Add Magnolias and Michelias to Your Garden

These small trees offer so much more than spring flowers.
Related To:
gby1210_3h_saucer_magnolia

gby1210_3h_saucer_magnolia

Untitled 3,126

There are more to magnolias than the beautiful pink-flowered deciduous trees that may first come to mind.

In fact, says magnolia enthusiast Sean Hogan, many of the less commonly planted, yet equally fetching varieties, offer bang beyond the bloom.

"There are dozens and dozens of different types so you've got all kinds of flower colors, but you've got all kinds of leaf textures also so they're not just interesting for a month in the spring."

The michelia may or may not be a magnolia, but it's at least a close relative. And there's no debate about the botanical difference, michelias do produce lots more flowers.

"With magnolias, you just get one bud at the very end of the branch.

Michelias bloom all along last season's growth so you get a much longer flowering season."

Michelias are evergreen so you get that winter interest (some of them are hardy to as low as 10 below zero), but you've get different shades. There's a pure white shade that fits right in with winter.

So when the last petal falls off the deciduous magnolia in spring, there are still lots more on most varieties of the often evergreen, fragrant michelia.

There are other differences as well. Many magnolia varieties do well in warmer climates where late frosts can't decimate the blooms. For climatically marginal areas, michelias may offer a beautiful solution.

You also pink and almost red. There's even one that's almost burgundy.

If you have your heart set on a more traditional magnolia, see what's available at your local nursery or garden center. They'll generally have trees and shrubs that do well in your area, even if it's USDA Zone 4.

Magnolia stellata and its close relative Magnolia clovis are the hardiest of any magnolias.

Planted or potted, magnolias like moist, fairly well-drained soil that's slightly acidic. If you're repotting one, try not to rough up the roots as you replant. Minimize root disturbance for all magnolia trees and shrubs. They're finicky about having their fibrous roots damaged and often react to changes by shedding leaves.

Containers allow mobility, so if you expect a hard freeze, move the trees to a safer place such as inside the garage or basement, for example.

Magnolias are relatively unaffected by pests and disease. What will send them into a tailspin, though, is not getting enough water.

Tidbit: Beetles, not bees or butterflies, do most of the pollinating because magnolia flowers don't produce nectar.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Southern Belle: Magnolia

This quintessential Dixie tree boasts sumptuous blossoms and rich, glossy leaves.

Notables in a Riverside Garden

A special rhododendron and azalea, a tatting fern, crested iris and little epaulette tree are perfect additions to a riverside garden.

Add Colorful Poppies to Your Garden

Add eye-popping hues to your garden with easy-to-grow poppies.

Stumpery Garden

This gardener uses donated tree stumps to create a very special landscape.

Garden Gem: Jewelweed

This colorful annual is one cool plant.

Favorites in a Designer's Garden

Pam Duncan shares a few of her favorite plants from her own gardens.

A Garden for All Times

A historic garden has a blending of the old and the new.

Cut-Flower Garden

Save money on fresh-cut flowers by growing your own bouquet garden.

How to Plant and Grow Persimmons

Experts pick their best tips on how to achieve persimmon perfection.

How to Grow Peaches by the Patio

If you want to cultivate fruit trees in a small yard, you have to think big and grow small.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Tiny House Hunters

6:30am | 5:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Good Bones

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Good Bones

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.