Different Types Of Magnolia Trees: Which One Is Best For You?

The different varieties of magnolias are classified into two groups – deciduous and evergreens. Deciduous trees have leaves that fall off each year; they die back after winter. Evergreens grow from seed or cuttings, which remain alive all their lives and never lose their leaves. They need not be pruned every year. Evergreens do require regular care, but it’s much less than that required by deciduous trees.

Deciduous Magnolias

These include magnolias such as sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), redwood magnolia (Magnum opulentum) and azaleas (Lonicera spp.). These trees are often referred to as “old-fashioned” because they don’t need any maintenance.

They’re very easy to grow and produce large quantities of flowers.


These include magnolias such as sycamore (Populus tremuloides), hollyhock (Salix spp.) and dogwood (Cornus florida). These trees need some pruning once in their life, but then they’ll continue growing indefinitely.

They’re suitable for small gardens where there isn’t enough space to grow a deciduous tree.

What to Expect From Deciduous Magnolias

Deciduous magnolias are very common, and they can reach up to 35-feet in height. They produce flowers spring through fall, but their peak is in late spring. The flowers have a strong smell.

Common colors are white and light pink.

These trees need a lot of fresh water and need to be pruned. They’ll also produce a lot of leaves and fall, so it’s best to clean them up from the garden because they can look messy. They have a long lifespan and are very easy to grow.

Deciduous magnolias have several varieties including southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), bowl magnolia (M.x soulangiana), star magnolia (M.x invisa), and cucumber tree (M.

Different Varieties Of Magnolia: Which Magnolias Are Deciduous - Picture


These trees have a very strong wood and can grow up to 60 feet in height. Redwood magnolias are native to California, but can also survive either extreme heat or cold.

These trees also produce large, cone-shaped flowers with a very strong smell. The flowers bloom in spring and fall and have colors such as white, pink, red and purple.

These trees are very popular due to their beautiful flowers and smell. They can be kept smaller by growing them in pots because the roots can get quite large. It’s important to keep their roots cool by adding mulch or creating mounds of soil around the base of the tree.

The flowers have a long bloom period starting in late spring and ending in summer or early fall. They’re also very attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.

Common Types Of Evergreen Magnolias

The different types of evergreen magnolias are less common and are often only found in specialty nurseries. These trees can grow very tall and produce large quantities of flowers.

Evergreen magnolias are best for large gardens because they have a large root system that grows as the tree does. They can be trimmed to keep them smaller, but they’ll always need lots of space to grow.

These trees bloom in late spring and produce flowers that smell strongly, but pleasantly. These flowers are usually white or pink.

Evergreen magnolias include the Madeira-leaved magnolia (M.cubana), Guam magnolia (M. macrophylla) and O’ahu magnolia (M.


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These trees have a very bold look to them and can grow quite large if not trimmed. They produce flowers in late spring and summer that are large, waxy and white.

These trees grow at a slow to moderate rate and can be kept smaller by trimming their roots. They’re suitable for growing in small or large spaces because they can be pruned to fit the space they have available. These trees bloom on and off from spring through fall, but their peak is in mid-summer.

Common Species Of Cucumber Tree

The most common species of cucumber tree is the Magnolia acuminata, which grows up to 40 feet in height. It has large, scalloped leaves that grow up to 16 inches long and 8 inches wide. It produces white flowers with a cucumber scent in late spring and early summer.

These trees are fairly easy to grow and flower consistently. They can also be trimmed to keep their size under control. They prefer to grow in moist soil, but can grow in most types.

They need a lot of space to grow, so they’re suitable for growing in large gardens.

Sources & references used in this article:

The deciduous magnolias of west Florida by RF Miller – Rhodora, 1975 – JSTOR

America’s Magnolias by G Nelson – … . American Horticultural Society, Alexandria, VA, USA, 2008 – gilnelson.com

A tentative key to the cultivated magnolias by SA Spongberg – Arnoldia, 1974 – JSTOR

Magnolias as urban trees–a preliminary evaluation of drought tolerance in seven magnolia species by H Sjöman, AD Hirons, NL Bassuk – Arboricultural Journal, 2018 – Taylor & Francis



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