Magnolia, Little Gem
Fusing the fast-growing, resilient nature of magnolias with a profusion of sumptuous flowers, the Little Gem Magnolia can become your ideal privacy tree and easily the crowning jewel of your garden! Nearly winter-proof, the tough Little Gem Magnolia is in full bloom for almost half the year, flaunting large creamy-white flowers that adorably speckle the tree and emit a bewitching fragrance. Its glossy dark foliage is another source of beauty, with a bronze sheen on the leaves’ fuzzy undersides. Narrowly columned, densely leaved, and generously fragrant, the Little Gem Magnolia makes for the perfect living wall.
Binomially classified as “Magnolia Grandiflora”, this specimen is also known as the “Dwarf Southern Magnolia”, appropriately termed due to its preference for milder climates and its more compact structure as a shrub. As a low-maintenance specimen, the Little Gem Magnolia exhibits commendable tolerance to most conditions found in its 7-10 hardiness zone. Under optimal circumstances, given full sun to partial shade (too much shade may discourage flowering) and soil infused with organic material (especially if moist and slightly acidic), the Little Gem Magnolia—despite being termed a “dwarf”—can grow to an average height of 15 ft. with a 7-10 ft. spread. For the first couple of seasons, it thrives with regular watering and honestly requires minimal to zero pruning. As hardy as it is cute, the Little Gem Magnolia is a breed that boasts resilience against most pest and disease concerns; it may be susceptible to magnolia scale, however, which can be easily controlled with horticultural oil.
This specimen is nothing if not ornamental, beginning with the unique nature of its leaves: dark and glossy like the familiar large southern magnolias yet with wooly copper-tinted undersides which give this tree a distinct character. Its first annual compilation of breathtaking and extremely aromatic summer flowers emerges quite early, as soon as the tree grows 2-3 ft. in height. Though these flowers can blossom as soon as May, they linger throughout the summer, sometimes beautifying the tree for up to six months. Later in the summer and early autumn, the Little Gem Magnolia’s seed pods (resembling pine cones) open to expose vivid crimson seeds; these dangle fleetingly from the tree before being shed to the ground. In the autumn, the tree’s sleek foliage transforms to warm brown-gold and tawny cinnamon hues, adding a stimulating splash of color to this charming tree regardless of whether it serves as a singular accent specimen or as part of a resplendent hedge.
Photos Copyright © Horticopia, Inc. 2017
This Tree's Zone: 7 to 9
Your Growing Zone:
|Foliage||Glossy dark green|
|Fall Foliage||Green to bronze|
|Bloom Time||May to July|
|Shape||Pyramid to round|
|Sun||Full sun to partial shade|
|Size||12 to 15 feet|
|Spread||7 to 10 feet|