Magnolia tree zone 6

Hardy Magnolia Varieties – Learn About Zone 6 Magnolia Trees

Growing magnolias in zone 6 climates may seem like an impossible feat, but not all magnolia trees are hothouse flowers. In fact, there are more than 200 species of magnolia, and of those, many beautiful hardy magnolia varieties tolerate the chilly winter temperatures of USDA hardiness zone 6. Read on to learn about a few of the many types of zone 6 magnolia trees.

How Hardy are Magnolia Trees?

Hardiness of magnolia trees varies widely depending on the species. For example, Champaca magnolia (Magnolia champaca) thrives in humid tropical and subtropical climates of USDA zone 10 and above. Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is a slightly tougher species that tolerates relatively mild climates of zone 7 through 9. Both are evergreen trees.

Hardy zone 6 magnolia trees include Star magnolia (Magnolia stellata), which grows in USDA zone 4 through 8, and Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), which grows in zones 5 through 10. Cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata) is an extremely tough tree that tolerates extreme cold winters of zone 3.

Hardiness of Saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana) depends on the cultivar; some grow in zones 5 through 9, while others tolerate climates as far north as zone 4.

Generally, hardy magnolia varieties are deciduous.

Best Zone 6 Magnolia Trees

Star magnolia varieties for zone 6 include:

  • ‘Royal Star’
  • ‘Waterlily’

Sweetbay varieties that will thrive in this zone are:

  • ‘Jim Wilson Moonglow’
  • ‘Australis’ (also known as Swamp magnolia)

Cucumber trees that are suitable include:

  • Magnolia acuminata
  • Magnolia macrophylla

Saucer magnolia varieties for zone 6 are:

  • ‘Alexandrina’
  • ‘Lennei’

As you can see, it is possible to grow a magnolia tree in a zone 6 climate. There are a number to choose from and their ease of care, along with other attributes specific to each, make these great additions to the landscape.

Magnolia Tree Planting Guide

For us, nothing says Southern charm more than a hardy Magnolia tree. Their creamy white, beautiful fragrant flowers adore the glossy leaves – Leaves that, at times, stay around all year long with dark green color.

There are some 125 species of magnolia plants, several of which are important ornamentals with many named cultivars. There are shrub-like deciduous magnolias and huge forest evergreen magnolias. The Asiatic species, star magnolia (M. stellata) and saucer magnolia (Magnolia × soulangeana), bloom in early spring before their deciduous leaves come out. The American species, southern magnolia (M. grandiflora), is evergreen and blooms in early summer. The sweetbay magnolia (M. virginiana) of eastern North America is an evergreen tree in the South and deciduous tree up North. Sweet bay has fragrant white flowers of medium size.

Some of our favorite magnolias include ‘Bracken Brown Beauty Magnolia’, a relatively cold hardy cultivar of southern magnolia with a dense pyramidal shape, and ‘Little Gem Magnolia’, a smaller, compact version of the same species that grows to about 20 feet tall. Both of these have large flowers that bloom in mid spring to summer.

Among the deciduous magnolia tree varieties that bloom in early spring on bare branches are ‘Alexandrina Magnolia’ and ‘Ann Magnolia’, both hybrids of Asian origin and of considerably smaller stature than the American species with pink flowers that are tulip shaped.

The conical shape of M. grandiflora and its cultivars extends all the way to the ground and their dense evergreen foliage won’t allow grass or much of anything to grow under them.

Know that southern magnolia can get very big, up to 60 to 80 feet tall as a mature magnolia! Planting these shade trees will bring privacy and beautiful year round foliage to your landscape.

The deciduous Asian magnolia flowering trees are smaller trees, sometimes mere large shrubs, and provide brilliant color early in the spring. These small trees provide a display of color to signify the beginning of a new growing season.

Additionally, the deciduous trees’s drop their large leaves year round, and if you want to maintain a pristine landscape, this means frequent policing of spent magnolia tree leaves.

If you are wondering how to grow a magnolia tree use this Magnolia Tree Planting Guide to lead the way for your magnolia tree care expertise. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. If you are wondering how fast do magnolia trees grow the growth rate listed below

Here is a quick comparison chart of the magnolia varieties we carry:


Mature Height

Mature Width

Magnolia Flower Color

Evergreen or Deciduous?

Magnolia Tree Bloom Period

Sunlight Requirements

Magnolia Tree Growth Rate


Special Features


Magnolia x soulangiana ‘Alexandrina’

20-25 ft. 20-25 ft. Purple-Pink Deciduous Mid to Late Spring-Summer Full Sun Moderate Showy flowers, Fragrant, Low maintenance, Best grown in moist, organically rich, acidic, well-drained soil


Magnolia x ‘Ann’

10-15 ft. 8-10 ft. Pink-Purple Deciduous Late Spring-Summer Full Sun/Partial Shade Slow Showy flowers, Fragrant, Low maintenance, Best grown in moist, organically rich, acidic, well-drained soil

Bracken’s Brown Beauty

Magnolia grandiflora ‘Bracken’s Brown Beauty’

30-40 ft. 15-25 ft. White Evergreen Late Spring-Summer Full Sun/Partial Shade Slow Large white flowers, Fragrant, Cold hardy, Tolerates very wet areas

D.D. Blanchard

Magnolia grandiflora ‘D.D. Blanchard’

50 ft. 25-30 ft. White Evergreen Late Spring-Summer Full Sun Slow Large, fragrant blooms, Attractive foliage, Deer resistant, Best grown in moist, organically rich, acidic, well-drained soil

Little Gem

Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’

20-25 ft. 10-15 ft. White Evergreen Summer Full Sun/Partial Shade Slow to medium rate Fragrant, Attractive foliage, Compact size, Generally intolerant to soil extremes

Where to Plant a Magnolia Tree

Most magnolias do best in a neutral to slightly acidic soil that stays relatively moist but is still well drained. When planting a magnolia tree, the soil should be fertile, rich in humus, and loamy. It is not advisable to add any kind of amendment to the planting hole as the tree’s roots will soon spread beyond the hole anyway. Instead, choose a location with good soil.

The spreading magnolia tree root systems will spread several feet beyond the tree canopy and require lots of room to grow to full height and width. They are very wide spreading.

Magnolias prefer full sun to partial shade, so choose a spot in your landscape that receives sunlight for at least six hours a day. Although some are tolerant to shadier growing conditions than other.

Most magnolias should have protection from strong winds because:

  1. The large green leaves of many species are damaged by strong wind;
  2. Magnolia limbs tend to be brittle; and
  3. The flowering buds of those that bloom on naked branches before the leaves unfold are susceptible to wind burn and damage.

Where Do Magnolias Trees Grow?

The Bracken’s Brown is the most cold tolerant we have while the Little Gem is a true Southern Magnolia and prefers the warm weather of the Southeast. Note the United States Department of Agriculture climate zones for your magnolia and select a planting site that can offer protection from summer heat or winter cold, as necessary. For example, the growing zones for Little Gem magnolia are hardy to zone 7-9, so if you are in magnolia tree zone 6 or 7, position your magnolia where it will be protected from the coldest winds and temperatures, such as near a south facing wall. If you are planting a Little Gem magnolia tree in zone 9 or 10, position it where it will get afternoon shade away from the piercing heat.

How to Plant a Magnolia Tree

You can plant magnolias in fall or spring. If you are wondering when the best time to plant magnolia trees it is spring so they have the whole growing season to establish. Avoid planting in summer or winter.

    • Dig a hole as deep as the magnolia is in the nursery pot and twice as wide.
    • Thoroughly wet the potting soil in the pot before starting. Place the pot on its side and slide the root ball out. If the plant is stuck, you can slip a long-bladed knife around the inside edge to loosen it. Gently loosen some of the roots along the sides and bottom, and pull them outward so they are not encircling the root mass.
    • It might be necessary to prune some of the roots if they are growing in a circle around the inside of the pot.
    • Build up a rounded mound of soil in the middle of the planting hole. Place the root crown on top of the mounded soil so that the top of the crown will be at ground level.
    • Spread the side roots out over the mounded soil while backfilling the hole. Work the soil in and around the roots. When the hole is half filled, give it and the roots a good soaking of water.
    • When the water has drained, readjust the depth of the stem if necessary and finish filling the hole. Gently tamp the soil down with your hands.
    • Use your hands to build up a 3-6 inch high embankment of soil on the ground over the outside of the root zone. This will help impound water over the roots while it sinks into the soil. Water thoroughly.
    • Spread a 3-6 inch layer of mulch over the root system and beyond to help hold in soil moisture and protect the shallow roots at the base of the tree. You can use hay, straw, leaves, pine needles, grass clippings or compost. Do not use mushroom compost as this contains lime and will raise the pH.

How to Care for a Magnolia Tree

If planted in the spring, provide at least one inch of water per week for the first six months or so. Establish a regular watering schedule to make sure your tree stays healthy. Fall-planted mags can be watered every two weeks. Once established, most magnolias have moderate drought tolerance.

    • Use stakes and lines to stabilize a new magnolia against the wind.
    • An organic mulch over the magnolia root zone helps retain soil moisture. Be sure you don’t use a mulch that contains lime, as this could cause yellowing of the leaves. If chlorosis does occur, a foliar application of chelated iron can help.
    • Do not fertilize a newly planted tree until the following the trees growing season. Then for the next two or three years, feed with a balanced fertilizer every other month during the growing season. After the first two or three years, fertilize just once or twice a year.
    • Do any necessary pruning and shaping while the tree is still young because removing large branches can leave scars that are open to infection. Young trees are more susceptible because less magnolia tree roots have formed
    • Magnolias are more trouble-free than many trees, and minor problems such as scale insects or leaf miners can be ignored.

Magnolias are a great addition to any landscape, even when they’re not in season. Their attractive mounded shape all year around make it an exceptional choice as an accent tree for your garden. Your landscape will be filled with a fragrant aroma and a southern charm you can’t deny when you grow magnolia trees. No matter what fast growing magnolia type you choose your landscape will thank you!

Happy planting!

I have a big love for magnolias; I would have any and all of them, if I could. I admire their big glossy leaves, and pale grey bark. Most zone 5 hardy magnolias top out at 25 feet; they are a perfect tree for a small property. Their spring flowers are strikingly large-and simply beautiful. Some years our spring is so short they might be in bloom only a few days; I do not fault them for this. Write a protest letter to Ms. Nature-should you have an inclination-but do not expect an answer. Zone 5 gardeners-we ought to be used to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune-I am quoting Shakespeare here. No matter how many years in a row I would need to live through a late season killing frost, I would still plant magnolias. Magnolias are so beautiful in every other regard, I have no problem recommending them.

Magnolia Stellata, or star magnolia, and the saucer magnolia, Magnolia Soulangiana, are common to my area. They, and their progeny and hybrids, grace many a spring landscape in my city. Wada’s Memory, a hybrid of Magnolia Stellata, is a particularly beautiful white cultivar. Ivory Chalice, bred by Dr Leach from the species Magnolia Denudata, is exceptionally striking in a good year. It blooms early, and the blooming can be damaged by unexpected cold. Should you have Ivory Chalice on your property this year, I am sure you are dancing with delight. Plant this tree if you are a trouper gardener. Do not plant this tree if you live by your expectations.

But by far and away, my favorite magnolia is Yellow Butterflies. Bred by Phil Savage, a world renowned magnolia hybridizer, its fragrant pale yellow flowers are the best part of my spring landscape. He lived on a large property right on Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Hills for many years. I met him in 1987 courtesy of Al Goldner, a noted landscape designer who mentored me for some years. Al was very interested that any designer first and foremost needed to learn as much as possible about plants. He was forever hauling his group to see this breeder, or that farm. It was an education bordering on priceless; I understand that now.

I have no photographs of Phil Savage’s property, but I can describe it. Magnolias towering at the better part of 50 feet tall were everywhere. Some were white, some were pink. Others were peach, or yellow, or bordering on orange-colors I had never seen before. Some trees with trunk calipers approaching 40 or 50 inches-magnolias grafted onto ash tree rootstock. The grafts were giant and incredibly sculptural. Visiting his property was like visiting another planet.

Just a few years ago, I visited his property again-courtesy of his niece-a client. He had passed away, and the property was for sale. She thought I might like to see the magnolias in bloom. What I saw there took my breath away. A lifetime devoted to growing trees was in evidence everywhere. Magnolias, and more magnolias. The size of his trees-like nothing I had ever seen. A giant forest of magnolias-imagine it. Most of these trees have never been introduced into commerce; the scientist and the dreamer had grown trees like I have never seen before or since. The property is pure magic.

The property was purchased from the family by a group intending to build a facility for the aged. His niece was concerned that many of his trees would be felled, destroyed, in that process. I did have GP Enterprises, who successfully moves big trees, look at the property. So many of the big trees were much too big to be moved. This was not so much comfort for her-she felt her Uncle’s work should be looked after, not cut down. I was powerless to do anything-this felt so bad.

Phil Savage’s most beautiful and well-known cultivar-Butterflies. This clear pale yellow flowering magnolia -I planted ten of them on either side of a walk to my back yard, and underplanted them with boxwood. They have been in 6 years now; this spring their blooming is heavy and gorgeous. A cross between the cucumber magnolia-Magnolia Acuminata, and Magnolia Denudata Sawada’s cream-it is exquisite in bloom, in leaf, in bark, and in habit. Every day for the last week, I pull up in front with the corgis in tow-and get out to take photographs. They lean out the rear window as if to ask-what are you up to? I am up to trying to capture the color, the shape, the fragrance-all those things that defy recording. No photograph could possibly do justice to how beautiful they are right now-come by if you can.

I know I posted a few days ago about how I wish Detroit had a botanic garden, and that in the event I decided for the first time to buy a lottery ticket, and won, I would put that money towards a botanic garden for my city. I could refine that dream. The group that bought the property-they have no plans to build over Phil Savage’s magnolias right now; their project is on hold. If I could, I would write them a check, and wave them off. I would make a botanic garden-presided over by the most singular and amazing magnolia grove it has ever been my privilege to see. I have my dreams, yes I do.

Wish me luck.

The Best Trees for Missouri Lawns

As any gardener knows, plants have needs. You can’t just stick a tree in the ground, water it, and expect it to grow into something big and beautiful. You need to think about its relationship to the sun, its watering and food requirements, and (perhaps most importantly) the climate and landscape of the place it will call home. So all my Missouri friends and neighbors, think about the best trees for Missouri before you start planning a pool surrounded by pineapple plants and palm trees. If you’ve lived in the Midwest long, you know that our weather is extreme and susceptible to wild flights of fancy. Because of that, it’s important that you choose strong, hardy trees that will stand strong through our temperamental seasons. If you want your trees to grow big and strong, check out this list of some of the best trees for Missouri lawns.

Related Post: 10 Plants Native to Missouri

Best Trees For Missouri Lawns


Many maple trees will work well in Missouri, but some of the best include the Pacific Sunset, Paperbark, Shantung, Trident, and Autumn Blaze.

The Pacific Sunset Maple is one of the all-around best trees for Missouri. A round, shady, medium-sized tree, its glossy leaves are beautiful in the fall—varying from yellow-orange to a deep burgundy. This tree holds up well in the extreme heat of Missouri summers.

But if you’re looking for a smaller tree, try the Paperbark Maple. Named for its bark, which peels off in paper-like strips to reveal a brighter copper bark beneath, this tree can tolerate a wide range of soils and exposures.

Related Post: Best Fruit Trees for Missouri

Autumn Blaze Maples are great for their bright fall color and tolerance for droughts, while Shantung and Trident Maples are attractive trees to plant along a street and won’t grow tall enough to tamper with power lines.


Another hardy tree family, oaks are a great choice for Missouri. The White Oak, large but not especially tall, has been known to live up to 600 years. If you’re looking for mighty, long-lasting tree that can provide lots of shade, give it a try.

The Scarlet Oak is another medium-large tree fit for Midwestern landscapes, and its bright red leaves make a striking sight in the autumn.


Of course, the Dogwood, our state tree, is one of the best trees for Missouri. Although its lovely white blooms and moderate size are appealing, take care to plant it in rich soil.

Perhaps even more impressive is the Magnolia. Many of its varieties (such as Star Magnolias, Saucer Magnolias, and Sweetbay Magnolias) make for great landscaping trees. These trees bloom in lovely pink and white flowers and live long lives.


If you’re looking for a tree that will stay green year-round, consider the Norway Spruce. This pyramidal shaped tree has dark green needles, reddish-brown cones, and drooping branchlets (which give it a unique, but attractive look).

Another evergreen that deserves a spot on the best trees for Missouri lawns is the Eastern Red Cedar. A native tree to Missouri and exceptionally hardy, this tree grows well when it has plenty of room to itself—partially for growth and partially because its root system exudes a chemical that will hurt the development of very near neighboring plants.


Our list of great trees for Missouri would not be complete without a few others. The American Linden (sometimes called the American Basswood), another tree native to Missouri, grows fast, lives long, and turns yellow in autumn.

The Kentucky Coffee Tree provides wonderful shade and can tolerate both poor soil and drought, making it a perfect choice for rougher Missouri landscapes.

And finally, the narrow and shady Pond Cypress can also tolerate a range of soil and weather conditions, though it prefers the moist and acidic.

Are You Choosing a New Tree for Your Yard?

When choosing a new tree for your yard, we hope you’ll consider our choices for the best trees for Missouri (assuming you’re in the state, that is—or in the Midwest at the very least). And if you need help assessing your lawn, choosing a tree, or planting a tree, call Nixa Lawn Service at 417-724-0318 or request a quote online. We would love to hear from you.

Trees & Shrubs for Missouri

Missouri Trees

Missouri homeowners who want to enhance their residential landscape with fast-growing shade trees and shrubs should look no further than the Fast Growing Tree Nursery. Whether you live in the Glaciated Till Plains, the Osage Plains, the Ozark Highlands, the Mississippi Lowlands or the Alluvial River Plains, we can help you find trees and shrubs that are perfect for your region.
The Best Trees for Planting in Missouri

The Royal Empress Tree is practically indestructible and is a great match for Missouri’s climate, whichever region you live in.

When you want to add a vibrant splash of color to your home landscape, consider our red knockout roses with their long-lasting blooms, the disease-resistant Autumn Blaze Maple, the graceful Weeping Cherry, or the Red Rocket Crape with its extended flowering season.

Perhaps you want to increase the privacy of your property, if so, consider planting a row of American Holly, Thuja Emerald Green, Cryptomeria Radicans or Drought Free Evergreens. These fast-growing evergreens will enhance the beauty of your property’s boundary with their year-round dark green color while adding a sense of security.

The Dogwood is native to Missouri and we have a full range to choose from. You won’t be disappointed with our disease-resistant Pink Dogwood, the glorious Red Dogwood, or the Show Me State’s own tree, the White Dogwood.

A Large Variety of Trees for Missouri

Wherever you live from Kirksville to Poplar Bluff, Kansas City to St. Louis or Hannibal to Joplin, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Fast Growing Tree Nursery and we’ll help you choose the trees you need to enhance your residential landscape.

Missouri’s state tree is Flowering Dogwood. This elegant tree has creamy white blooms and pale green, shiny leaves that turn scarlet in the fall. This tree reaches heights of 20-30 feet at full maturity.

Missouri’s state soil is the Menfro series. It is a dark brown, silt loam and is found in more than 780,000 acres throughout the state. It is fertile soil and good for growing trees and shrubs. If the soil in your area is sandy or compacted with clay, you can amend it by adding organic matter and fertilizer.

Zone 6 Trees That Flower – What Flowering Trees Grow In Zone 6

Who doesn’t love the snowflake-like fall of spring cherry petals or the cheery blazing color of a tulip tree? Flowering trees liven up any space in the garden in a big way and many have the added benefit of producing edible fruit later on. Zone 6 trees that flower abound, with many of the most popular blooming trees hardy in that region’s possible -5 degrees Fahrenheit (-21 C.). Let’s take a look at some of the prettiest and hardiest flowering trees for zone 6.

What Flowering Trees Grow in Zone 6?

Choosing a tree for the landscape is a big decision, not only due to the size of a tree but because its architectural dimensions will often define that area of the garden. For this reason, picking the correct hardy flowering trees will ensure year after year of gorgeous flowers and a unique microclimate provided by the tree. As you look at your options, also bear in mind the site lighting, drainage, exposure, average moisture and other cultural factors.

Zone 6 is an interesting zone because it can easily get well below zero in winter but the summers may be hot, long and dry. Precipitation varies depending on what part of North America your region is located and other considerations need to be looked at when choosing flowering trees for zone 6.

Also, determine what size of tree you want. There are plenty of dwarf fruit trees that can add color to the landscape without the nearly unmanageable height of some species of zone 6 trees that flower. Another thing to contemplate before purchase might be fruiting. Many trees do not produce edible fruits but simply yard debris. Ask yourself how much annual clean up you are willing to do to keep things tidy.

Small Hardy Flowering Trees

There are many species of blooming trees perfect for a zone 6 landscape. Keeping the profile of a tree low helps with maintenance, fruit harvest and prevents shading large areas of the garden. Dwarf fruit trees, like cherry and Prairie Fire crabapple, introduce seasonal color both with their flowers, fruits and fall leaf change.

A dwarf red buckeye will only get 20 feet tall on average and bring its carmine red flowers to decorate the yard from spring well into summer. The dwarf serviceberry-apple hybrid ‘Autumn Brilliance’ bears edible fruit and delicate white blooms at only 25 feet in height. A classic smaller tree, the Chinese dogwood has chubby, red ornamental fruits and snowy flower-like bracts, while its cousin the Pagoda dogwood has architectural appeal with graceful tiered branches.

Additional trees to try might include:

  • Fringe tree
  • Ruby red horse chestnut
  • PeeGee hydrangea
  • Japanese tree lilac
  • Cockspur hawthorn
  • Star magnolia
  • Showy mountain ash
  • Witch hazel

Larger Zone 6 Flowering Trees

For maximum appeal when in bloom, taller species will be the focal point of the garden during their flowering. The larger varieties in the Cornus, or dogwood family, have elegant leaves and bracts in white to blush pink with fruits like Christmas tree ornaments. Tulip tree can become a 100-foot-tall monster but is worth every inch with blooms of orange and greenish yellow in a form just like their bulb namesake.

European mountain ash is more moderate in size at 40 feet and the flowers are not very significant, but the cheery bright orange to red clusters of fruit persist well into winter and make it a standout for many seasons. Not much can compete with the regal saucer magnolia. The blowsy, old-fashioned pinkish-purple flowers are huge.

You may also want to think about adding:

  • Eastern redbud
  • Acoma crape myrtle (and many other crape myrtle varieties)
  • Amur chokecherry
  • Aristocrat flowering pear
  • Chaste tree
  • Golden rain tree
  • Ivory silk lilac tree
  • Mimosa
  • Northern catalpa
  • White fringe tree

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