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Southern Magnolia 

in the Northeast Florida Landscape

( Magnolia grandiflora )

Southern Magnolia Origins:


- Native to North America


Southern Magnolia Preferred Exposure:

- Full sun to partial sun/shade situarions are tolerated in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape.

Southern Magnolia Foliage | Bark:


- Foliage of the Southern Magnolia is large medium green glossy on the surface of the leaf and a fuzzy light reddish tan on the underside of the leaf.

- Leaves are both thick and rather large reaching 5-8 inches in length.

Southern Magnolia Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:

- Magnolia Grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ will prefer slightly acidic soil but will tolerate sand, loam, clay,

slightly alkaline and even occasionally wet soils.

- Only moderately salt tolerant

 Southern Magnolia Size Variance:


- Can reach sizes of 60-80 feet H | and spreading 30-40 feet wide.


Southern Magnolia Growth Habit:

- Southern Magnolias are densely foliated trees with a pyramidal grwoth habit and tend to have branches very near ground level unless pruned up by removing the lower branches to expose underneathe the tree.


Southern Magnolia Growth Rate:

- Southern Magnolia trees are moderate growers with an extremely long life span.

Southern Magnolia Bloom:


- These trees have humongous fragrant white leathery blooms that reach 8 inches across with a central cone that will enlarge and open up after the petals have gone to expose beautiful bright red seeds that are utilized by various wildlife in the North Florida | Jacksonivlle | St. Augustine area landscapes and gardens.


 - Its no wonder these impressive blooms are the state flower for both Louisianna and Mississippi.


Southern Magnolia Water Requirements:


- Plants will need daily water after beng planted from a container or transplanted into the landscape and supplimental irrigation during periods of reduced local rainfall for the first season or two.


Butterfly or Bird Attracting:

- Seed cones are utilized by various wildlife.

Best Uses For Southern Magnolia in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine landscape:

- Southern Magnolias are an ideal selection for a large garden area where an evergreen shade tree is wanted. Plant Southern Magnolia only when there will be plenty of lateral room for the branches to grow or trim off lower limbs as the trees mature to above garages, sheds, walkways etc.

Care of Live Southern Magnolia:

- Although Magnolia trees can be planted from a container into the landscape any time of the  year in our North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscapes, Magnolias root systems  are very wide for their size making transplanting sometimes difficult, so if you decide to move  one from one location to another in the yard be sure to do it in winter or spring for the best result possible.


- Water every day during the establishment period, See watering your newly planted trees for  more information. Magnolia’s must be watched for the first one to two seasons after being planted  or transplanted in the landscape and supplemental water supplied in any time of drought. They are  slower to establish themselves into the landscape than many other trees and should be watered  well once a week when local rainfall is scarce.



- Magnolias respond well to pruning, when shaping a younger tree they should be pruned 6 inches deeper than where you  would like to see the re-growth appear. Everywhere you trim the tree will sprout new growth  and begin to branch out and fill in. So if you have a sparcely foliated Magnolia tree get out the  pruners and remove as many growing tips as possible, prune deeper into the branch in scarcely

foliated areas to get them to branch out and fill in the gaps.


 - Magnolias have lots of branches all though they will be smaller in diameter in comparison to other larger growing shade trees like an Oak. Prune out the occaisoinal occurance of a branch at a sharper angle than 45 degrees or if damaged etc. by removing the branch all the way back to the trunk.



- Provide a 1 ft diameter circle of mulched area where grass is kept from growing for each inch  of caliper (or diameter) of trunk measured 4 inches from the ground level.



- Fertilize each spring with a mixture of milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food  such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around  the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the tree.



Want more information about Southern Magnolias? Click this link to UFIFAS for more information on

Southern Magnolia for the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area.

Magnolia Grandiflora / Southern Magnolia


 Want to see more Magnolia varieties available at S & J Nursery?

Check out these links to other Southern Magnolia Varieties


Magnolia Alta 'TMGH'

Magnolia Brackens Brown Beauty

Magnolia Little Gem

Magnolia Greenback MGTIG

Magnolia D.D. Blanchard


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