Royal Star Magnolia Shrub (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’)

Royal Star Magnolia Shrub

  • Fragrant White Flowers in Early Spring
  • Use as a Shrub or Small Tree
  • Lovely, Glossy Dark Green Foliage
  • Excellent Form
  • Pest and Disease Resistant
  • Blooms Later to Resist Frost Damage
  • Winner of the Prestigious ‘Award of Garden Merit’ from the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Full Sun or Partial Shade
  • Later Bloom Time to Avoid Late Frost

For discerning gardeners who want to stand out a bit from the pack, Royal Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’) offers a special charm unlike any other. The unique flowers draw the eye of everyone who sees them.

Forgive us for waxing poetic, but these blooms look like a starburst of pristine white ribbons surrounding a tiny glowing sun. Each 4-inch long double bloom is comprised of 25 – 30 long, strappy petals surrounding a pale yellow center.

They liberally cover the shrub on branches bare of leaves – a display that is sure to be the envy of your neighborhood!

With larger, star-shaped flowers, this prize-winning cultivar is particularly sought after. They also bloom a bit later than others, which helps it resist frost damage in cold-winter hardiness zones 4 – 6.

Royal Star Magnolia is known for its attractive form and large oblong leaves. This ornamental, deciduous shrub creates an outstanding specimen in your yard.

Use Royal Star Magnolia as either a small tree or large shrub. It becomes a wonderful focal point for your Spring Garden.

It is clear to see why the Royal Star Magnolia is such a popular Magnolia cultivar. Larger and later blooms, in addition to all the other stellar qualities of a Magnolia, make this a must-have for any landscape.

How to Use Royal Star Magnolia in the Landscape

Royal Star is a superb flowering privacy shrub for many landscape applications. It is a perfect specimen plant to anchor a foundation planting. Place it at least 10 feet from your house, so you can easily access the exterior, even when the shrub is mature.

Angle it out from the corner to accent your home’s architecture or use closer to the picture window to provide a bit of screening. That’s especially true if you have a picture window to study the early spring flower show from inside your snug and warm home.

Use 3 or 5 Star Magnolia in a berm or lawn planting. Plant them in a loose zig-zag and vary the spacing – from 10 – 25 feet apart – to create a wonderful, natural woodland look. If you want each to shine as an individual, give them at least 20 feet between their neighbor.

This plant is also great on the edge of a woodland garden. It looks fantastic when planted next to a pond or waterway. Mix in groups with other Magnolias or flowering bushes and shrubs to create a naturalized planting.

Royal Star is extremely versatile. Lower branches can be pruned up into a high canopy, single trunk flowering tree, or grow it as a pretty and effective privacy screen. Use the medium growth rate Star Magnolia as a go-between among shelterbelts of slower and fast-growing shrubs.

Keep it unpruned to use as a low-maintenance, large shrub. Plant them 8 feet apart (measuring from the center of one to the center of the next.) Allow them to fill in naturally to create a marvelous freeform “friendly fence” hedge along your property line. It will wow your neighbors every spring!

Another way to use this special kind of hedge is within your own landscape. Create a secret garden room with walls made out of Royal Star Magnolia. Give yourself a little space of your own to get lost in.

People are loving Meditation Gardens, outdoor Yoga studios, or just a comfy cottage garden to cozy up with a good book and a small pitcher of your favorite adult beverage.

Tips for Care

Adaptable throughout USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9, the Royal Star Magnolia grows in either full sun or part shade. It requires well-drained soil. If you see puddles that remain after a rain in the area you want to plant it, just mound up. Add additional soil in a mounded heap 18 – 24 inches above your soil. You’ll plant directly into the mound.

It loves organically rich, well-drained soil, even tolerating well-drained clay soil. In warm, dry climates, you’ll ideally want to check your soil pH and amend as needed to reach between 6 – 7. In areas with higher pH, plant where it will receive morning sun and give protection from the hot afternoon sun. Fertilize yearly with Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Premium Fertilizer to help maintain proper pH.

Give it a nice layer of mulch 3 to 4 inches deep and spread it to 3 feet outside of the canopy of the shrub. Please don’t let the mulch touch the trunk.

This deciduous Magnolia tree Royal Star is sold as a shrub form. It has no serious disease or pest problems and requires little pruning to get its great structure. It’s amenable to any pruning in late winter or early spring, should you choose to provide it. Limb it up and create a small flowering specimen tree by exposing the multi-trunk form.

Water carefully at the start. You don’t want to overwater, but you shouldn’t let it dry out. The best way to see if your new plant needs water is by poking your finger in the ground. If it’s getting dry, give it a nice long drink. If it’s moist, no need to add any more water.

Even after they are established in your soil, baby it a bit. Magnolias love the warm weather but need a drink when it starts to get dry, especially in hot climates.

Royal Star Magnolia Shrub (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’) Details

Common name Royal Star Magnolia Shrub
Botanical name Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star'
Plant type Deciduous
Hardiness zone 4-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 10 - 20 ft.
Width 10 - 15 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color White