One of the most versatile evergreen varieties, Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ has been used as a hedge or landscaping plant in Australia for many years. Available for sale from a number of wholesale nurseries in sizes from 1m to 3m.
Valued by landscapers for it’s foliage, the glossy green foliage contrasted with the fealty copper underside of the leaves make it a great plant to add interest to a screen or for hedging. Also used as a specimen plant but growing equally well in pots or containers.
Much talk about this being a ‘dwarf’ evergreen magnolia. In the right conditions it will reach over 5 meters, however in cooler areas 3m is more usual, so maybe a ‘small growing’ magnolia. With a spread of 1.5 – 2.5 m try planting at 2m centers for hedging.
In terms of actual growth rate we would describe it as moderate, however this will depend on the soil aspect and climate. In warmer climates (Sydney and North) it will be faster than in cooler areas.
Flowers appear in spring to summer and are white, slightly fragrant and attractive, however if it’s really spectacular flowers you are after maybe this is not the right magnolia.
Magnolia Little Gem is grown for its attractive foliage (picture above) as well as the flowers
Magnolia ‘Little Gem’ Care
They grow well climates ranging from cool temperate through to sub tropical. They do require a humus rich moist but well drained soil, however other than this, a position in full sun to part shade is all that is required and it is frost hardy
This is a fairly tough plant once established and if you can provide a cool root run and a little protection from extreme temperature and hot winds it requires little care.
Fertilization is best carried out in spring, water well before fertilizing with a general purpose slow release type. Look for a soil pH of around 5 to 5.5, use a liquid seaweed solution to water in when planting.
This is a plant that holds its shape well and actually requires little pruning at all. However it easily pruned to form a hedge , and tip pruning after flowering will help promote a bushy habit.
Of course any dead wood can be removed or required shaping can be carried out. The root system is fairly wide spreading, reaching well out from the tree itself.
The roots are ‘unbranched’, they are also fairly shallow rooted, and this makes them a little difficult to transplant once established, take a large rootball (wide) if you decide to shift them.
- Over watering
- To much fertilizer
- To dry
- Soil to alkaline
- Fungal diseases
Also worth a look
- Magnolia Kay Parris
- Magnolia Teddy Bear
Wholesale Magnolia Little Gem Plants are available for sale from the following participating suppliers
Advanced container grown trees & shrubs. Large range of native plants & ornamentals ranging from 14cm to 45 litre. Specialists in indigenous plants and supply for Urban development. Supply & deliver all states.
Mob: 0421 821 307 Fax: 03 9752 0976
Quality Trees and Shrubs. Large range of ornamental and fruiting plants. Supplying Landscapers and Retail Nurseries. Strictly Wholesale. All states except WA.
"Propagation and Production of Native and Exotic Trees
with Natural Root Systems from 2 to 2,000 lts."
COOLWYN NURSERIES 29 Victoria Ave Monbulk VIC 3792 (03) 9756 6668 Includes Magnolia Grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ and ‘Kay Parris’, Magnolia grandiflora St Mary, Magnolia grandiflora Exmouth
FLEMING’S NURSERIES (03) 9756 6105 Deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs. Flowering, Fruiting and Ornamental. Bare root and containerised 20cm to advanced. Strictly wholesale.