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Magnolia, Sweetbay

#1 Container: 2-3 Feet
1 Gallon(s)
#1 Container: 1-2 Feet
1 Gallon(s)

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Product Description

Magnolia, Sweetbay

As an elegantly shaped, profusely fragrant, and fast-growing flowering tree, the Sweetbay Magnolia is a foolproof choice when seeking a decorative and reliable specimen… 


What distinguishes the lovely Sweetbay Magnolia?

  • Easily grown as either a rounded-canopy tree or a multi-stemmed shrub, perfect for large and small yards alike.

  • Gorgeous cream-white blossoms

  • A delightful vanilla-scented aroma that can be detected from hundreds of yards away.

  • Self-protects against spring frosts; though it does not produce as many blossoms as the classic Southern Magnolia, the flowering Sweetbay Magnolia has the advantage of blooming later in the spring, typically in May and June, effectively avoiding any potential late-spring frosts.

  • Resistant to magnolia scale (which unfortunately infests most magnolia varieties), tolerates periodic flooding, and can survive even in acidic poorly-drained soils.


  • Serves as a wildlife refuge; apart from being valued for its ornamental beauty, this compact tree provides excellent shelter, nesting sites, and nourishment to a variety of wildlife, including the sweetbay silkmoth.
  • Excellent ornamental tree for small yards.


Keeping up appearances…

Elegantly shaped with a spreading crown, the Sweetbay Magnolia’s deciduous green canopy scrapes up to a decent height of 10-35 ft. with a respective spread, though it grows taller and faster in warmer climates. While it does not have a significant fall color, the flowering Sweetbay Magnolia’s glossy leaves are multi-hued even in the summer, usually dark green with stunning silvery undersides revealed by a tousling from the wind.


A friendly recommendation.

Best exposed to full sun to partial shade, the Sweetbay Magnolia has a 5-10 hardiness zone rating and can sometimes be considered deciduous or evergreen according to the climate.  Install a thick layer of mulch around your tree and irrigate if necessary to keep the soil from drying out. Will not survive in dry soils.


Awesome tree trivia!

  • Even the tree’s smooth gray bark has a faint distinctive fragrance—reminiscent of citrus fruits and bay laurel spice—as do its leaves and twigs.
  • Native to the lowlands and swamps of the east-central and southeastern United States, this tree thrives in uplands and wetlands alike, developing best in medium, well-drained soils.
  • Commonly known as the Sweetbay Magnolia, the impeccable Magnolia Virginiana is a beautiful member of the Magnoliaceae family, typically cultivated as an ornamental garden tree and used in a variety of landscape designs and parks—it’s perfect for small yards too.
  • Early American settlers had nicknamed the Sweetbay Magnolia the “Beaver Tree” due to its fleshy roots, which served as good bait for beaver traps.

This Tree's Zone: 5 to 10

Your Growing Zone:

FoliageGlossy green
Fall FoliageGreen
Bloom TimeMay to June
ShapeRounded to spreading
SunFull sun to part shade
Size10 to 35 feet
Spread10 to 35 feet

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