Magnolia grandiflora, Southern Magnolia, is a native of Florida and the southeastern U.S. It is one of the most widely grown trees in Florida and also one of the most widely cultivated Magnolias in the world. It is a large, stately, evergreen tree that can grow 30 to 80 feet tall with canopies spreading 30 to 50 feet wide.
I live in a neighborhood of small yards. Quite a few homeowners have magnolia trees. It’s a pleasure to drive through the neighborhood and see the magnolia trees in various sizes. They all are covered in blooms.
If I had a bigger yard, I would plant a magnolia tree. My neighbor down the street has a nice size tree for the yard, but it still has lots of growing to do. It already dominates the small yard. I hate to think of an 80 foot tree in front of that house. It would damage the foundation long before maturity.
The other day I was driving in the parking lot of a strip mall and noticed all the small magnolias planted. Are they planning on trimming them constantly in the future to contain the size? Drivers will never be able to see if all those little trees were fully grown. They look beautiful but it did make me wonder. What are they thinking?
If I lived on a large lot, I would definitely plant a magnolia tree. They can grow in Zones 7-10, depending on the variety, with a few cultivars hardy to zone 5. Light needs: Full sun to partial shade. Moist, peaty soil can help magnolias tolerate full sun. Experts advise planting your tree at least 20 feet from your house due to its size at maturity. Its roots in the future can damage your home.
With large 8 inch diameter saucer-shaped white flowers and dark green oval shiny leaves, I can see why they are so popular. Blossoms open up in late spring and sporadically during the summer offering showy white color, mixed in with dark green foliage. In the fall and early winter fuzzy brown cones will ripen producing bright red seeds which are used by various wildlife such as birds.
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