Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweetbay Magnolia, Silver Bay, Swamp Bay
Magnolia virginiana 'Moonglow'

Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia (mag-NO-lee-a) (Info)
Species: virginiana (vir-jin-ee-AN-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Moonglow
Additional cultivar information: (PP12065; aka Jim Wilson, Moonglow)
Hybridized by Cully; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2000

One vendor has this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 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)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive rkwright85 On Jun 18, 2012, rkwright85 from Horton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Has been very hardy here in zone 5 without any protection. Semi-evergreen, nice foliage. Does not grow good in hot dry conditions and does not like chalky soils. Needs acidic soil or will get leaf chlorosis. I love this Magnolia, even better than Henry Hicks. Nice to have a Magnolia I don't have to treat for Magnolia Scale.

Positive laurax40 On Dec 17, 2007, laurax40 from Carrollton, GA wrote:

while in the process of building our new house two years ago, a tornado hit our new home (in mid august), and took about thirty of our trees. we walked around our four akers of land . thats when i came upon this wonderful find-sweet magnolia tree. we have a creek and about three springs ,and it stays swampy in some spots. we have about twenty sweet magnolias and fourof the trees are very large ones. we are wanting to find small ones and re plant them in our front yard and different places around the yard. they stay green about all year . we have great photos of the creek and the trees where they hang over the creek . in what month would you recomend we transplant them.

laura carter
carrollton, ga.

Positive braun06 On May 11, 2005, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I was blown away by this trees performance. It is very hardy. It has been reported to withstand -33F in northern Illinois. As for my yard it does very well. I have been able to get an incredible three feet of growth a year. It starts blooming in early to mid May here and it smells terrific. Past its big and long initial bloom of the season there are always a flower or two to provide some fragrance in the yard. The foliage is lustrous and looks almost tropical. This tree is semievergreen here and holds most of its leaves into january when you seem to need it the most then they begin to shed as you cross from mid winter to late winter. A few leaves on the end of branches always remain luckily to last until spring. The fruit cones can be ornamental can as well. After many weeks of sub-zero temps (to -8) here during the winter of 06-07 the tree did lose its leaves but the wood and buds remain unharmed. It showed slight suseptibility to verticilium wilt last summer with several years of very dry conditions and built up nitrogen from fertilizer. Supplemental watering (1-2X month) during the summer of 06 prevented the disease's spread during times of extreme drought. It recovered from the disease very quickly and has been very little work or trouble. If you decide to fertilize, fertilize lightly once in early spring. My soils are very prone to causing verticilium wilt to my surprise. I have tried "Neds Northern Belle" as well, with loss of both of the two "Belle" I planted to the disease. Sweetbays like mulch and little root competition from grass. Perennials and shrubs seem to cohabitate well underneath them. Disease should not be a problem under our normal climate patterns here in central Illinois and is rare that verticillium wilt should harm them. Most Sweetbays do very well here in all kinds of soil. I still recommend this tree very highly, even to the unexperienced gardner. This is easily the best tree-form sweetbay magnolia for use in zone 5.


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

Odessa, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Carrollton, Georgia
Hanna City, Illinois
Georgetown, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Horton, Michigan
Lebanon, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Sandy, Utah
Falls Church, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Shoreline, Washington

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