Magnolia grandiflora, or Southern magnolia, is a large evergreen tree that can grow 60 to 90 feet in height and easy to plant. It has large broad leaves and large showy flowers that have a pleasant fragrance throughout the spring and summer. In the American South it is considered a premier landscape tree. It grows best in the Southern states and east into Texas.
Plant evergreen magnolia, like the grandiflora, in the early spring. Deciduous magnolias should be planted in the autumn in the south and in the early spring in the north. Apply mulch after planting to stabilize soil temperatures and moisture conditions.
Once planted, magnolia grandiflora do not like to be moved. They have an unusual root system that is not branched so require special care before transplanting. A year before, cut some of the roots just inside the root ball you plan to dig up. This will cause the roots to branch and help support the tree while it adjusts to its new environment. As a general rule, once the trunk reaches four inches in diameter, your magnolia grandiflora should not be transplanted. Choosing the right location in the first place will help avoid this problem. Make sure you choose a site that will accommodate the large size of this tree.
The magnolia grandiflora prefers slightly acidic soil and partial shade to full sun. It grows best along streams and near swamps in moist fertile soil. Most varieties do best in USDA zones 7 through 9 although some newer varieties will do well into zone 5.
Magnolia trees, despite their fragrant flowers, do not produce nectar. Instead, they produce large amounts of pollen and are fertilized by beetles that like the high-protein pollen for their food.