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18 Gorgeous Magnolia Tree Types

Find out how to grow stunning magnolia trees in your garden and discover the best magnolia varieties.

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Photo: photographer for Monrovia

‘Saint Mary’ Southern Magnolia

Magnolias bring drama to any garden, whether you’re growing a classic evergreen type or a spring beauty like star magnolia. The signature fragrant flowers can stop traffic and will make you want to tuck magnolias into every corner of your yard. Magnolias are as versatile as they are beautiful, making it easy to find one that suits your growing conditions. Discover the range of magnolia magnificence, starting with the timeless Southern magnolia, above, offered as a dwarf form. This variety is ‘Saint Mary’ Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), growing 20 to 25 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

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Photo: Bailey Nurseries Inc. at

‘Centennial Blush’ Star Magnolia

Star magnolia bursts into bloom in early spring, when the first daffodils are just starting to show color. ‘Centennial Blush’ star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) opens pale pink flowers rich with fragrance. Blossoms unfurl before leaves, staging a stunning show. Star magnolias flower best in full sun but tolerate part shade (they actually benefit from shade during the hottest part of the day in warmest zones). Feed plants in spring using a slow release shrub and tree fertilizer with sulfur and/or iron to help green the leaves. This star magnolia grows 12 to 18 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. It’s hardy in Zones 4 to 9, which means it can welcome spring from Minneapolis, to Mobile, Alabama, to Medford, Oregon.

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Photo: Anthony Tesselaar Plants at

Felix Magnolia

Felix is part of a group of magnolias known as the Jury Series. Developed by plant breeder Mark Jury, these magnolias deliver big, bold blooms on small trees with fuss-free personalities. Felix (Magnolia ‘JURmag2’) unfurls hot pink, fragrant flowers the size of dinner plates—a whopping 12 inches across. This magnolia is a great choice for courtyard or entry gardens, or if you want a pair of stately trees flanking a drive without blocking the view. Trees flower at a young age and eventually open hundreds of blooms each spring. Plants grow 10 to 15 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide and are hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

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Photo: Bailey Nurseries Inc. at

‘Leonard Messel’ Magnolia

This dwarf magnolia is suitable for any size yard. Plants typically grow 10 to 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide. ‘Leonard Messel’ boasts strong frost tolerance, which means those flowers stand a better chance of not getting zapped by late spring cold snaps. Each strappy petal features two colors: purplish-pink outside with a white interior. The fragrant flowers unfurl before leaves, bringing branches to colorful life. Water your magnolia consistently during the first growing season. After that, most magnolias are moderately drought tolerant, although benefit from water during extremely dry seasons. Grow ‘Leonard Messel’ as a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree in Zones 4 to 9.

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