The Q&A Archives: Southern Magnolia

Question: I live in the Philadelphia suburbs. We would love to plant a southern magnolia and have seen a few around here, but have been advised against it as being too risky for this climate. If we can't have this, is there another similar magnolia that is evergreen and can take our winters?

Answer: Philadelphia is a borderline area for that magnolia, but in my experience it is worth a try to establish one if you have a protected location and are willing to take a little risk. If you plant it in a favorable location and provide it some winter protection the first few years until it becomes established then I would hope for success. Unfortunately I can't think of another plant that provides anything like a satisfactory substitute. The plant is unique.

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