Alphabetical Plant Listing

Magnolia virginiana (Sweet Bay Magnolia)

Sweet Bay Magnolia, Sweetbay, Sweetbay Magnolia, Southern Sweetbay, Swampbay, Swamp Magnolia, Sweet Magnolia, Small Magnolia, Laurel Magnolia, White Bay, White Laurel, Swamp Laurel, Beaver Tree


Prized for its fragrant flowers, showy conelike fruit, handsome foliage, and smooth gray bark, Magnolia virginiana (Sweet Bay Magnolia) can be grown as a graceful, slender tree or as a multi-stemmed shrub. Evergreen to semi-evergreen in mild climates, the foliage of lanceolate shiny green leaves glimmers in the wind as a result of their silvery undersides. Solitary, lemon scented, cup-shaped flowers, 3 in. across (7 cm), appear in mid-spring and bloom sporadically throughout the summer. Adorned with 9-12 velvety, creamy-white petals, each flower open in the morning and close at night. They are followed by showy, cone-like fruits with bright red seeds. Slow-growing, with no serious disease or insect problems, this Magnolia is perfect for a small patio or as a specimen tree.

  • Grows with a rounded, spreading habit, up to 10-35 ft. tall and wide (3-10 m) in the North, and up to 60 ft. tall (18 m) in the South.
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is best grown in consistently moist, slightly acidic, organically rich, well-drained soils. Unlike most other Magnolias, tolerates wet soils.
  • Virtually pest and disease free.
  • Spectacular as a specimen tree, for shrub borders or foundation plantings. Perfect near ponds and streams.
  • Prune after blooming during the growing season because dormant magnolias do not easily heal.
  • Propagate using stratified seed or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer.
  • Native to the southeastern United States north along the Atlantic coast to New York

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 10
Heat Zones 6 – 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Magnolias
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 10' – 35' (3m – 10.5m)
Spread 10' – 35' (3m – 10.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen, Semi-Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden, Traditional Garden

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Nick Kurzenko, Gerry Bishop, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 10
Heat Zones 6 – 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Magnolias
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 10' – 35' (3m – 10.5m)
Spread 10' – 35' (3m – 10.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen, Semi-Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden, Traditional Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Magnolias

Guides with Magnolias

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