The Q&A Archives: Choosing a Long Blooming Magnolia

Question: I would like to know what variety of magnolia would do well in Kansas. I see quite a number of them around our area but do not know what variety they are. Also I need to find a variety that is a prolific bloomer. Most of the ones in our area have few blooms.

Answer: Your timing is near perfect! National Gardening Magazine featured an article on how to choose and grow magnolias! You'll find the text of the article on line if you search with keyword = magnolia at this site:

There are dozens that thrive in zones 5-6, both tree and shrub varieties in many colors and sizes. Your best bet is to visit local nurseries to see what they can tell you about the best selections for your region. As the aforementioned article suggests, shop for magnolias while they're in bloom so you'll have a better idea of what to expect. As for prolific bloomers, there are two that stand out to me: the new David Leach introduction, 'Golden Girl' (mentioned in the article) and M. seiboldii, which keeps blooming for about 6 weeks. For best results, you can try growing a range of magnolias that bloom from early in April and into June. Early ones are most prone to losing buds to frost, so use your judgement when making an choice of early bloomers. Best of luck!

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