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Magnolias

These top 10 varieties offer a spectrum of color, shape, and form

Fine Gardening - Issue 167
Magnolias (Magnolia spp.and cvs., USDA Hardiness Zones 3–9) have been appreciated as garden subjects for centuries. The Chinese planted magnolias at their temples as early as the seventh century, and magnolias featured prominently in Chinese and Japanese art. It is interesting to note that the first recorded magnolia to arrive in Europe was the U.S. native, sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana, Zones 6–9). With a diverse array of flower colors and forms, a range of sizes, and durability, it is worth finding room in all but the smallest garden for at least one. Magnolias are not fussy in their needs, though the evergreen forms typically prefer to be out of cold, dessicating winds. Moist, well-drained soil is best, and because they will be long-term garden residents, it is well worth amending the planting bed with compost. Magnolias have fleshy roots that prefer not to be disturbed, especially during the growing season.…

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