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Little Gem Magnolia

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If you love Magnolias, but don't have the room for such a large tree, Little Gem is the answer to your prayers. It has all the wonderful attributes that this southern beauty offers--evergreen glossy leaves, fragrant white blooms and a tough as nails attitude--all in a 15 foot tall package. Super easy to maintain and postcard perfect blossoms!

*images shown are of mature plants

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Little Gem Magnolia

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Aptly named, the Little Gem has all the wonderful qualities you'd expect from a hardy magnolia and more. 

Its ornate flowers--large (8 inches wide), white and creamy-- last longer than any of its cousins. The Little Gem Magnolia is such an early bloomer, it will spend half the year showing off its impressive flowers with a sweet, enchanting fragrance that will delight. 

A tough customer, the species is near winter-proof and will actually exhibit growth during the cold season in some southern locations. When planting space is limited, this magnolia is the perfect choice as its narrowly columned form requires much less room than all other variations. 

The foliage delivers a nice contrast to the seemingly ever-present flowers. Dark, glossy green leaves with a bronze-like underside will complement the scenery of many locations. 

Although nicknamed the dwarf, and considered by some a shrub, Little Gems stack up pretty well, at times reaching heights of more than 20 feet in just seven years. 

With little care of no more than adequate moisture and the occasional plant food, the tree will provide excellent screening, framing accents and other versatile uses limited only by the imagination. 

It's no wonder the Little Gem is the most commonly grown of all magnolias.






Growing Zones: 5-9

Mature Height: 15-20 ft.
Mature Width: 8-10 ft.
Sunlight: Full - Partial
Soil Conditions: Adaptable
Drought Tolerance: Great
Botanical Name: Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem'
Does not ship to: AZ
Growing Zones 5-9
This plant is generally recommended for zones: 5-9
(blue area above)

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It's Easy to Plant your Little Gem Magnolia

Specific Directions for Little Gem Magnolia

Plant your Little Gem Magnolia in an area that receives full to partial sunlight. Although Little Gem Magnolias prefer full sun they can tolerate shade. For a privacy screen or hedge plant your Little Gem Magnolias about 5 feet apart. Make sure that your tree doesn't sit in an low area of your yard that collects standing water.

Little Gem Magnolias prefer slightly acidic soil but will adapt to your natural soil even if it's sandy or heavy in clay as long as it's well draining. After planting your Little Gem Magnolia water it once a week. Once your Magnolia is established it will be very drought tolerant and will only need water during times of drought.

Early every Spring fertilize your Little Gem Magnolia with a well balanced fertilizer like formula 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 and prepare for the show. White creamy flowers will emerge in the Spring and keep blooming all summer and into the Fall!

Step 1 - Dig Your Hole

Select a site with full to partial sun and moist or well drained soil for your Little Gem Magnolia.

First, dig each hole so that it is just shallower than the root ball and at least twice the width.

Then loosen the soil in the planting hole so the roots can easily break through.

Use your shovel or try dragging the points of a pitch fork along the sides and bottom of the hole.

Step 2 - Place Your Plant

Next, separate the roots of your Little Gem Magnolia gently with your fingers and position them downward in the hole.

The top of the root flare, where the roots end and the trunk begins, should be about an inch above the surrounding soil.

Then make sure the plant is exactly vertical in the hole.

To make it just right, use a level.

Step 3 - Backfill Your Hole

As you backfill the hole, apply water to remove air pockets.

Remove debris like stones and grass and completely break up any dirt clumps.

Water your Little Gem Magnolia again after the transplant is complete.

To help retain some of that moisture, it's recommended that you place mulch around each plant to a depth of 2"-3" up to but not touching the trunk. Organic mulches such as wood chips also help to better soil structure as they decompose.

4.6 / 5.0
10 Reviews
5 Stars
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1 Star
Great tree. Fast growing and blooms about 8 months of the year in eastern NC. Very important to mulch it's own leaves as they drop though and feed them back to the tree. Heavy watering the first year is critical for root development and growth. Fertilizer twice a year for magnolia trees helps a lot, I used the tree ""spikes"" to make it easier for me
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December 31, 2012
I've had mine for about 4 years. It has only grown about 6 inches, 4 feet high now. It has beautiful leaves and a lot of blooms. But, it doesn't look as nice and full at the one advertised here on line. I've even ferterlized it
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December 31, 2012
The trees have not grown much in 4 months but have produced flowers. Unfortunatey the flowers start to turn brown before they are even fully open.
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December 31, 2012
I planted it last fall. Had to fence it in because of deer, who ate the flowers it had when I planted it. Anxiously awaited the spring; the tree has had one flower and it's gotten new leaves, so it looks like it survived our New York winter. Yes!!Pleased with how the tree was when it was delivered. Would recommend your company
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December 31, 2012
2 years ago
Great tree once I learned to use 10-10-10 every two weeks! Grew leaves like crazy and increased in size. This was after a poor winter in which it was damaged. Repeated second and third years and tree is rapidly growly; though, at the expense of flowers
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December 31, 2012
Received as described. Already has flower within 1st year.
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December 31, 2012
1 year ago
Little Gem blooms after 4 months
My 'Little Gem' Magnolia Grandiflora arrived in perfect condition about 2' tall. After four months it is now 2&1/2 ' tall and already has three flower buds with one almost fully open. I am really excited. It is possible I will buy one more for my small garden. This is truly the perfect Magnolia for smaller spaces and also for big ones.
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September 19, 2014
From St Louis, MO, US
Review Title
The tree was lovely when it arrived, smaller then I expected, but a great price..and we knew we would enjoy watching it grow. However, the leaves turned brown about a month ago...and I am trying hard to bring it back. Do you offer any guarantee on the trees?
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September 19, 2014
3 months ago
Bought our Little Gem in early June. It arrived beautifully packaged and well cared for. It has already bloomed. Thanks so much.
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December 31, 2012
tree looks good....can't wait for blooms
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December 31, 2012
3 years ago
Browse 17 questions and 36 answers
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Can you grow these in containers in zone 6.5?
A shopper on Jul 30, 2014
Best Answer: Would you believe I live in zone 4 (Minneapolis) and I purchased a little Gem in April, 2013, so cute and small but flowered for me that year in its container (a bit wooden tub). I took it in the house in the winter not knowing what would happen, I put it in an east window (lot of light). It did not die, it didn't grow, but I didn't lose any foliage, it was as though it was in a dormant state. I put it out in late May and it is doing well, it has grown 10" with a lot of new leaves. However, as of yet, I have not had any flowers, but I still hope. Our winters (particularly last one) are brutal and I know it would not survive outside and I am pleased, so far, with my experiment of growing it indoors in the winter. I know yours will be fine, us gardeners who use the container method will have to prune them back eventually as I am sure it won't take long to outgrow the pot and, even with a dolly, I am only strong enough to go up maybe another size, as it is so heavy with all of the soil. Good luck and let us know how it does.
Reply · Report · Norma H on Jul 30, 2014
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What is the height of the Little gem magnolia when shipped and do they have their branches and leaves still on them during shipping?
Marvie C on May 30, 2014
Best Answer: The Little gem magnolia we purchased is doing beautifully. Definitely our best purchase. It arrived in great shape, several branches and leaves intact and HEALTHY. I would estimate the height on arrival at approximately 3'-4'. Very happy with this tree.
Reply · Report · Karen B on May 31, 2014
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I read one review that said when received, several branches and leaves were intact. Could you give me more details on size height and width and how full when shipped?
Cathy B on Jun 21, 2014
Best Answer: The 3 gallon size is between 1 to 2 feet tall and about a half foot wide. The one gallon size is about a foot tall and less wide.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Jun 25, 2014
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Will it thrive in zone 10?
A shopper on Sep 7, 2014
Best Answer: We live in the mid-ohio west side. Our winter was so severe I lost my magnolia. When I received it I was very pleased I had beautiful blooms. I don,t plan to get another because I wouldn't want to lose it.
Reply · Report · Margaret S on Sep 8, 2014
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Can this be trimmed like a tree?
A shopper on Aug 28, 2014
Best Answer: You can trim it down like a bush to around 4 feet, but you need to trim it anyway to avoid it becoming leggy. you want it to bush out like go straight like a stick so you have to help it along.
Reply · Report · Linda c on Sep 12, 2014
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I want to plant for shade about 3 to 4 feet from swimming pool, do you think it would grow well here?
A shopper on Jul 31, 2014
Best Answer: This tree grows 15-30 ft tall and is shaped rather like a Midwestern Poplar tree. Key question is would you plant a tree 3-4 ft from your house foundation (or pool)? Answer is No. If you are in zones 8-11 try White Bird of Paradise . In zone 8 it'll grow 8-9 ft; here in South Florida, 20 ft. It's like a big tree that spreads out like a bush and can be planted close to pools and foundations. A hedge that can grow big enough for shade is the Southern Wax Myrtle or Golden Dew Drop.
Reply · Report · Frederick M on Jul 31, 2014
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does this variety drop many leaves?
James M on Jul 29, 2014
Best Answer: Hardy in zones 7 to 9. Northern uses where weather is colder tend to lose more leaves. Evergreen plant though. You can expect to lose a small percentage anyways. Plant on southern exposure side of house, protected from wind in northern areas. Remove snow frequently as it will break the limbs.
Reply · Report · shane w on Jul 29, 2014
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Can this tree be planted in zone 6 in September?
A shopper on Sep 12, 2014
Best Answer: I wouldn't. It is one that needs protecting in our climate and it needs time for roots to get really strong before winter comes in. My first winter 32 or less temperature drop is typically Oct 15 and that is only 5 weeks away and not enough time for this sweet little plant to get settled in. Plant it in May and you'll be fine.
Reply · Report · Linda c on Sep 12, 2014
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I live in Miami Florida. Can I grow a Little Gem Magnolia?
A shopper on Jun 4, 2014
Best Answer: Depends on the soil conditions. Most likely too Sandy there. Planted mine in a somewhat sandy/well drained area of the yard. It then abruptly died. Same outcome with the pink dogwood. Did a little more research on my next dogwood and had to bring in more of a clay mixture. Having good luck so far now. Still doesn't make up for the fact that I am out all that money.
Reply · Report · shane w on Jun 4, 2014
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when should it be planted in zone 7?
barbara k on Sep 14, 2014
Best Answer: Fall is a fabulous time to plant the Little Gem Magnolia.
Reply · Report · Angela SStaff on Sep 17, 2014
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where can I find the the Little Gem Magnolia in Central Fla.??
A shopper on Aug 22, 2014
Best Answer: You can order it from and have it in about two days. We're unfamiliar with the local nurseries in your area.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Aug 25, 2014
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I need a few magnolias flowers by the end of October and I live in Miami, Florida. If I buy the 3-4ft.plant do you thing this is possible? - I love this plant but I want to make sure that my zone is good for then. Thanks, Nereyda
A shopper on Aug 1, 2014
Best Answer: Our magnolia trees are flowering, but once plants are taken from the direct sunlight and placed in a box for shipping they shed their leaves and blooms to protect themselves. Then your tree may use it's energy getting established to it's new environment before producing new blooms. It's possible, but remember the factors that play into it.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Aug 13, 2014
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If ordered today, when will plant arrive in Tucson Az?
jill R on Jul 20, 2014
Best Answer: Unfortunately Arizona has agricultural laws put in place that prevent us from legally shipping Little Gem Magnolia Trees there.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Jul 29, 2014
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The electric co removed the trees we had because of electric lines. Would these trees work in their place?
janice f on Jun 20, 2014
Best Answer: It depends on how high your electric lines are. Little Gem Magnolias get 15 to 20 feet tall. You may have to prune them back to keep them under your electric lines.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Jun 25, 2014
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Hi when will this plant be back in stock?
Amy T on Jun 14, 2014
Best Answer: We apologize but we don't currently have an indication as to when Our Little Gem Magnolias will be available.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Jun 18, 2014
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I received my magnolia plant , but is loosing leaf . keeping in my terrace under shade is ok. ?
A shopper on Aug 22, 2014
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what does size of 2 gallon mean? I want to know the height of the tree I can place the order.
BurlingtonBen on Aug 2, 2014
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Can I Plant Now?

Yes... Your Little Gem Magnolia can be planted any time of year... even Winter. Roots will continue to grow on warm days, giving your tree a head-start for Spring. 

How do I Request a Different Ship Date?

Call us at 888-504-2001, email us or enter your requested ship date in our shopping cart next to the billing information section. 

Additional Info for Those Who Love to Read:

Orders are occasionally delayed if we see really bad weather approaching, or if we encounter unusual circumstances. A small number of our plants show a specific release date. If you purchase one of these and would like your other items sooner, just let us know. 
Amount of Order Shipping Charge
Less than $15 $8.95
$15.00-$23.99 $11.95
$24.00-$39.99 $14.95
$40.00-$79.99 $18.95
$80.00-$98.99 $23.95
$99+ 28% of order total

Will my Trees and Shrubs Look Like the Photographs?

Most trees and plants on the website are pictured in their mature form. Depending on the product and growth rate, mature development can take years for your plant to resemble the photos.

Picture the last time you took a walk in the woods. The young trees were not miniature bonsai versions of mature trees. Instead they were naturally thin and lanky. Young trees are programmed to race toward the light, before the competing vegetation crowds them out. Once established at 10 feet or more, they start developing a wide canopy and shedding lower limbs.

Potted Tree Dormant Tree Bare Root Tree
Late spring to early fall
trees are shipped potted
Some dormant trees
prefer to be potted
Most dormant trees shipped in the
late fall through spring arrive bare root

Bare Root trees are shipped without dirt or any green foliage showing. Some customers who have never planted bare root before, think that they received a "dead stick" with roots. These dormant trees are basically sleeping over the winter as most trees do. Because of their hibernation-like stage, this is a great way to transplant these trees. Since a bare root tree lacks foliage, they need very little moisture.

Most Trees and Shrubs are Pruned Before Shipping... at No Cost to You

Tree before pruning Tree after pruning Rose before pruning Rose after pruning
Maple Tree before pruning Maple Tree after pruning 3 gallon Knockout Rose before pruning 3 gallon Knockout Rose after pruning

Pruning makes plants appear to be less-full than the ones you may have seen at your local big box garden center. A retailer's goal is to have plants look their best while sitting in the store. Our goal is to have them look the best after you plant them.

Pruned trees and shrubs not only travel better, but become established much quicker. So rather than supporting extra foliage, they put their energy into sending out deep roots. Once that happens, your plants become hardier and quickly explode with new top growth. Above the ground, pruning helps your plants develop a more attractive form.