Hardiness: 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
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall Mid Fall Blooms repeatedly
Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen Smooth-Textured
Other details: Flowers are fragrant Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Patented
Propagation Methods: From semi-hardwood cuttings From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
Seed Collecting: N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
On Apr 17, 2013, wildbarrett from Lakewood, OH wrote:
In the ground now Lake Erie shore area, so Lake Effect Snow/winds area..2 years and this past winter was quite awful. Tree was a good 6 feet when planted, has grown beautifully, and even after this winter shows no harms whatsoever. Situated sunny except late afternoon shady, and does take on the north wind, stands strong and withstands without shock damage. Birds love the shelter in wind and rain, and escape enemies within the dense foliage. A VERY beautiful tree, we just love it. Mine does best if I keep the ground well watered in the summer heat is all. Sporadic leaves drop in spring for new leaves to grow, but not all the leaves, just a couple here and there each day till it's done! Lovely form, leaves and flowers, but my favorite are the gorgeous pods following the flowers, with those lovely deep green bronze backed leaves, uncommonly beautiful
On Jun 11, 2012, RBKB444 from Lansing, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have had this plant in the ground for three years. It has grown a couple of feet, since I planted it. I protected it from the wind for the last two winters. It came through both winters with minimal leaf loss. The first year I had a few flowers on the plant, last year none. This year it is loaded with buds and is five feet tall. It has put out a lot of glossy green foliage this year. I think this is a great southern magnolia for northern areas. I live in zone 5b in Michigan.
On Jun 18, 2011, oscarkat01 from Rochester, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I planted this plant in zone 6a 3 years ago. It is somewhat sheltered but not quite as much as I'd like. It had a lot of leaf loss the first year but came back. The second year it had a few flowers and less leaf loss but it still had some. This last winter was one of the worst and coldest we've had in Rochester, NY and it came back great. It has lots of flower buds and is really taking off this year.
On Feb 12, 2011, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
There is a lovely specimen growing in the Inniswood Gardens of Columbus Ohio. I am also emboldened to try it in a spot somewhat protected from Nor'easters because according to Jim Gardiner in Magnolias, a gardener's guide, 'Brackens Brown Beauty' is hardy to -20 degrees F. It was discovered by Ray Bracken in his nursery in Easley, south Carolina in 1978 and registered in 1987. Plant patent #5520.
Dorothy Calloway , 1994, writes in her magnolia book that it transplants well.
On Nov 28, 2009, RonDEZone7a from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:
I am in Wilmington, Delaware (Zone 7a), within the normal cultivated range of Magnolia grandiflora. Even so, I was looking for a hardier cultivar to plant in the cold exposed NW corner of my backyard. Brackens Brown Beauty has done great in my "cold corner" and has never shown any winter damage. It just gets bigger and more beautiful each year.
On Oct 16, 2008, mambrose from Millis, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I did everything wrong for planting M. grandiflora in my region... small 2 gallon size, planted in the ground during late September, sited in a completely exposed location that receives direct winter morning sun. The trees were completely defoliated and had ~33% dieback that winter. They recovered and bloomed the next spring and now (in the ground 4 years) only experience slight leaf burn with minimal leaf loss and abundant flowering and seed set each year.
On May 8, 2007, cactusman102 from Lawrence, KS wrote:
Definately hardy to at least zone 5b/6a, Lawrence, KS. This is one of only 3 broadleaf evergreen trees we can reliably grow. This is a real attention getter, especially in the winter. As a landscape company owner, we have installed about 50 lange specimens in our landscapes over the last 4 years. We have yet to replace even one. Two years ago, we experimented with a couple trees planted in open windswept prairie conditions. Even these have survived well with minor leaf burn. 15 gal trees establish best and are well worth the money considering their slow growth rate. Adequare water is needed during establishment which can take a couple years. Anti-transpirant spray is advised the first year, especially in the fall before winter. In contrast to most other plants, these are late to leaf out and can look tattered even into mid-spring.
This is definately a winner. Early winter when all the trees are bald its shiney leaves make it stand out. It has partial shade in winter and full sun in summer. I will be getting more as soon as lowes gets them in. My neighbor is from down south, she in her 50's. She loved it and made me buy her one too lol.
On May 29, 2006, Butch388 from Youngstown, OH wrote:
I planted Branken's Brown Beauty a year ago and though we didn't have a hard winter, there was little defoliation on the tree and I have twice as many buds this year/ I put down a balance of 12 12 12 and it is doing beautiful. I live in northern Ohio1
On Jan 2, 2006, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
This plant is quite tough. I have seen it used in wide open spaces where it is subjected to cold temperatures and blazing winter sun without protection as far north as Cincinnati. Up here in central illinois I have been able to grow it on the north side of the house where it is kept out of strong sunlight for a good portion of the day during the winter. During the summer it still manages to get full sun. It grows very well and even handled temps around -8 in december of 05 without any burn. Many others I have run into across central illinois have run into few problems growing this tree and would highly recommend it for a protected spot in anyones yard.
*UPDATE 3-15-07* The winter of 2006-07 showed some good results. Following the Low temperatures of several weeks below 0 degrees all the way down to -8 the leaves were maybe half burned but all retained. There is no tissue damage that will prevent the plant from looking great this spring when it starts growing again.
Update 3-24-09: After a winter of temps hovering into the -10 to -20 range for a few weeks with full exposure to winter winds the leaves turned completely brown and fell off as the weather warmed up for spring. The buds and woody tissue were completely unharmed and growth resumed in spring filling the tree back in.
I live just outside the zone range (se Wisconsin-5b) of this plant. I have two in seperate unprotected areas which I planted last spring (2004). With a minimum low of -14F last winter both plants totally defoliated. However, both have survived and are budding. Ironically, the more exposed one has more buds and will sprout leaves first. I was blessed by two large blooms last summer and can't wait until I see them again!
On Mar 30, 2004, ilexopaca from Sugar Grove, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have had good luck growing Brackens Brown Beauty
in a protected east exposure in Illinois. I live 40 miles west of Chicago. It came through the winter and had 3 blooms on it last summer 2003. It has come through this winter 2004 in even better shape. Minimal leaf burn after -12 degree low.