Magnolia – Types, How to grow and where to buy

Magnolia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Magnoliaceae family which consists of about 210 species. Magnolias are one of the most primitive plants in botanical history with many of their species considered to be rare. 

Magnolia Blue Opal is a great example of a beautiful magnolia. Can Magnolias grow in the shade?

Magnolia grandiflora Little Gem - Compact Evergreen Magnolia - Bull Bay

Magnolia grandiflora Little Gem – Compact Evergreen Magnolia – Bull Bay

BUY: In Stock here from UK Sellers
They initially originated from Asia, North America, and Europe but in recent times have been distributed in North, Central, and Southern America, West Indies, and South China. With their habitat as swamp edges and different bodies of water, they have been naturalised to almost all continents of the world because of their beauty.

More about Magnolia

Growing Magnolia Trees

Magnolias are low-maintenance plants prized for their majestic appearance that is easy to grow. They can be trees or large shrubs capable of swallowing up an average garden. Although, there are a few early-blooming cultivars that are moderately sized and small that can fit small yards or even pots and containers to get small magnolia trees. 

Additionally, some species are capable of growing as multi-stemmed shrubby plants, while others can grow to become classic upright trees of massive size, changing growth habits depending on climate and environment. 

Magnolias can be evergreen or deciduous, and a number of them are best suited for the UK, although the deciduous varieties are more common in the UK. Having fewer leaves allows the beauty of the flowers to be more evident.

Species Of Magnolias

Southern Magnolia: Also known as Magnolia grandiflora, this is the most popular magnolia tree native to the south-eastern United States and popularly cultivated in warm temperate and subtropical regions; with flowers common to Louisiana and Mississippi. It is a large, evergreen variety with broad leaves and creamy-white flowers that are very fragrant. 

This iconic tree requires lots of space, is long-lived, fast-growing, and perfect as a specimen plant, capable of growing to a height of 60 to 80 feet and a width of 30 to 50 feet.

Saucer Magnolia: This is a cultivar also known as Magnolia x soulangiana commonly grown in the U.S, and sometimes referred to as Tulip tree or Pink magnolia tree. It is a deciduous, low-branched tree with large flowers of white shades and light to deep pink or purplish insides, shaped like a saucer. It is a dwarf-sized variety capable of growing to a mature height of 20 to 25 and even 30 feet.

Magnolia liliiflora: This small-sized species, also known as Lily Magnolia, can grow as a small tree or shrub. It has reddish-purple or pink flowers shaped like lilies and is a parent plant of the saucer magnolia. It is capable of growing to a height of 7 to 10 feet.

Star Magnolia: Also known as Magnolia stellata, this is a deciduous plant with white star-shaped flowers. It is the hardiest and one of the early-blooming Magnolias. It can be a small tree or a large shrub capable of growing to a height of 15 to 20 feet.

Where to buy Magnolia in the UK?

Attractiveness and Toxicity

Some Magnolia species with nectar and pollen are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds while others have birds attracted to their fruits. Magnolias are generally not known to contain any toxic compounds and are considered to be edible and non-poisonous to cats, dogs, or humans. 

Some species may be poisonous while others are not. Star Magnolia is completely non-toxic while Magnolia grandiflora blooms can be edible blooms with highly toxic seeds.

Magnolia Rustica Rubra

Magnolia Rustica Rubra is a large deciduous shrub or small tree grown for its pretty flowers, also known as Soulangiana Magnolia. It is a hardy tree, resistant to heat and humidity. In early spring, it gives rise to fragrant, long-lasting flowers that are shaped like cups. They are rose-pink on the outside and white on the inside. 

Magnolia Rustica Rubra has dark green leaves with broad bases that taper toward the apex. In autumn, the leaves turn golden brown just before shedding to the ground.

How to grow and care for magnolia rustica rubra?

Magnolia Rustica Rubra is best planted in early spring or autumn. It is commonly planted in containers. Before planting, dig a hole that is slightly larger than the plant's root mass. Put some compost in the hole and then place your magnolia in it by spreading its roots out. When done, build a mound of soil and mulch around the plant. 

Water regularly in the first two years of growth. After that, you may begin watering once a week. You can apply a general-purpose fertilizer in spring when the flower buds start to emerge. Pruning is rarely needed but you can lightly trim your magnolia Rustica Rubra tree between midsummer and fall.

Where should I position magnolia rustica rubra in my garden?

Magnolia Rustica Rubra may be positioned facing north, east, west or south. It will grow properly in full sun or partial shade. Therefore, it should be positioned so that it won't be exposed to direct sunlight in an area sheltered from strong winds. This is to shield the young leaves from damage and ensure the flowers bloom long enough.

How tall does magnolia rustica rubra grow?

Magnolia Rustica Rubra tree has a slow to medium growth rate. It reaches a maximum height of 26 feet in ten to twenty years.

How much does magnolia rustica rubra spread?

Magnolia rustica rubra is a hardy tree that reaches a spread of four to eight metres by the time it attains full maturity.

What kind of soil does Magnolia rustica rubra need?

This hardy tree is suited to soil with an acidic or neutral pH. It is best to use moist but well-drained sandy, loamy or clay soil may be used.