Isn’t weather fun? As we wait for Winter and Spring to make up their minds about who’s turn it is, it’s not just our moods that suffer. You’ve probably noticed Magnolia trees suffering from winter burn after our recent weather-whiplash. We reached out to our friend, Catherine Redd, owner of Catherine Redd Horticulture + Landscape, for some advice:
Star Magnolias and Saucer Magnolias are much beloved because of their beautiful early spring blooms, but unfortunately, all it takes to ruin the show is a few very warm days followed by an ill-timed cold snap. The good news is that there so many magnolias to choose from, many of which bloom later in the spring and are less likely to be damaged by cold spring weather.
One such group of Magnolias developed at US National Arboretum. With names like Magnolia ‘Jane’, ‘Susan’, ‘Ann’, and “Betty,’ these hybrid Magnolias bloom 2-4 weeks later in the season, which helps them escape late frosts. Most of these Magnolias don’t grow taller than 15 feet, making them a great choice for many residential gardens.
It’s also worth mentioning a Magnolia that is native to the US. Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) blooms in late spring and summer, has fragrant white blooms, and typically reaches 15-20 feet tall.
Catherine Redd is a horticulturist and landscape designer who lives in Maplewood. She’s a self-confessed plant geek who’s currently obsessed with pollinator gardens.