The Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is well known as a traditional tree for Louisiana landscapes. Like camellias, azaleas and crape myrtles, it is often considered essential for creating a “Southern” style garden. Unlike camellias, azaleas and crape myrtles, however, which are all native to the Far East, the Southern magnolia is native to Louisiana and the Southeast.
Southern magnolias are rather large-growing trees that can reach well over 60 feet tall. But on average, trees tend to be around 40 to 50 feet tall with a spread of 20 to 30 feet. This means that you need a fair amount of room in your landscape to accommodate this tree.
The Louisiana Super Plants selection for fall 2018 provides a solution for this problem. The Little Gem magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora Little Gem) is a dwarf-growing cultivar that stays significantly smaller than the standard Southern magnolia. They typically grow about 8 to 10 feet wide and 20 to 25 feet tall.