How fast do magnolia trees grow?

With a fragrance that quickly fills gardens and stunning flowers that stand out, magnolia trees are an ideal ornamental addition to larger backyards. So how fast do magnolia trees grow?

Magnolias are slow growers, growing a maximum of about two feet each year for larger trees. The exact growth rate depends on the chosen species and cultivar. Providing the right care will stop any stunted growth that may slow this rate even further.

How fast do magnolia trees grow?

How fast do magnolia trees grow?

Magnolia trees are not considered quick-growing. In fact, most species are labeled slow-growing, taking several years to reach their mature height. Although they grow about a foot or two per year on average, many types can reach well beyond 50 feet, taking over 10 years to grow to their full potential.

For a more exact idea of how quickly your magnolia tree will grow, you’ll need to identify which species you have. Some are known to grow faster than others and they all mature at drastically different heights. But for most species, you can expect relatively slow growth season after season.

Which magnolia tree grows the quickest?

Among the many magnolia species to choose from, Southern magnolias typically grow the quickest. Luckily, these are also one of the more popular types, widely available in garden centers. They typically prefer warmer climates and grow best in USDA Zones 7-9.

Unfortunately, there is one caveat to this quick growth. Southern magnolias are also the largest of all the magnolia types, potentially reaching 80 feet tall if given the space to expand. For those with smaller gardens, choose a shorter Southern magnolia cultivar or opt for one of the slower-growing but more compact species.

How long does it take magnolias to reach full height?

Just like speed of growth, the time it takes your magnolia to reach its full height will depend on the species.

Let’s take the Southern magnolia as an example. These trees grow around two feet each year and reach up to 80 feet tall. That means it will take an impressive 40 years to reach their full height.

Bigleaf magnolias only grow to half the size of Southern magnolias. But, they also don’t grow as quickly and may take around the same amount of time (perhaps slightly sooner) to grow to their fullest.

Magnolia liliiflora (Lily magnolia) will reach full height much sooner thanks to its compact size. It still grows quite slowly, but won’t take as long to grow as the towering types mentioned previously.

Can I make my magnolia grow quicker?

There is no way to make a magnolia tree grow quicker than it naturally can. Although gardeners have a few tricks up our sleeves, we are not true magicians. But, there are ways to prevent any problems that can slow growth, ensuring your magnolia is growing as quickly as it is physically able to.

Make sure your magnolia is planted in rich, well-draining soil with plenty of sunlight. While establishing, water often and deeply to promote strong root growth, slowing once the tree has settled into its new home. Provide additional water during periods of low rainfall or in excessively warm temperatures and mulch around the base to keep the roots cool.

Regular feeding around twice a year will also maintain nutrient levels in the soil, making sure there is never any deficiency. Use a slow-release fertilizer to slowly break down into the soil over a few months rather than washing away with rain. Apply the fertilizer around and just beyond the drip line of the tree, mixing it into the top layer of soil and watering to begin breaking down.

With the right care and attention, you can be sure your magnolia will grow as quickly as possible.


What is the lifespan of a Magnolia tree?

Magnolia trees have an average life span of 80-120 years old. Although this is the average, it once recorded that a Magnolia tree in Italy has survived for 320 years.

Where is the best place for Magnolia tree?

Magnolia trees tend to do best when they have access to full sun. However, if you are planting a magnolia tree is a dry and hot climate, it could be beneficial to allow a place for some shade for your Magnolia tree


Madison Moulton
Madison Moulton

Madison Moulton is an esteemed gardening writer and editor with a profound affection for plants that took root in her childhood. As a life-long plant enthusiast, Madison’s early captivation with indoor gardening blossomed into a full-fledged profession. Her dedication and expertise in the field have seen her words grace the pages of several national gardening magazines, as well as some of the most popular online platforms.

With bylines in notable gardening publications such as Epic Gardening, Rural Sprout, Homes & Gardens, and All About Gardening, Madison’s voice stands out as a beacon for sustainable and eco-friendly gardening practices. Moreover, her vast experience with tropical plants has not only made her a valuable contributor to our team but has also earned her features in esteemed platforms like Real Homes and Architectural Digest.

While Madison’s extensive writing portfolio speaks volumes about her gardening expertise, her mission remains consistent: to inspire novice and seasoned gardeners alike to approach gardening with both the flora and the earth’s well-being at heart. Outside the digital realm, Madison is hands-on, immersing herself in the rich soils of her home country, South Africa, where she passionately plants and tends to her own garden.

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