Can You Keep a Magnolia Tree Small?

Magnolia trees are very popular in the south, with over 8 different species of magnolias existing! Some of them are native to the USA while others are native to Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies. These trees can be evergreen or deciduous, blooming during the early spring to summer season.

And when they bloom, oh boy, do they bloom! They are a show-stopping tree that can grow up to 80 feet tall, with other varieties growing up to 20 feet. For those who want to have magnolia trees but have a small garden, you may be wondering: Can you keep a magnolia tree small?

Read on to find out!

can you keep a magnolia tree small

Can You Keep a Magnolia Tree Small?

While popular magnolias grow to be large shrubs and trees that can take up a lot of room in gardens, other varieties fit smaller yards. Some varieties can even be planted in a large container!

17 magnolia varieties are great for small gardens, which include the ‘Saucer Magnolia’, ‘Southern Magnolia’, ‘Oyama Magnolia’, ‘Star Magnolia’, among others. These varieties are moderately-sized, blooming when still young. They are also easy to grow and don’t need much maintenance, being hardy flowering trees!

And again, it is possible to grow dwarf magnolias or keep these small as long as you use a large container. That said, the smallest varieties would still grow about 8-12 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide once they are fully mature. They would grow into multi-stemmed shrubs over single-trunk trees, though they can be trained to grow into tree forms.

8-12 feet may still seem quite large though! But not to worry, as there is good news. Most magnolia varieties, such as the ‘Little Gem’, would take 20 years for them to reach 20 feet tall. This is why you can plant them in containers for years before they need to be replanted, you just have to choose the correct variety.

Quick Tips on Growing Small Magnolia Trees

If you would like to grow small magnolia trees and keep them at a certain height, it’s all about container planting. With that said, here are some quick tips on keeping magnolia trees small and having them grow beautifully:

  • Look into the type of container you need. If it is just a temporary home, then it’s fine to get one that is a bit bigger than the root ball. But if it will be a permanent home, then plant it in a pot a few times bigger than the root ball.
  • As mentioned, you need to consider the magnolia variety to invest in, and this depends on what climate you are from. That said, you have more flexibility when planting in containers, so look into ones that suit your climate and are made for containers. Some varieties are the ‘Black Tulip, ‘Rose Marie’, and the ‘Teddy Bear’ magnolias.
  • Just like all plants, magnolias require the right light, water, soil, and feeding to grow successfully. For soil, magnolias should have well-draining and slightly acidic soil. Check with your nursery to see if the soil quality matches the variety you’ll get.
  • Place your container in an area where it can get full sun to partial shade, as ample sunlight is needed for them to grow.
  • Water the plant a few times a week, but avoid overwatering. Focus on keeping the soil moist but never soggy. Once it grows and establishes, you can water the plant less.
  • During the summer season, feed your plant with 20-5-10 fertilizer so it stays healthy while optimizing flowering.

Wrapping It Up

While magnolia trees are known for their heights, there are smaller varieties you can invest in and ways to keep them small. With proper care and methods, they can stay your desired height and grow beautifully. It is possible to plant them in containers!

I hope that you found your answer on magnolia trees here! Don’t wait any longer and plant your favorite magnolia species to beautify your home now. Good luck!

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