Magnolia trees are diverse in leaf shape, plant form, bloom and even include both evergreen and deciduous types. Southern Magnolias and related varieties such as Little Gem (a dwarf form) and Teddy Bear (also smaller than the Southern Magnolia) feature dark green, evergreen leaves, large white, fragrant blooms and is the classic tree that is often synonymous with “magnolia”. These trees offer year-round beauty. In contrast, there are deciduous types, commonly called tulip trees, with large saucer flowers that show before the trees leaf out in the spring. These may also be called saucer magnolias and include the popular pinkish-purple blooming Jane Magnolia and relatives. There are also deciduous magnolias with star-shaped flowers, such as Royal Star. In between the deciduous and evergreen magnolias, there are Sweet Bay magnolias. Although they are evergreen in the lower and coastal South, they are only partially evergreen here in central Arkansas. These magnolias have distinctive gray-green foliage and tolerate wet feet. Mature plant size varies so pick the right magnolia for your space as they are difficult to transplant. Plant in rich, well-drained, neutral to slightly acidic soil.

  • Sun to Part Sun
  • Bloom color, mature size, and plant form are species and variety specific
  • May be evergreen or deciduous
  • Small, evergreen types such as Little Gem may work as screening trees
  • Blooms may be fragrant
  • Showy blooms
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