Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Southern Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora

Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia (mag-NO-lee-a) (Info)
Species: grandiflora (gran-dih-FLOR-uh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

38 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Ferment seeds before storing

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There are a total of 58 photos.
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9 positives
4 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Jan 5, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

According to the Illinois Poison Control Center, magnolias are completely non-toxic to humans.
The California Poison Control System says the same: YOUR PLANTS-plant list for...

Positive lalea878 On Jan 18, 2014, lalea878 from Mobile, AL wrote:

This variety grows on its own here in the deep south, but I look at it as a symbol of the south and all the friendliness one finds down here. The hot humid weather gets on my last nerve at times but truly missed the south when I lived in AZ. I found out that 110 degrees at 7% humidity doesnt feel as hot as 80 degrees in the south on the coast, where you can almost cut the air with a knife at times! Love the trees down here and with my lot being partly wooded, I enjoy plenty of them, including this one.

Positive PammiePi On Jun 17, 2010, PammiePi from Green Cove Springs, FL wrote:

A native tree here in NE Florida, I live on a partially wooded acre on a large pond, and these trees can be found growing everywhere, almost to the point where they could be considered a pest, if it weren't for the fact they are so beautiful. The first year we lived here I transplanted a young tree that was growing along the fenceline, and planted it off the driveway in clay/sandy soil in a sunny location. This was my first experiment with transplanting a Magnolia. The tree thrived and grew quickly. It took about 7-8 years before the tree started blooming, when it reached about 30 ft. high. The white blooms are large and beautiful, the tree has a nice pyramidical shape, and the large evergreen leaves add a nice texture to the landscape. My particular tree only required care in the early days, when it was first transplanted. Otherwise it is a no-maintenance tree, other than an occasional pruning of lower or dead branches. They do get big, so care should be taken on where you plant it.

Negative Agaveguy On May 19, 2009, Agaveguy from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Not well adapted to thinner soils of this area, or to our frequent droughts. Best specimens are in deep soils in river bottoms.

Positive baiissatva On Sep 18, 2008, baiissatva from Dunedin
New Zealand wrote:

This is a commonly planted tree down here and though exceedingly handsome when flourishing, there is nothing sadder-looking than a tortured specimen, with its puny yellowing leaves and spindly branches. So make sure your conditions are right. Up the road on a flatter site a 10 metre Grandiflora has just root-rotted out and toppled over after a particularly wet winter. (I find the following to be a reliable test of your conditions- Dig a two foot hole in your yard and fill with water- if its still there after 12 hours, you have crappy drainage and can consider yourself a tree-cemetery without remedial work.) So dont bother if youre soggy. Or too dry. Mags like regular water and this one's no exception.

This is an assertive tree in the landscape and will kick sand in the faces of more delicate specimens with its deep shade and dominating colours and textures. Im growing 'Little Gem' to avoid this phenomenon. Looks best with other evergreens and particularly with our indigenous shrubs which share its glossiness and are enlivened by the flowers. In a large formal setting, a matched pair look fabulous. It's evergreen here, flowering all year round.

I dig up and move my magnolias quite often before settling on the right place for them, without a loss to date, so I find all that lore about not being able to re-locate them to be overstated.

See some of our plants and gardenalia at The Blackthorn

Neutral palmbob On Dec 23, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

WAY overplanted tree here in Southern California, where it is one the city's favorite landscape trees, in some misguided effort to make LA remind them of the east coast perhaps? Whatever the reason, this tree does fairly well here, though never looks as great as it does in the deep south. Leaves fall off at the untraditional time of Spring, so leaf raking plans should be made for then. Some large trees seem to lose their entire set of leaves over a month, while growing new leaves at a rapid rate (so the tree is never leafless).

I personally dislike this tree because I have one in my yard and it drops huge leaves on my plants below, and I didn't plant it (street tree).. but the city never trims it, so it looks terrible. But if well trimmed, it can be a gorgeous tree.

Positive Fleurs On Jul 14, 2005, Fleurs from Columbia, SC wrote:

'Little Gem' is a cultivar which reaches 20' tall and 10' wide and blooms at a very young age. Blooming is heaviest in Spring and continues throughout Summer and into Fall. One year the blossoms on 'Little Gem' barely escaped a snowfall!

'DD Blanchard' grows to 30' tall and 20' wide. Its leaves are larger and even glossier than those of 'Little Gem.' DDB's flowers wait for about 3 years to bloom; while it doesn't have nearly the same number of blooms as 'Little Gem,' the flowers are larger and more volumptuous. Both trees are gorgeous and easy to grow, but be careful when purchasing these magnolias; we purchased 'DD Blanchard' by mistake, being assured it was 'Little Gem.'

As the magnolias age, the leaves drop more heavily, but cleanup isn't nearly as arduous as that mandated by my neighbor's poorly sited Sycamore!

Positive nick89 On Sep 19, 2004, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

One of the best Southern trees. The huge white flowers have few rivals and the evergreen leves are impressive. Almost every yard in my area seems to have them. They look at their best when allowed to grow naturally and branch all the way down the trunk to the ground, so provide plenty of room!

Positive foodiesleuth On Jul 24, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I was very surprised to see magnolias growing and blooming in Hawaii. I never thought of it as a "tropical" plant, but they do quite well here. They seem to bloom more often here throughout the year than the ones I had growing in my yard in SC, where I lived for many years.

Positive aviator8188 On Jul 23, 2004, aviator8188 from Murphysboro, IL (Zone 7a) wrote:

Magnolias grow very tall and wide here in zone 7a extreme southern Illinois. The Mag's also bloom continuosly during the summer. Although they grow slow, their well worth the wait!

Neutral Andrsta1 On Apr 12, 2004, Andrsta1 from Shawnee Mission, KS wrote:

I rate it a 5

Neutral dogbane On Nov 11, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I do love Magnolias. Along with Live Oaks and Bald Cypress, they rank as the best of the southern trees. However, in heavy wet soils like we have here in New Orleans, Magnolias face lots of stress and it shows by making the tree susceptable to scale insects. These are very difficult to treat and make the tree unsightly.

Positive Wingnut On Aug 30, 2002, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I LOVE this tree! The fragrance of the huge white blooms is incredible. One bloom will make an entire room smell good.

Positive Terry On Jan 25, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is the traditional Magnolia of the southern U.S., blooming with fragrant, creamy white flowers in the spring and intermittently throughout early summer. M. grandiflora is the state flower of Louisiana and Mississippi. The large (4"-8" long) and broad leaves are a lighter colored and pliable when young, aging to a darker color and leathery texture.

With such broad leaves, Magnolias need protection from wind. Carefully consider their eventual size (and the deep shade they cast) when positioning them in your yard. Some gardeners limb up the trees, while others allow the lower brances to remain.

Either way, they're a beautiful (if imposing) presence in the landscape, and their leaves and seed pods provide beautiful holiday decoration material.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Atmore, Alabama
Midland City, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
New Market, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Little Rock, Arkansas
Morrilton, Arkansas
Sherwood, Arkansas
Chowchilla, California
East Palo Alto, California
El Cerrito, California
Modesto, California
Pomona, California
Reseda, California
Rocklin, California
Sacramento, California
Santa Barbara, California
Santee, California
Clifton, Colorado
Dover, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Fruitland Park, Florida
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Hampton, Florida
Hernando, Florida
Indialantic, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Leesburg, Florida
Maitland, Florida
Navarre, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Ruskin, Florida
Safety Harbor, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Trenton, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Athens, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Hawkinsville, Georgia
Jeffersonville, Georgia
Villa Rica, Georgia
Warner Robins, Georgia (2 reports)
Hilo, Hawaii
Honomu, Hawaii
Pukalani, Hawaii
Chicago, Illinois
Murphysboro, Illinois
Olathe, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas (2 reports)
Wichita, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Benton, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Melvin, Kentucky
Mount Sterling, Kentucky
Prestonsburg, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Tiline, Kentucky
Independence, Louisiana
Marrero, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)
Norco, Louisiana
Slaughter, Louisiana
Vacherie, Louisiana
Brookeville, Maryland
Termes-d'armagnac, Michigan
Madison, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Southaven, Mississippi
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Las Vegas, Nevada
Middlesex, New Jersey
Moorestown, New Jersey
Roswell, New Mexico
Staten Island, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Rowland, North Carolina
Wilsons Mills, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Edmond, Oklahoma
Beaverton, Oregon
Cornelius, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Hatboro, Pennsylvania
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
Bluffton, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Islandton, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Pelion, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Benton, Tennessee
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Morrison, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Sevierville, Tennessee
Smyrna, Tennessee
Anderson, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Converse, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Lufkin, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Orange, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Smithville, Texas
Spicewood, Texas
Wilmer, Texas
Charlottesville, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Falling Waters, West Virginia

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