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The Plant Guide

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Star magnolia

Magnolia stellata

mag-NO-lee-ah stel-LAY-tah Audio

This species is a small, spreading tree with lovely, upward-facing, star-shaped blossoms. Each pure white flower—they are occasionally flushed pink— is 5 inches across and comprised of up to 15 individual petals. They light up the tree’s bare branches in early to mid-spring.

CareGrow in moist, well-drained, preferably acidic to neutral soil in sun or partial shade; magnolias do not tolerate wet feet. Magnolia flowerbuds are susceptible to late-season frosts; shelter large-leaved species from windy locations. Prune trees and deciduous shrubs in late winter or late summer to prevent bleeding of sap; prune minimally to maintain a healthy framework. 

PropagationSow seeds in autumn or stratify to hasten germination. Root softwood cuttings in early summer. Magnolias can be layered in early spring, grafted in winter, and propagated by bud in summer.

ProblemsBacterial leaf spot, spot anthracnose, canker, dieback, butt rot, powdery mildew, anthracnose, fungal spots, weevils, snails, scale insects, thrips, planthoppers.

  • Genus : Magnolia
  • Plant Height : 15 to 30 feet
  • Plant Width : 15 to 30 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Plant Type : Trees
  • Flower Color : White
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