Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana)
This plant is one of the most iconic plants that can be because of its beautiful spring bloom and there’s a lot that goes in that. But much like other magnolias, fuzzy buds starting to form in august which will then result in beautiful flowers in the spring.
This is a deciduous magnolia a very popular landscape plant. This plant is hardy from zones four through nine. It can reach 30 feet high in some cases, so a big stature magnolia.
There are other smaller magnolias and in fact, some of the plants that you see on the market that are listed as saucer magnolias may be hybridized with smaller plants. That maybe is more suitable for the home landscape.
but if you do have room for a full-size saucer magnolia that can get in excess of 30 feet high and 25 to 30 feet wide. I say plant that plant because it can be spectacular.
This plant has long elliptical leaves with a bit of an accumulated tip to them, dark green above lighter green below. In the summertime, you’re going to see fuzzy buds start to form which again will result in the flowers in the spring.
One thing that makes deciduous magnolias so beautiful in bloom is they bloom before they have foliage. Depending on the weather it will depend on the bloom time. When this plant gets the signal to bloom sometimes it can actually bloom a little bit too early in zone 6b. So they can then be susceptible to frost damage.
When we talk about some id characteristics we’re going to talk about a smooth grayish bark even in maturity. Only very old saucer magnolias will start to get a little bit of furrowed nature to their bark alternate leaf arrangement.
The cultivar called Deep Purplish Dream, it’s a beautiful one, the flowers are just opening up we’re really enjoying it in the garden and this is very characteristic of the saucer magnolia. With darker colored petals on the outside and then opening up to a lighter center completely covered with flowers.
Frost can hurt this if you get too hard of a frost.
Magnolia’s are terrific plans for brightening up the spring scene just like an electric light bulb lights up a room well in springtime. When the magnolias come into flower the whole garden comes alive and it helps us overcomes that depressing winter dullness. But the effects of a hard overnight frost can be devastating your flowers can be bright and colorful one minute you come out the next morning and they’re brown.
That’s why we like these selections that flower a couple of weeks later known as the Kosair or divorce hybrids these were developed at the National Arboretum and released in 1968 so they’ve been around a good time.
For me here in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states of the US, I find these flowers reliably each spring and usually miss the worst of the worst frost.
They grow into a nice-sized Bush carried lots of flowers and really put on a terrific display. You get a very nice colorful effect, they released about five or six varieties all with girls’ names. They’ve become affectionately known as the girl’s series of magnolias.
Two, in particular, have been very good performers Jean and Betty so take a look and see if you can grow some of the girl’s magnolias in your garden. I think you will find that they will flower and be more reliable than some of the earlier flowering ones.