Like candles upon a candelabra, the flowers of the deciduous Magnolia sprout upward from the twisting bare branches in the early spring time. The blooms gradually open into large, soft blossoms of pinks, purples, whites and yellows, the petals eventually falling to the ground creating a colourful carpet under the tree.
Deciduous Magnolias are one of the most sought after feature trees in Melbourne as they are incredibly hardy, come in a variety of colours and sizes, and are just plain stunning!
Also, did you know that the blooms are edible? And they have a ginger-cardamom flavour!
Check out this article by Homemade Apothecary, which tells you all about the edible blooms, their flavours and how to use and store them
Plant Type: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full sun or part shade position
Water Requirements: Water regularly until established. Once established they are relatively drought-hardy, though they look their best when kept well hydrated.
Soil Requirements: Will tolerate sand and clay soils but look their best in moist, well-drained, acidic loamy soil.
Fertilizing: Slow Release general-purpose fertilizer in spring.
Pruning: No regular shaping required, though if any maintenance pruning is needed, do so after flowering in late summer. Magnolia’s tend to not heal well in the cooler months.
Tolerances: Sun, heat, poor soils and frost. Does not tolerate soggy soils or extreme drought
Diseases: Powdery Mildew, leaf pot, scale, slugs & snails
Flower: Various forms of white, pink, purple and yellow. Large, soft petals, often in a cupped shape with the exception of the varieties such as the stellata Magnolia which has almost tendril-like long petals.
Magnolia flowers are known for their lemony fragrance, which can be strong or very mild depending on the variety.
Foliage: Large, simple, ovate leaves appear late spring.
Seeds / Berries: Large, neat seed pods after flowering that sometimes produce vibrant red seeds.
Edible: Flowers only
Attracts: Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Which Decidous Magnolia To Choose?
With such a wide variety of Magnolia, it’s important you choose the right one for the right spot! Check out the brief descriptions of each below and then quickly compare them on our comparison table at the end.
For more, in depth care instructions, go to Additional Information on the individual product pages.
A Magnolia with a very different flower style! ‘Waterlily’ Magnolia have finer, more abundant petals than that of other Magnolias but will grow in the same conditions, including full shade!
Another beautifully tall, heavily flowering Magnolia. Growing almost 10m tall, ‘Yulan’ can make a magnificent statement in a large garden or, if trimmed, a feature for even a small garden!
The blooms appear late winter in a cup shape, vibrantly covering the tree with ivory white.
This Magnolia has a gorgeous almost daisy like flower, with long, tendril like petals that form in a double layer. ‘Royal Star’ grows into a larger sized tree than some deciduous Magnolias, suitable to suburban yards and regional properties.
The most common and hardy of all the deciduous Magnolia is the ‘Saucer’ Magnolia. It’s one of the toughest when it comes to Melbourne’s climate and soil. Clusters of long soft purple blossoms form early spring before the leaves appear.
An early flowering variety, ‘Caerhays Belle’ Magnolia produce large, pale to mid pink buds. As it is an early bloomer, take care in frosty climates as the frost can damage these blooms!
Magnolia ‘Burgundy Glow’
Traditional soulangeana style blooms perch upon the bare branches in white with a burgundy flush down a central line of each petal. The ‘Burgundy Glow’ Magnolia is another stunning garden feature for pots, containers or the gardenbed.
Broad petals form a big cup shaped bloom in the spring of soft pink with a flush of deep purple at the base. The Iolanthe Magnolia flowers look like large, pink lotuses, an absolute stunner!
One of the largest growing deciduous Magnolia, Campbell’s Magnolia can grow upward of 10m! And it is a late bloomer, flowers appearing later than most Magnolia, saving them from the horrible spring frosts.
This little beauty blooms later than other deciduous Magnolia, saving the blooms from the nasty early frosts of spring.
The many pointed petals fold out as it matures, making a cluster of colour on the bare branches in spring.
Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’
Perfect for narrow spaces, this elegant Magnolia is a popular formal or japanese garden feature tree. Deep, rich purple blooms form in cup shapes along bare branches during late winter and early spring.
Just as the name suggests, the Burgundy Star Magnolia produces rich reddy purple blooms in the spring that open into star shaped flowers as they mature. This variety is another perfect specimen for compact or narrow spaces.
Gorgeous little cup-shaped purple flowers with a white centre cling to the bare branches in spring time. The unusual two-toned colouring makes the ‘Cameo’ Magnolia a unique garden feature.
A twice flowering Magnolia, the Magnolia ‘Genie’ blooms once in late winter or early spring and again in the autumn! Wowee!
And the flowers are just magnificent. Broad, burgundy petals open up in layers, like little purple cups upon the branches.
Soft rounded petals and buds of dark burgundy are those of the Magnolia ‘Purple Magic’. This narrow growing, upright Magnolia is ideal for tight spaces like down the sides of houses, driveways or small courtyards.
Small and compact with vibrant, buttery blooms! Magnolia ‘Butterfly’ create a golden glow in your garden as either a tree form or a shrub! They are suited to small gardens and pots.
A light lemon colour, the ‘Elizabeth’ Magnolia is regarded as one of the best yellow flowering Magnolia’s available. The long petals form in a slender cup shape, the colour fading to a light cream as they age.
A tall and narrow growing Magnolia with wonderfully vibrant tropical coloured flowers. ‘Sunsation’ is a perfect plant for narrow spaces, along driveways or down the side of houses.
Still having trouble deciding which Magnolia is right for your job? Check out our quick comparison chart below!
|Tolerances||Flower Shape||Flower Colour||Max. Size|
|Magnolia x soulangeana||Long petals||Purple & White||5m x 5m|
|Dark wine purple||5m x 3m|
Star Shaped once open
|Deep, rich purple||4m x 3m|
|Star shaped||Soft deep purple||4m x 3m|
|‘Waterlily’||Many long, slender petals||White||3m x 2m|
|‘Butterfly’||Small flowers with long petals||Butter yellow||4m x 2m|
|Rounded petals with a point||Soft pink||5m x 3m|
|‘Rustica Rubra’||Globular, rounded petals in a cupped shape||Dark, soft purple||7m x 6m|
|‘Leonard Messel’||Long, slender petals||Light pink with white inside||6m x 5m|
|‘Nigra’||Large, slender petals||Dark purple outside, white inside||3.5m x 2.5m|
|‘Susan’||Double layer of long, slender petals||Purple||3m x 3m|
|‘Vulcan’||Tulip shape, opening into double petal flower||Brown, furry bud with Purple bloom||6m x 4m|
|‘Genie’||Round, layered petals in a cup shape||Burgundy||4m x 2m|
|‘Felix TM’||Broad, rounded petals||Deep purple fading to pink with age||5m x 3m|
|‘Yulan’||Double layer of goblet shaped petals||Ivory White||10m x 5m|
|‘Elizabeth’||Long petals in a cup shape||Lemon yellow||6m x 4m|
|‘Sunspire’||Thick, long petals||Yellow||3.5m x 1m|
|‘Sunsation’||Long petals in a cup shape||Yellow with a flush of purple / red||6m x 2m|
|‘Pink Star’||Long slender tendril-like petals||Light pink||2m x 2m|
|‘Iolanthe’||Thick, broad petals||Light pink with flush of dark purple at base, white on the inside||5m x 3m|
|‘Heaven Scent’||Long petals||Yellow with a flush of purple / red||5-8m x 5-8m|
|‘Campbellii’||Long petals in cup and saucer shape||Light crimson – rose pink||15m x 10m|
|‘Cameo’||Broad, rounded petals in a cup shape||Dark purple outside, white inside||3m x 3m|
|‘Burgundy Glow’||Long petals||White with burgundy trip in each petal||3m x 2m|
|‘Ballerina’||Long, tenril-like petals||White, lightly pink tinged centre||5m x 4m|
|‘Sweetheart’||Rounded with a point||Pink outside, white inside||5m x 4m|
|‘Purple Magic’||Rounded cup shaped petals||Dark purple outside, lighter purple insie||6m x 2m|
|‘Royal Star’||Double layer of slender, long petals||White||6m x 3m|
|‘Royal Purple’||Large, rounded||Deep purple||6m x 2m|
|‘San Jose’||Tight cup shape with broad petals||White with light pink base||4m x 3m|
|‘Star Wars’||Star shaped||Musk Pink||5m x 3m|