a lighter pink color.
‘Betty’ actually opens to expose a white inside bloom with purple reflex. Imagine a woody shrub that covers itself in huge red-purple flowers for one of the most coveted displays in the world.
This series of small Magnolias can also be grown as special trees or allowed to fill in as wonderful screening plants. You might choose to plant one as a Memorial to a dear friend, family member or even pet. Each year during spring, you’ll be reminded of your loved one.