Tree, Magnolia


1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - As indicated below.

  • 'Moonglow' - 5 to 9.
  • 'Butterflies'- 5 to 8.
  • 'Saucer' - 5 to 9.
  • 'Old-Fashion' 'Sieboldii' - 6 to 8.

 3. Planting Distance - As indicated below.

  • 'Moonglow' - 20 to 25 feet apart in ground.
  • 'Butterflies'- 15 to 20 feet in ground.
  • 'Saucer' - 20 to 25 feet apart in ground.
  • O'ld-Fashion' 'Sieboldii' - 15 to 20 feet apart in ground. 

4. Mature Height/Spread - As indicated below.

  • 'Moonglow' - 35 feet tall with a top spread of 18 feet wide.
  • 'Butterflies'- 15 to 20 feet tall with a top spread of 10 to 15 feet wide.
  • 'Saucer' - 20 to 30 feet tall with a top spread of 15 feet wide.
  • 'Old-Fashion' 'Sieboldii' - 10 to 15 feet tall with a top spread of 10 feet wide. 

5. Bloom Time - As indicated below.

  • 'Moonglow' - Late spring/early summer.
  • 'Butterflies'- Late spring/early summer.
  • 'Saucer'- Early spring.
  • 'Old-Fashion' 'Sieboldii' - Late spring/early summer. 

6. Planting Instructions - See Below.

A. Dig a hole large enough to give the roots plenty of room with a few inches of space beyond the root tips and the sides of the hole. Build a mound of soil in the bottom of the hole and spread the roots in a natural position atop the mound.

B. Position the plant so that the previous soil line will be even with ground level. The stem/trunk will be darker in color below the original planting line and lighter in color above it.

C. Once the plant is positioned at the proper planting depth begin filling the hole with soil. Work the soil around the roots with your hands. When the hole is half filled tamp the soil to remove any air pockets.

D. Fill the planting hole with water and allow it soak in. Straighten the plant in the hole and finish filling with soil.

E. Form a "saucer" of soil around the edges of the planting hole and fill it with water.

F. Stake the tree to assist the roots in getting anchored. Staking will also maintain upper balance so that the trunk will continue to grow straight.


'Moonglow Magnolia' has an upright growth habit, dark-green foliage, and produces fragrant creamy-white, lemon-scented blooms over an extended period. Its beautiful dark semi-evergreen leaves have whitish undersides. It is deer and pest-resistant and adapts to wet sites.

'Butterflies Magnolia' produces bright blooms that precede its dark green foliage.  Abundant 4 to 5-inch rich yellow double flowers, each with 10 to 15 petals, are held upright like butterflies alighting on branches. ‘Butterflies' is renowned for its lovely flower color, a deep yellow in cool climates and lighter yellow in warmer climates. The flowers have a slightly twisted form that resembles the butterflies for which they are named! The blooms arrive in very late spring, which protects them from frosts in cool, spring climates.

 'Saucer Magnolia' is one of the earliest flowering trees in bloom. Wherever it grows, the Saucer Magnolia is a much-anticipated first sign of spring. A prolific bloomer, its flowers are large and goblet-shaped and cover the naked stems of the tree just before leaves emerge. The fragrant flowers vary in color in shades of pink infused with purple and creamy white.

 'Old-Fashion Magnolia' 'Sieboldii' has egg-shaped buds that open intermittently to fragrant, translucent white flowers with delicate bright red stamens perched atop a maroon center. The tree has large wide-spreading branches with glaucous leaves and spectacular crimson fruit. An excellent understory tree, Magnolia sieboldii is found in China, Japan and Korea, and is well adapted to planting in the woodland garden. It is also known as Magnolia Oyama and is ideal for homes with small scale landscapes.


Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office.  These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance.  See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:

1. Spade or rototill the soil to a depth of 12-18".

2. It is always good to add organic matter to your soil. You can mix in a 2-4" layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves and/or peat moss.

3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster.


Watering - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground.  Do not allow plants in containers to dry out.  In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.  You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e. in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang). 

Mulching - Apply a 2-4" layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them. Mulch also assists in keeping weeds down.

Grooming - Improves the size and quality of the tree and maintains a healthy, happy plant for many years. Remove any branches that become overlapped, damaged, or unsightly.

Feeding - Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in spring and feed once every 2 to 3 weeks.

Winterizing - The time to protect your plants in the garden is after the ground has frozen. At that time, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straws or leaves to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.

For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.

In spring, remove the mulch from in-ground plantings.  Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.  

CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.