The Q&A Archives: Saucer Magnolia Planting Zone

Question: I live just outside Philadelphia - near Burpee's and want to plant 4 saucer magnolias on an open green. One tree expert said it would be fine and the other said it is too difficult to grow, and they will not survive.

What do you think?

Answer: Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangeana) is a lovely tree ultimately about 30 feet high and wide and fairly adaptable as long as the soil is good. According to Michael Dirr's "Manual of Woody Plants", it is hardy into Zone 4 and prefers a moist, deep, organic soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.5 in sun or light shade. If your conditions are windy, or baking hot during the summer, or very wet for instance, the tree might not survive. As with any tree selection, it is a judgement call.

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