Magnolia stellata – Half Standard

Star Magnolia

A charming slow-growing medium-sized deciduous shrub that is one of the delights of the spring garden. In winter the naked branches are clothed with delicate silver furry buds. Then in early spring before the leaves emerge, these burst open into starry white flowers, sometimes with a hint of pink.

The Magnolia stellata (Half Standard) is a tree form with a single trunk, clear of branches up to about 1 metre of trunk height.

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Origin: Japan
Genus: Magnolia
Species / Cultivar: stellata
Common Name: Star Magnolia

Plant Biography

Magnolia stellata is native to Japan, specifically on its largest Island of Honshū at elevations of 50 to 600 metres above sea level. In the wild it grows by stream sides in moist areas, hinting at its preference for rich moist soils and slightly acid pH.

The Genus ‘Magnolia’ honours the French Botanist Pierre Magnol. Magnol is most well known for inventing the concept of plant families in the form they are still understood today, by classifying groups of plants that have features in common.

Magnolia stellata – Half Standard
Soil: Ericaceous
Will not tolerate an alkaline pH, so pot in ericaceous compost if site is not neutral to acid.
Growth Rate: Slow
This plant is particularly slow to grow, even during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 1.5-2.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 2.5-4m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.

Expert Tip

Light dappled woodland conditions are perfect for this shrub, nevertheless it still performs spectacularly in less than ideal situations so long as it is sheltered from strong winds.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

This is a slow growing species, making it a perfect choice for a small garden.

Eventually it will become a small mounding tree and spread noticeably wider than its height – so if you are truly planning for the long term be sure not to overcrowd it.


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