The Q&A Archives: A choice between Teddy Bear and Little Gem magnolias

Question: I have a small yard 25x100. I share a fence with my neighbor whose home is 2-story at the narrow end of my yard which looks down into my back yard. I would like to select either Little Gem or Teddy Bear magnolia as a privacy screen. Which do you think would be the better selection for me? I need some height for privacy but not too wide as to encroach on much of my yard. Which of the 2 varieties has a longer blooming season, has more fragrant blooms, is a more showy specimen. I am grateful for your help!

Answer: I'd choose TEDDY BEAR? SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA (Magnolia grandiflora 'Southern Charm') because of its pyramidal shape and moderate growth rate. It grows 16 to 20 ft. tall, 10 to 12 ft. wide and produces fragrant white flowers throughout summer and fall. It woud be a good size for your yard.

The DWARF SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA (Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem') is a dwarf Southern Magnolia with smaller dark green foliage and very compact narrow form, but it grows 20-25' tall and 10-15' wide which might be too large for your yard. It is a heavy bloomer but white flowers appear early with a second flush of blooms in late summer.

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