Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) in the Magnolias Database

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7a -17.8 °C (0 °F) to -15 °C (5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10a
Plant Height: 60 to 80 feet (18-24m)
Plant Spread: 30 to 50 feet (9-15m)
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: leaves are alternately arranged
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: 6"-12"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Provides winter interest
Shade Tree
Flowering Tree
Cut Flower
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Stratify seeds: cold, moist for at least 60 days
Days to germinate: a few weeks or more
Depth to plant seed: 1/4" to 1/2"
Sow in situ
Other info: seeds should be planted 1/4" to 1/2" deep & kept moist until they germinate which will take a few weeks or longer
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: semi hardwood cuttings are best for propagating
Pollinators: Beetles
Containers: Not suitable for containers


The ATP Top 50 Trees and ShrubsThe ATP Top 50 Trees and Shrubs
July 5, 2014

Let's open Trees and Shrubs week with a list of the most popular of these woody plants in our database. There are a lot of great plants in this list!

(Full article23 comments)
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Posted by Sharon (Calvert City, KY - Zone 7a) on Sep 26, 2011 11:54 PM

I started this plant from seed. A few years ago I had a huge fully mature Magnolia growing too close to my house and the wet soil from heavy spring rains tilted it to about a 45 degree angle. The tree had to go, but I saved one of the seed pods. I knew nothing about growing Magnolias from seed, but pretended to be a bird and dropped a few of the seeds in some select places in my flower garden. The following spring, I had two seedlings. I gave one of them away and kept this one, but moved it to my back garden. It is now about 12 feet tall and produced its first bloom this year.

Two or three years later, another seedling appeared in one of the places I'd planted those seeds. Now I have another that is about 3 feet tall. Amazing how that happens. Nature's surprises.

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Posted by stetchworth (Ocean Springs, MS - Zone 8b) on Sep 29, 2011 7:36 PM

I planted my magnolia when it was about a foot tall. I transplanted it from a friend's property and the first couple of years it did nothing. Then all of a sudden it started to take off. I have had mine for about 12 years now and it is now about 12 feet tall. It gets large white blooms that smell heavenly. They are all over southern Mississippi and it is the state tree.

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Posted by robertduval14 (Mason, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Apr 18, 2013 9:51 PM

State tree of Mississippi.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Apr 20, 2019 9:58 AM

The Southern Magnolia has a native range discovered in the 1700's as from coastal North Carolina down to central Florida to along the Gulf Coast to a little over the Texas border. It has large, coarse-textured, shiny, leathery leaves about 5 to 10 inches long by 2 to 3 inches wide and brown hairy below the leaves. The fragrant flowers are 6 to 9 inches in diameter and have 3 sepals and 6 to 12 white petals. The aggregate follicle fruit is light brown and about 3 to 4 inches long with big red seeds. The bark is brown-gray and scaly. It grows 25 to 80 feet tall with a trunk that gets 2 to 3 feet in diameter. It is a common tree in the South USA, sold by most nurseries there. Some hardier selections as 'Bracken's Brown Beauty,' Edith Bogue,' 'Select #3,' and 'Little Gem' do well in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania region of Zone 6b, and the mother species does well all though the Delmarva Peninsula.

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Plant Events from our members
tabbycat On May 16, 2019 Bloomed
1st ever flower on this 8 year old from seeds planted by birds. By June 1 it made 3 flowers & total 5 flowers. I'm thrilled having waited so many years!
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Magnolia Tree leaves by jmacho20 Nov 20, 2019 1:29 PM 2
Need help identifying a tree by Annfrances Oct 8, 2019 2:54 PM 8
Help Identifying Tree by Rexquondam Oct 6, 2019 10:48 PM 6
Did our landscaper make a mistake ?? by Disneymom2319 Oct 22, 2019 5:28 PM 41
Recommendations on fertilizing green giant by Charlie07834 Apr 22, 2019 2:06 PM 3
Banner for April 9, 2019 by greenappleagnes by greenappleagnes Apr 9, 2019 8:32 PM 11
What is blooming for you right now? by Iluvtobake Jan 21, 2020 1:36 AM 736
Magnolia tree seems to not be doing so well. Please help! by amateurCAgardener Jan 17, 2019 2:28 PM 10
Is this slime mold or ? by tx_flower_child Nov 29, 2018 12:12 PM 7
ID this lovely nut by Dethmask Sep 18, 2018 5:21 AM 3

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