Magnolia Trees are the state flower for Louisiana, and the state tree of Mississippi. Needless to say, Magnolia Trees must be pretty spectacular. They’re tough, fragrant trees with elegant beauty.
Magnolia blooms release their sweetly floral, lemony scent for almost half the year. The rich aroma drifts through the heat, enchanting Southern towns. Today, we’re going to tell you all about Magnolia Trees, starting with the history.
Magnolias in History
These trees have been around for millions of years. Magnolia fossils date back to the Tertiary period, nearly 100 million years ago, meaning this tough tree has survived a number of different climate conditions. Magnolia Trees were around before bees, so they relied on beetles for pollination. As a result, Magnolia blooms and leaves are very tough and resist insect damage.
The United States had a native Magnolia variety that grew from Virginia to Florida and into Oklahoma and East Texas. This variety is commonly known as the Southern Magnolia. They became very popular in the 17th century. Different varieties were being crossbred to make stronger hybrids, and sites like the Magnolia Plantation in Charleston were booming!
In 1900, Louisiana declared the Magnolia as its state flower due to its abundance throughout the state. Also in 1900, a statewide election by school children would up electing the Magnolia as the state flower in Mississippi. A later and similar election voted to make the Magnolia Tree Mississippi’s state tree in 1938.
Our Magnolia Varieties
We take pride in offering four different types of Magnolia Trees that will thrive in almost every yard:
1. The Southern Magnolia is a classic evergreen tree that’s dazzled the South with its beauty for generations. Native to the South, it’s tough and drought tolerant.
And it can get quite massive, reaching heights between 40 to 80 feet tall and growing 30 to 40 feet wide. Also, it’s perfect for wind breaks, and privacy fences. This massive evergreen is recommended for growing zones 7 through 9.
2. The Sweetbay Magnolia is a smaller Magnolia variety, reaching heights between 30 to 50 feet tall and growing to about 20 to 25 feet wide. It’s recommended for growing zones 5 through 10, so it can go a bit farther North than the Southern Magnolia.
The unique feature that sets Sweetbay Magnolias apart is their multiple trunks, similar to Crape Myrtles. The leaves on this tree are glossy and dark green on top, and silvery blue on the bottom.
3. The Little Gem Magnolia is a space-saving Magnolia Tree, growing to about 15 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. It gives you all of the perfect Magnolia qualities, like dark, glossy green leaves that are bronze on the underside and large white blooms, without taking up nearly as much space. Also, the Little Gem Magnolia is a later bloomer. The blooming cycle starts in the early summer and lasts for months.
4. The Jane Magnolia is a unique, beautiful tree. It has multiple trunks and large pink to purple blooms that emerge in the early spring. This Magnolia puts a beautiful twist on classic varieties. It grows 10 to 15 feet tall, and 5 to 10 feet wide, making it the smallest Magnolia option out of the varieties we carry. Basically, it’s perfect for smaller yards and street planting.
Magnolia Trees and Care
Best of all, Magnolia Trees are fairly low-maintenance. You can plant them and watch them take off. But to ensure extra success, plant them in an area that receives full to partial sunlight. Also, Magnolia Trees seem to prefer slightly acidic soil, but they will adapt to your natural soil, even if it’s sandy or heavy in clay.
The water requirements vary between different types of Magnolias. The Jane Magnolia needs to be watered weekly. The Little Gem Magnolia is very drought tolerant and won’t need extra water outside of your area’s rainfall, unless you’re experiencing a prolonged drought. The Sweetbay Magnolia should be watered once every two weeks or so. With the Southern Magnolia, you should check on its soil every two weeks or so.
All in all, Magnolia Trees are absolute must-haves. They’re elegant, effortless and totally ethereal. Purchase your very own varieties today!