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Stockton, MO
Mar 13, 2018 3:31 PM CST
I am planning on planting a Little Gem Magnolia in Stockton, MO over Mother's Day Weekend. I have never planted a tree before. Is this a good choice of a tree for this area, and is mid-May a good time to plant one? Is there a different Magnolia that would be better for this area? I certainly hope this is good, as this is the tree my mother chose to be remembered by... Thanks for comments/ideas
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Mar 13, 2018 6:20 PM CST

The Little Gem Magnolia growing zones are 7 - 9. You live in 6b, according to the zone lookup on NGA. That means, unless you live in a micro-climate within Stockton, the tree will be marginal - it could do well until you have a cold winter and then it will die. Sorry!

It would be safer to plant a tree hardy in your area then to plant a tree that is marginal for your area. I can think of two small growing Magnolias that will do well: Star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) - my personal favorite, and Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana).

To plant a tree, dig a hole twice the size of the pot (deep and wide). Do you know what kind of soil you have in your area? Does it drain well? We do not recomment supplimenting the soil with anything unless the native soil is truly terrible. Make sure to plant your new tree just a little higher than it was in the nursery pot (because the soil will sink) and water it well. Keep it damp but not soggy.

Good luck! Keep us posted. Smiling
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Mar 13, 2018 6:27 PM CST
I agree, it might be doubtful for Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem') too survive cold winters in your zone but as Daisy suggested, Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) and Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) would do quite well in your area and are both really beautiful trees as well.
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Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Mar 13, 2018 6:34 PM CST
The Missouri Botanical Garden has some information on different types of magnolias that grow in Missouri here: http://www.missouribotanicalga...
Stockton, MO
Mar 13, 2018 6:37 PM CST
Wow, thank you all for your responses/suggestions. I really appreciate the info.

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