Magnolia Teddy Bear vs Little Gem

Magnolia Teddy Bear

I’d like to introduce you to a new version of an old favorite this is Teddy Bear southern magnolia. It’s a wonderful version of our native southern magnolia. The plant that grows much smaller and more compact than the average seedling most magnolias, that grow quite large 40-50 feet plus. That’s a little too large for most people’s home landscapes.

The teddy bear tops out around 12 to 20 feet tall about half as wide. Maintains a very tight pyramid shape. It’s very resistant to scale. It does not drop its leaves as bad as many magnolias. It flowers just as well as your traditional older varieties which smell amazing.

It also does produce attractive seed cones like most southern magnolias which are wonderful in cut flower arrangements in the fall. Another good southern tradition if you’ve got a smaller garden or you just don’t want a huge grower.

I think Teddy Bear can find a place in your home where it’ll be very happy.

Magnolia s Little Gem

The reason Little Gem Magnolias are very widely used in the south is they’re hardy in zone seven to ten. It’s an evergreen magnolia that has beautiful coloration on the back of the leaf. The top of the leaf is shiny green and the bottom of the leaf has this brownish hue to it on the back.

There are a couple of new varieties that have a little better coloration on the back of the leaf. The Little Gem is still widely used. It’s a great plant blooms beautifully in the late summer. Big beautiful white fragrant flowers.

This plant although slower growing and can reach thirty feet plus over time but stays quite a bit narrower. It only gets maybe seven to ten feet in width maybe ten to twelve feet in width over a long period of time.

I do see sometimes people plant these in you know near foundations and that kind of thing and even though it’s a dwarf plant or a slower-growing, plant that’s still probably not a great use for it.

Magnolia right when I first got there and I planted it close enough to the house it ended up getting 15-18 feet and at that point, I realized that there’s no stopping it there’s really not a good way to prune.

So even this one needs some space, it needs to be planted out from your house.

Great plant really super low maintenance not a lot of insect or disease problems.

This is one of those true southern plants if you’ve been to the southeastern United States you’re gonna see camellias and azaleas and magnolias. The fragrance is incredible!

This is definitely a full Sun plant maybe part shade. If you get it in too much shade very quickly it’ll be a much

thinner tree and you’ll lose flowers. You definitely won’t get as many flowers on them so in terms of planting I really wouldn’t mix anything.

They’re very tolerant of sandy soils, loam soils, clay soils. You don’t really need to amend the soil all that much. They’re pretty rugged plants.

Water them in really well. You’ll need to water in them for the first year too. You know just until they get established. Once they’re established old southern magnolias that are well anchored in the ground just don’t require anything.

You may get a crazy branch here there that sticks out an extra 2 or 3 feet.

Little gem is very self-maintaining. They don’t like having things planted right up to them and in fact, they go out of their way to try to kill all the things that you plant very close to them. Rarely you see weeds growing under them.