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S & J Nursery's Guide to Growing

Magnolia Little Gem

Trees in Northeast Florida

(Magnolia Grandilora ‘Little Gem’)


 Little Gem Magnolia 

Little Gem Magnolia Origins:

- Cultivar of the Native Southern Magnolia


Little Gem Magnolia Preferred Exposure:

- Full sun to partial sun / shade situations for the North Florida / Jacksonville/ St. Augustine area


Little Gem Magnolia Foliage | Bark:

- Foliage of the Little Gem Magnolia tree is a deep glossy green on the surface and a soft fuzzy reddish

brown to tan on the underside of the leaves.


- Leaves are smaller than typical of the species being often as small as only 4 – 8 inches in length.



Little Gem Magnolia Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:

- Magnolia Grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ will prefer slightly acidic soil but will tolerate sand, loam, clay,

slightly alkaline and even occasionally wet soils.


- Only moderate salt tolerance, do not plant directly on coastal areas.

Little Gem Magnolia Size Variance:

- Magnolia Little Gem has been touted as a dwarf Magnolia and indeed when first introduced

said to only reach heights of 12-15 ft, This cultivar although still much smaller than typical of

Magnolia Grandiflora’s is now thought to be able to reach sizes of 30-35ft in Height | and s

preading up 8-12 ft wide. It seems the mature height of these trees is just still up for debate.

Literature on the subject varies greatly.

Little Gem Magnolia Growth Habit:

- Narrow oval to pyramidal habit tends to be much higher than wide.


Little Gem Magnolia Growth Rate:

- Slow growing cultivar of Magnolia Grandiflora.


magnolia Little Gem Bloom and foliage S & J NurseryLittle Gem Magnolia Bloom:

- Large 8 inch slightly fragrant blooms form throughout the year on the Little Gem Magnolia.

We have been growing and selling these trees for 15 years now and it is not often that you see

one without either a bloom or a bud forming somewhere on the tree.


Little Gem Magnolia Water Requirements:


- Magnolias need daily watering after planting and weekly supplemental irrigation for the

first season or two when planted into the landscape and only occasional watering during

times of extreme drought once established.


Butterfly or Bird Attracting:


- Magnolias thickly foliated branches make ideal nesting sites for North Florida birds.

Blooms are followed by a fuzzy brown central cone that mature in the fall and open up

exposing bright glossy red seeds that are used by wildlife.


Best Uses For Little Gem Magnolia in the North Florida | Jacksonville

| St. Augustine landscape:

- Magnolia Little Gem makes an excellent choice for a flowering tree where smaller areas

would hinder the ability to plant many of the larger growing Magnolia trees.


- Southern Magnolias respond extremely well to pruning and can be kept in almost any

form and used as an espalier or even used as a privacy hedge. The slower growth of the Little Gem

makes it the ideal specimen for these uses.


Care of Little Gem Magnolia :

- Although Magnolia trees can be planted from a container into the landscape any time of the

year in our North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscapes, Magnolias root systems

are very wide for their size making transplanting sometimes difficult, so if you decide to move

one from one location to another in the yard be sure to do it in winter or spring for the best result possible.


- Water every day during the establishment period, See watering your newly planted trees for

more information. Magnolia’s must be watched for the first one to two seasons after being planted

or transplanted in the landscape and supplemental water supplied in any time of drought. They are

slower to establish themselves into the landscape than many other trees and should be watered

well once a week when local rainfall is scarce.


- Magnolias respond well to pruning and should be pruned 6 inches deeper than where you

would like to see the re-growth appear. Everywhere you trim the tree will sprout new growth

and begin to branch out and fill in. So if you have a sparcely foliated Magnolia tree get out the

pruners and remove as many growing tips as possible, prune deeper into the branch in scarcely

foliated areas to get them to branch out and fill in the gaps.


- Provide a 1 ft diameter circle of mulched area where grass is kept from growing for each inch

of caliper (or diameter) of trunk measured 4 inches from the ground level.


- Fertilize each spring with a mixture of milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food

such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around

the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the tree.





Want more information about Little Gem Magnolias? Click this link to UFIFAS for more information on

Southern Magnolia for the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area.

Little Gem Magnolia


Want to see more Magnolia varieties available at S & J Nursery?

Check out these links to other Southern Magnolia Varieties



Magnolia ALta 'TMGH'

Magnolia Brackens Brown Beauty

Magnolia Southern / Grandiflora

Magnolia Greenback MGTIG

Magnolia D.D. Blanchard