Everything You Need to Know About Jane Magnolia Trees
Jane Magnolia trees are a vigorous, hardy type of Magnolia. While many Magnolias can only bloom their sweet-smelling blossoms in the south, the eight “Little Girls” varieties, including Jane Magnolias, are cold-hardy as well as able to withstand heat. Their massive, reddish-purple blooms emerge in late spring, after the first frost. With their small stature, they are perfect for compact gardens, where they make an excellent specimen plant, a cluster, or a screen.
Jane Magnolia Trees at a Glance
Jane Magnolia trees can be trained into either a shrub or small tree. In either case, they have a pleasing rounded shape and multiple stems. In late spring, their eight-inch blossoms emerge. Reddish-purple on the outside and white on the inside, these tulip-shaped flowers may bloom again later in summer. When the flowers bloom, the branches have no foliage, creating a dramatic appearance. Once they fall, leathery green leaves emerge in summer and turn yellow and bronze in fall before dropping off in winter.
Jane Magnolias grow to be 10-15 feet tall, with a maximum spread of 8-12 feet. They grow at a slow rate of about one foot or less each year.
Multi-stemmed shrub or small tree with rounded shape. Tulip-shaped, 8-inch flowers bloom in late spring, reddish-purple on the outside and white inside. Dark, leathery green leaves in summer. Leaves yellow or bronze in autumn and fall in winter
Type of tree
Full sun to partial shade
Highly adaptable, but prefers moist, neutral to slightly acidic soil
USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the regions where plants can grow based on minimum winter temperatures. Jane Magnolias can grow in Zones 4-8, a broad swath of the country—areas other than southern Texas, California, and Florida and northern Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota, are suitable.
The best times to plant Jane Magnolia trees are in spring and fall. We recommend taking these steps:
- Choose a planting site that receives full sun to partial shade and is sheltered from the wind. If you live in a cool region, full sun is ideal, but if you live in a warmer climate, your Jane Magnolia will need partial shade in the afternoon.
- Clear away any weeds, debris, or turfgrass.
- Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and slightly less deep.
- As you remove the soil, add compost or manure.
- Place the root ball in the center of the hole and backfill it halfway.
- Pour water up to the top of the hole.
- Once it has drained away, add the remaining soil.
Lay down 2-3 inches of organic mulch over the roots, being careful not to touch the trunk. This will help the soil conserve moisture.
Jane Magnolias are highly adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions, and only need an average amount of water.
Sun and shade
Jane Magnolia trees thrive in full sun to partial shade. In cooler regions, more direct sunlight is better, but if you live in a warm climate, your Jane Magnolia will benefit from shade in the afternoon. The trees require a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day.
Jane Magnolia trees are highly adaptable to a wide range of soils, including loamy, sandy, clay, and silty. They prefer moist, well-drained, neutral-to-slightly acidic soils.
Your Jane Magnolia needs to be watered two to three times a week for its first growing season. You will need to increase the frequency if it’s very hot—watering every two to three days until the ground is soaked up to eight inches.
In other conditions, you only need to water your Jane Magnolia tree if the surrounding soil is dry. Test this by inserting your finger 2-3 inches deep into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.
Place a 2-3 inch layer of organic compost every fall. Feed your Jane Magnolia in the spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer every two to three years.
As a general rule, Jane Magnolia trees do not require pruning unless you see dead, damaged, or diseased branches. However, if you want to prune for aesthetic purposes, do so in spring after the tree has already flowered.
Frequently Asked Questions
How tall do they get?
Jane Magnolia trees grow to a maximum height of 10-15 feet tall.
Are they the same as a tulip tree?
No, Jane Magnolia trees and tulip trees are not the same. The tulip tree is a different plant that can grow up to 150 feet tall.
Are the flowers fragrant?
Jane Magnolia tree flowers have a light fragrance.
Do you need to prune them?
No, Jane Magnolias do not require pruning unless they have dead, damaged, or diseased branches.
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