Woody Plant Profile: Magnolia grandiflora

By: Andrew Crawford

Features: Magnolias grow very large and full. They are covered in attractive dark green leaves and extremely fragrant, large white flowers12,13,15. The shiny leaves are glossy dark green with pale-green to gray-brown undersides which add beautiful color and texture to any landscape12.

Siting: Plants prefer to be in full sun or partly shaded areas with medium to moist soil10,12. Generally they are intolerant of extreme dry or wet soil, so moist well-drained soil is best13. Magnolias are great for hedges, border accents, and shade trees6,10. These trees do best if sited in a protected location away from direct wind as strong winds can damage its lustrous 4- inch leaves12.

Care: Plant so root flare is visible at soil surface14. At planting, water the root ball daily with two gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter for two weeks, every other day for two months and then weekly until established. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the trunk14. Maintain moist soil and remove dead growth. Do not prune lower limbs and leaves as it can result in stress, cause suckers, and make the tree susceptible to disease6,10.

Pests: Plants are relatively pest resistant if cultural preferences are met6,12.

This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on (3/3/2019): enter date searched and check the lists that were examined

USDA SC Invasive Plant Species Web site at http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/main.shtml

SC Exotic Plant Pest Council Web site at http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina/

Sources may be viewed at the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden Web page: https://www.clemson.edu/cafls/demo/sources.html

Andrew Crawford is a student in Dr. Vincent’s HORT 4080 Creative Inquiry research project: Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden. He is a horticulture major at Clemson University and his hometown is Mount Pleasant, SC.


  • Splash Omnimedia
  • Simmons Irrigation Supply
  • Harrell's
  • Modern Turf
  • Carolina International Trucks
  • Davidson Farms
  • Ray Bracken Nursery, Inc.
  • River's Edge Nursery
  • Turf Connections
  • Walker Mowing
(803) 939-6884

PO Box 16
Columbia, SC 29202