Magnolia plant in pot

Getting Started With Magnolias

Magnolia sieboldii

Magnolias are prized worldwide for their flowers and forms. Growing as large shrubs or trees, they produce showy, fragrant flowers that are white, pink, red, purple or yellow. Some forms are evergreen with glossy and leathery leaves and some evergreen types have buds, stems and undersides of leaves that are covered with attractive gold to copper to brown felt-like hairs. There are more than 200 species of Magnolia native to temperate, subtropical and tropical areas of southeastern Asia, eastern North America, Central America, the Caribbean and parts of South America. Many are now grown worldwide because of their beautiful flowers, shape and form.

How do you know if a magnolia is right for you? Ask the following questions to help determine if you should consider a magnolia — and if so, where best to plant it:

What kind of winters do you have?

The easy way to answer this question is to figure out what “zone” you live in. The U.S. is divided into zones by the USDA depending on how cold the winters are. Similar hardiness zone maps are available for Australia, Canada, China, Europe, and Japan and many other regions are developing maps.

Magnolias are available for almost any climate, especially if you can provide protection from harsh conditions.

What kind of light does your garden receive?

Magnolias prefer a spot in the garden that receives full sun to light shade. That said, if you live in a particularly warm or dry climate, your magnolia might benefit from a location shaded from the hot afternoon sun. If possible, avoid exposed, windy locations because strong winds can damage large flowers and the typically brittle branches.

What kind of soil do you have?

Most magnolias grow best in moist, well-drained, slightly acid soils but neutral to slightly alkaline soils are also suitable for growth. Magnolias are adaptable to clay, loam or sand soils, but most grow poorly in wet or poorly drained soils. Well-established plants can be moderately drought tolerant.

Which magnolia is right for you?

So many choices, too small a garden. When you start looking into magnolias, you will want one in every bed! Some magnolias are grown primarily for their flowers, usually in the form of a shrub or small tree. Other magnolias grow to be large shade trees, and yet others are used as evergreen shrubs, trees or hedges. Consult our Magnolia Cultivars Checklist for options and consider visiting one of the gardens listed on this map to get an idea for the kinds of magnolias that are likely to do well in your climate.

What are some of the common types of magnolia available at local nurseries?

Star Magnolia: Those of you living in colder areas may already be familiar with Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata. This magnolia is one of the best known species because it is very cold hardy (USDA Zones 4-8), widely adaptable and blooms when very small. Star Magnolia is a slow growing, broad spreading, small tree or large shrub, ultimately reaching 15 feet tall or more. Leaves may be 4-8 inches long and up to 3 inches wide. As a deciduous plant, the dark green leaves drop in fall, sometimes turning yellow before falling.

Star Magnolia flowers are 3 to 5 inches in diameter with 12 to 40 petal-like parts called “tepals.” The overall effect of the tepals is that of a starburst, hence the name, “Star Magnolia.” Flowers are white, although a few cultivars have pinkish flowers. Star Magnolia’s characteristics have made it popular as a parent of many hybrids.

Saucer Magnolia: Saucer and other large-flowered hybrid magnolias are deciduous trees known for their spectacular display of flowers appearing before the foliage in late winter and early spring. They are considered some of our most beautiful flowering trees, and some cultivars are hardy into USDA Zone 4 while others are adaptable in warmer Zone 9. These deciduous flowering magnolias generally are considered small trees with slow to moderate growth rates. Smaller cultivars may be grown as large shrubs and some larger trees may eventually grow 40 to 70 feet tall. Tree shape characteristically is upright to rounded when young and becoming rounded or broad-spreading with age. The medium green leaves are oval to circular in shape and vary in size from 3 to 10 inches long and 2 to 10 inches wide. Leaves turn a nondescript yellow to brown before dropping in fall. The trunk has smooth, tan or grey bark and branches exhibit large, fuzzy flower buds.

The fragrant flowers open before the foliage and range in color from white to pink to purple. Often flowers display one color on the outer side of the tepal and a lighter color inside. Many different cultivars or varieties have been selected over the years. Characteristics vary with the cultivar but flowers range from 3 to 12 inches in diameter. Peak bloom usually occurs in early spring; because of this, flowers are sometimes damaged by frosts. Some cultivars produce flowers sporadically through the summer and fall. Reddish fruits sometimes develop in the fall.

Southern Magnolia: Residents of warm temperate climates (USDA Zones 7-9) may be familiar with the Southern Magnolia. This native of southeastern North America was first introduced to Europe in 1731, and quickly became popular because of its glossy evergreen foliage, large beautiful flowers and elegant form. Growing as a small to large evergreen tree, Southern Magnolia also was found to be widely adaptable to different climates, soils, and exposures. Thus, it was the first Magnolia to be planted widely as a street or shade tree and is now grown nearly worldwide wherever suitable climate and soils exist.

Southern Magnolia has glossy, leathery, evergreen, oval-shaped leaves that are 5 to 8 inches or more long and half as wide. The upper leaf surface is dark green and the lower surface is often covered by brown, dense, felt-like hairs. The fragrant white flowers are 8 inches in diameter, appearing in late spring and intermittently throughout the summer. The flowers are followed by reddish, 3- to 5-inch long, oblong-shaped fruits displaying red seeds ripening in late fall. This species is extremely variable in size, shape, habit, growth rate, canopy density, leaf color, and flowering season. This variability has allowed a large number of beautiful cultivars to be selected.

Southern Magnolia is used as a specimen plant, street tree, shade tree, screen or windbreak. This tree also can be grown as an espalier.

Champaca Magnolia: Many magnolias grow in subtropical and tropical climates typical of USDA Zones 10-12 and warmer. Champaca Magnolia is a native of southeastern Asia famous for its extremely fragrant creamy-white, yellow or yellow-orange flowers. The small flowers are produced in large numbers because they form all along the branches and not just at the stem tips as with many other magnolias. Champaca blooms from spring through summer and sporadically flowers in winter. Its fragrance is so beautiful and powerful, it is used to make perfumes.

Champaca Magnolia is often grown in humid subtropical and tropical areas because it is valued for its form as an evergreen tree as well as its floral fragrance. Champaca Magnolia’s typical size in the landscape is 30 feet tall and wide, though this tree may grow much larger with time.

Many new magnolias have been discovered in tropical areas of Asia and South America, and these may become more available in the future.

What time of year should you plant a Magnolia?

Deciduous magnolias (those that drop their leaves in fall) are best planted when dormant, typically in late fall or winter in warmer climates and early spring in cold climates. Evergreen magnolias are best planted in early spring. For the first 6 to 12 months after planting, both types will benefit from mulch and regular irrigation during warm or dry weather.

How should I plant my magnolia?

  • Gently remove the upper layer of soil from the container or root ball until you expose the topmost root. It should be within the top 2 inches (5 cm) of the surface.
  • For balled trees, remove any root ball coverings (such as burlap). For a container plant, remove the container and make four evenly spaced slices down the sides of the root ball. Use a knife, trowel or shovel to make 1-inch (2.5 cm) deep slices. This process helps eliminate circling roots that otherwise might constrain root growth.
  • Dig a hole at least 1.5 times as wide as the container or ball.
  • Dig the hole slightly less deep than the depth of the root ball.
  • Place the root ball so the upper most root (uncovered in step one) is even with or slightly above the surface of the surrounding undisturbed soil. In the case of clay soil, the root ball should be placed so the upper most root is higher than the undisturbed soil surface so that 10-33% of the root ball is exposed.
  • Fill the hole around the root ball using soil you dug out of the hole. Firm the soil to eliminate air pockets but do not overly compact the soil. Some people will partially fill the hole, irrigate, then allow water to completely drain before filling the rest of the hole with soil.
  • Do not cover the top of the root ball with soil. You may apply a thin layer of mulch over the root ball.

After planting, irrigate two times per week (cool climates) to three times per week (warm climates) for the first three to six months, and weekly for the rest of the growing season. Apply 2-3 gallons per inch (3.0-4.4 liters per cm) of trunk diameter. Place a layer of mulch around the plant that is at least 2 inches (5 cm) thick (thicker for light mulches like pine needles). Fertilizer is not necessary at planting.

For more information, contact a local nursery grower or a local Extension office, agriculture/horticulture agency or gardening organization.

Where to go to buy my Magnolia?

Check with your local retail nursery or garden center. They may know which magnolias grow well in your area and will have these for sale. You may need to look for specialty, rare or new magnolias at “better” garden centers or from an online magnolia nursery. Consult our list of magnolia nurseries for suppliers specializing in this family.

What should you look for when selecting a magnolia?

Look for healthy magnolias with evenly spaced branches. A container-grown plant can be slipped out of its pot to inspect the roots. Healthy roots are white, whereas diseased roots are brown to black and often have a sour odor.

Avoid plants with:

  • spotted, discolored or distorted leaves
  • discolored stems
  • broken branches
  • crossing and rubbing branches
  • wounds on the main trunk(s)
  • discolored roots
  • swollen areas on stems or roots (however, note that grafted or budded plants sometimes have swollen areas where the bud or graft was attached; check with nursery personnel to determine if this is the case)
  • many circling roots just inside of the container indicating the plant may be rootbound, making the plant more difficult to establish and often resulting in poor long-term growth and survival.

Those of us who are plant connoisseurs love magnolias for their big bold blooms that take centre stage, making an impressive display in late April and early May.

If the flowers of magnolia lasted a month, we would tire of their beauty. But like a bouquet of cut-flowers, magnolia blooms fade almost as quickly as they open. In a spring season of cool damp weather, magnolias will bloom for three weeks or more, but as soon as hot dry weather arrives, flowers drop in a matter of days.

Even after flowers drop, I find there is beauty in magnolias because their large petals seem to decorate the lawn. Others would complain that the fallen petals look as if you’ve dropped Kleenex tissues everywhere. Within days the fallen blooms turn brown and disintegrate.

Magnolias, like forsythias, produce blooms before their leaves open. The big fuzzy brown flower buds form during the preceding summer and are already evident at Christmas time.

The best time to plant a magnolia is a decade ago. When young, a magnolia will reward you with attractive flowers, but it is when a magnolia is mature that it becomes most impressive. The stateliest magnolias are more likely to be found in the older parts of town rather than in subdivisions.

There are more than 200 species of magnolia, all originating from warmer climatic areas such as South America, Central America and most of Asia. Only a few species are hardy enough to withstand Ontario’s winters. Magnolias grow well in Southwestern Ontario, but don’t expect them to grow well east of Peterborough or north of Owen Sound.

Southwestern Ontario’s most popular magnolia is ‘soulangeana’ or Saucer Magnolia. Flowers are cup shaped, creamy white, flushed with pink and purple. Following close behind is ‘stellata’ with pure white blooms resembling oversized daisies.

Other cultivars suited for Ontario gardens include ‘Susan,’ blooming later with darker blooms and ‘Yellow Bird’ with a more upright growth habit.

Magnolias will grow best when planted in moist, well-drained soil. They are adaptable to clay and sandy soils, but most will not enjoy growing in waterlogged soils. Magnolias prefer a spot in full sun to partial shade. I have always been told that magnolias are not fond of windy conditions, but the seven or eight magnolias I have growing in my rural yard are proof that wind is not an issue.

Those thinking of planting a magnolia should give it a prominent spot where it can get the attention it deserves. Even when not flowering, the bold leaves and interesting branching pattern give a strong impression. Choose the location with care because once mature, magnolias are not keen on transplanting.

A strong argument for calling Magnolias Tulip Trees

I grew up with a large Southern Magnolia in a small backyard. Its great size dominated the space, smothering the ground below and adjacent plants with massive quantities of leathery leaves and sucking up all available moisture with large surface roots. I was unknowing of its survival tactics and found its main purpose, from a child’s viewpoint, was scaffolding, aiding my climbs and elevating me beyond the neighboring houses.

I remained oblivious of the Magnolias surrounding me until I went to an exhibit of collected works from the studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Along with the iconic nature-inspired lamps, vases, and other decorative pieces, were two sets of large windows. The wisteria panels were breath taking, combining delicate colors and impeccable composition into master works of astonishing beauty. But it was the Magnolia windows that have been with me since. Created for Laurelton Hall, Tiffany’s home in Oyster Bay, New York, they embodied the simplicity and spirit of the trees: white blossoms supported by thick leaded stems and branches, traced onto a sky of clear glass. I never expected art to profoundly affect me but it did. (A current exhibition of Tiffany art and objects from Laurelton Hall is at the Met in New York through May 20.)

When the calendar shifts into March and April, I can’t help but think of deciduous Magnolias. Whites, pinks, creams, maroons, yellows, and rose, they provide an aerial counterpoint to the bulbs growing below them. Most common are the myriad varieties of Saucer Magnolias, M. x-soulangeana, but if you have a chance to see one their parents, M. denudata, don’t miss it. An enchanting vision of pristine elegance, it has an appealing grace often lacking in its progeny. M. campbelli is a big tree and also has the largest flowers, 18 inches or more. It’s worth visiting warmer areas of the country to see them, as they are too tender for here.

Cold climates can also grow Magnolias. The smallest is Star Magnolia, M. stellata, often seen as a multi-stemmed shrub. Flowering when young, its flowers with strappy tepals densely cover the plant, I’m guessing to overcompensate for its small size. M. kobus is more tree-like, with white flowers in spring. It is slow to flower, sometimes taking ten or more years, and is not often grown.

M. x-loebneri is the superb hybrid between stellata and kobus and is highly recommended. Flowering when young, it combines the flower form of stellata and the size of kobus into a garden enhancing small tree. Common varieties are ‘Leonard Messel’ – pink flowers, and ‘Merrill’ – white flowers. My ‘Merrill’ anchors a small border and is always a pleasure when blooming and afterwards.

Full sun and even moisture are their main requirements but placement is important too. Nothing looks worse than a Magnolia clipped into an unnatural form or trying to maintain a large tree in a location that’s too small. Fragrance has always been a hallmark of Magnolias, with each species and variety contributing its unique flavor. Tropical species of Magnolias and their near relative Michelias can be suffocatingly powerful when in bloom.

Magnolias are of ancient lineage and are considered one of the earliest flowering plants. I once visited a Primitive Garden consisting of plants from earlier days. The plantings featured Magnolias that had been underplanted with ferns and cycads with horsetails (equisetum) and Gunneras added for contrast. Anchored by Ginkgos, the garden made for a thought-provoking display.

There is also a Magnolia Society that includes a complete cultivar and description list.

Jane Magnolia

Longer Bloom Season of Unique Pink Flowers

Why Jane Magnolia Trees?

Offering vibrant pink blooms and a longer season of color, the Jane Magnolia Tree is in a league of its own when it comes to the Magnolia family. And because it blooms later than most varieties, it’s unaffected by the late spring frosts that cause other Magnolia blooms to fall.

The Jane’s tulip-shaped, purple-pink flowers fill the air with a subtle yet enchanting aroma, welcoming summer in the most graceful way and outlasting tough conditions with ease. This rich color emerges throughout the summer, requiring no pruning to continue blooming. Plus, the Jane thrives in almost any soil type, from acidic to loamy and even sand.

And if your yard is smaller, the Jane Magnolia is a perfect fit. Its tidy stature is well-suited to more compact gardens, where you can plant as an accent in plant beds, borders, or in a container on your patio. Even better is the fact that it’s cold hardy down to -20 degrees, so you get the good looks of the Magnolia in almost any climate…not just the South.

Why Fast-Growing-Trees.com is Better

Your Jane Magnolia is bred for superior results, combining the best benefits of the Lily Magnolia and Star Magnolia. Now, your Jane is a high-quality hybrid that’s cold hardy, drought-tolerant, and adaptable.

And because we’ve planted, grown, and shipped your Jane Magnolia Tree with care, it’s also got a healthier root system with better branching, primed to deliver color and robust growth as soon as it arrives at your door. In fact, our larger sizes are ready to bloom as soon as the first season in your garden.

We’ve nurtured your Jane Magnolia – now, it’s ready to thrive the first spring in your homescape. Order your Jane Magnolia Tree now, while it’s still available!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: Plant your Jane Magnolia Tree in a well-drained area that receives full to partial sunlight (4 to 8 hours of sunlight per day).

Dig a hole large enough to accommodate your tree’s root ball, place your tree, backfill the soil, and water to settle the roots. After planting, you can mulch the surrounding soil to conserve moisture.

If you’re planting in a container, select a pot that’s about twice the width of your tree’s shipped container, use organic soil, and place your tree. Select a sunny area on your patio or porch for your Jane Magnolia.

2. Watering: Water your Jane Magnolia once a week during the summer. Jane Magnolia Trees will only require extra water during times of drought and extreme heat.

For container-planted Jane Magnolias, check your soil about 3 inches down for dryness. When the soil is dry here, water until you see it flowing from the drainage holes.

3. Fertilizing: Lightly fertilize your Jane Magnolia in the early spring and early fall with a slow-release acidic fertilizer.

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How to Grow Magnolia Trees

Undoubtedly one of the most stunning additions to any ornamental garden landscape, the majestic magnolia tree is as lovely as it is easy to care for. While it’s almost impossible to resist the allure of the storied magnolia blossom, with its dramatic forms and intoxicating fragrance, the tree itself is a hardy and sculptural beauty. The dense, waxy magnolia foliage provides an attractive contrast to those gorgeous blooms while creating shelter for migratory birds. The fall-borne seed cones burst with vibrant red magnolia seeds that are gobbled up by those seasonal visitors.

If you’ve ever hesitated to have one because you’ve wondered how to grow magnolia trees, or whether you can even grow them at all, rest assured—you can, and with very little effort. Though most of the 200+ species prefer tropical and subtropical climates, there are cultivars adapted to nearly every growing zone. With sizes ranging from shrubs to dwarf trees to trees that are up to 100 feet tall, there is a magnolia tree that will work for almost every landscape.

Magnolia Tree Varieties

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The first and most important step is, of course, figuring out just what magnolia tree varieties will suit your Zone and space needs. Some popular options are:

Southern Magnolia Tree (Magnolia grandiflora)

These are the grande dames of magnolias. They can grow up to 90 feet tall, and their creamy, perfumed blossoms can reach up to 10 inches in diameter! Suited best to Zones 7-9, grandiflora will actually do quite well in a broad range of climates and is the most prevalent type of magnolia. Even better? There are many smaller and dwarf cultivars of the grandiflora, such as the Little Gem magnolia tree, which grows to 15-20 feet tall.

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Japanese Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana)

Often called a saucer or tulip magnolia, soulangeana is a hybrid between the Yulan magnolia and the lily magnolia, producing goblet-shape flowers in purple, pale pink, magenta, and even white or yellow. Considered a small magnolia tree, it is deciduous and compact, growing only to about 15 feet tall (many consider it to be a shrub). Japanese magnolias are best suited for Zones 4-9. All types of this stunner will flower in the early spring before leaf buds open for a striking bloom-on-bare-branch display. One of the most popular cultivars of soulangeana is the Jane magnolia tree (Magnolia x ‘Jane’), which produces lovely purplish-red flowers that open to a pale pink or white center.

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Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)

Native to the Southeastern United States, this hardy variety (the very first to ever be classified) is adaptable to Zones 4-10, and it’s deciduous or evergreen depending on the Zone in which it’s grown. In its native Southern climate, it can grow to be 50 feet tall and is evergreen. It is hardy in Northern climates but will grow as a deciduous or semi-evergreen, smaller bush-type tree. It features similar blossoms to those of its cousin the grandiflora, but they are much smaller in size, measuring around 3 inches in diameter. Its lighter-color leaves are quite fragrant.

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Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)

This deciduous late-winter bloomer produces masses of fragrant white to light pink flowers on bare branches, before foliage starts to appear in spring. It’s a small magnolia tree, reaching 10-20 feet in height, but because it is a slow grower, it makes a fantastic ornamental shrub for years. Performs best in Zones 4-9.

Planting a Magnolia Tree

Planting a magnolia is a pretty straightforward process. Once you’ve decided on the type that will do best on your property, it’s time to start digging. Select a spot in full sun (partial sun in hotter regions), away from other landscaping. Magnolias don’t like to be crowded, and they don’t like to be moved once established. Don’t plant anything beneath them (this includes grass), as the leaves will fall and smother anything below them (but left as a mulch to decompose, the leaves will provide essential nutrients to the magnolia). Select a location with moist but well-drained, rich, neutral to slightly acidic soil, or amend to make it so. Keep in mind that deciduous magnolia varieties are best planted when dormant in early spring.

After choosing the planting location, dig a hole at least 1.5 times the width of the root ball or bundle of your specimen and slightly less deep. Remove the upper layer of soil from the tree so the very top root is exposed. You want this root to be exactly level with the ground around the planting hole. Mix plenty of organic compost into the surrounding soil. Fill the planting hole halfway up with soil, making sure the tree is straight. Fill the half-filled hole with water, let it drain, then fill fully with soil, being sure to leave that top root exposed. Cover with a few inches of mulch. Keep young trees well-watered until established, and feed with a slow-release fertilizer in spring before the flower buds fully form.

Caring for a Magnolia Tree

Image zoom Saucer magnolia.

When established in the proper location and climate, magnolias are exceptionally carefree. Disease- and pest-resistant, they take just a little basic maintenance. What they don’t do well with, however, is damage. Magnolia wounds are notoriously slow to heal. Heavily pruning or damaging of the trunk or roots can be catastrophic. This is why it is best not to underplant your tree; digging among the roots or inadvertent nicks by lawnmowers or weed trimmers can result in irreversible damage to the tree. Keep routine pruning to a minimum, and do it only after the tree has flowered; otherwise only prune damaged branches or limbs on an as-needed basis.

With just a little planning and maintenance, magnolia trees will be the absolute star of your garden for a lifetime.

Flowering Trees

My Garden Zone Is

Narrow Selection

flowering trees are full of color with spring and summer blossoms

If you’re wondering where to buy affordable flowering trees online then you’ve come to the right place. We have a great range of flowering trees for sale to suit every situation.

We grow flowering trees for every zone to suit conditions in every US state. We also have a network of quality growers throughout Tennessee. This means when you buy from us, you’ll always get great, low-grower prices.

In addition to our everyday low prices, we also offer exclusive bulk pricing. We know it’s hard to stop at just one beautiful, flowering tree, so when you shop with us, there’s no need to stop at one — our ‘buy one get one free’ deals and further great discounts on purchases of five or more trees mean you can buy as many trees as you want. So what are you waiting for? Browse our awesome selection of flowering trees and start enhancing your garden today.

Beautiful flowering trees for every color palette

Often when gardeners want to add a splash of color to their garden they turn to ‘potted color’ annuals and short-lived perennials. But did you know there are a range of gorgeous, flowering trees that can add lots of color to your garden? And such trees will outlast annuals and short-lived perennials by many years, often decades. When you look at it that way, it’s easy to see why flowering trees are such a great investment.

Here at Tennessee Wholesale Nursery, we have flowering trees to suit every color pallet. If you’re after white flowers, take a look at one of our dogwood trees, hibiscuses, wild cherries or Chickasaw plums. If pink is more your style, we have pink dogwood trees as well or there are magnolias, crepe myrtles, redbuds and mimosas.

Maybe you’ve got a blue-purple palette. In that case, you’ll love our purple rose of Sharon and purple crepe myrtles. Or if you’re working with a red color scheme, take a look at our red crepe myrtles and red hibiscus. And if yellow is your color, you can’t go past the grand tulip tree.

With such a great range of flowering trees, the sky’s the limit.

Affordable flowering trees for every budget

We believe everyone deserves to have a beautiful garden. That’s why we work so hard to bring you great everyday low prices and fantastic bulk purchase deals. Our flowering trees start at just $10.99 or you can grab two for $17.99. More discounts can be had if you order five or more of the same species or if you want five different species, we’ll put together a selection of flowering trees that perfectly suit your zone for only $54.99.

Fragrant flowering trees for a heavenly scented garden

If you want to inhale a beautiful fragrance every time you enter your garden, why not plant a fragrant, flowering tree? Our purple rose of Sharon produces a gorgeous scent as do our tulip trees and magnolias. Just pair them with your favorite scented flowers that bloom when these trees have finished flowering and you’ll have year-round fragrance.

Pro tip:

If you want to plant a flowering tree as a ‘statement plant’, underplant it with foliage plants such as low-growing shrubs and ground covers. If you prefer a more natural look, layer flowering and foliage plants of differing heights all around your flowering trees to make the best use of your available space.

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