Moonglow® Sweet Bay Magnolia Tree
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Moonglow® Sweet Bay Magnolia Tree
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Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-7
  • Exposure: Full Sun - Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Moonglow® Sweet Bay Magnolia

Magnolia virginiana 'Jim Wilson'

This plant is not available at this time through Bower & Branch. Bower & Branch provides this information for reference only. Please click here to be placed on a waiting list. See below for other selections.

Plant it by the patio! You’ll want Moonglow Sweetbay nearby when you relax on your patio on those blissful late spring and early summer days. That’s when this exquisite ornamental tree unfurls its creamy-white blossoms, perfuming the air with their lemony fragrance. The blooms keep coming for weeks! In late summer, shiny red fruits appear that are relished by songbirds. Robins, cardinals, mockingbirds, orioles, and kingbirds may be seen flitting among the branches of your tree in search of a meal. Moonglow Magnolia is a fast-growing tree that doesn’t get huge. It’s perfect for smaller properties and for cozy spaces within large estates.

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-7
  • Exposure: Full Sun - Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Recommended by Our Growers

The Story

Sweetbay Magnolia is a beloved native tree found in the East Coast and Gulf states, from southern New Jersey to East Texas. This particular selection arose from a crop of seeds sown in the 1970s by the late, great nurseryman, Earl Cully, of Jacksonville, Illinois. The superior seedling stood out from the crowd by virtue of its distinctively upright habit. Over the years, Cully also observed that Moonglow was more cold-hardy than other selections (it survived -33ºF with no damage!) and that it held its leaves later in the year. In west-central Illinois, he noted, it holds its leaves until Christmas. In very mild climates, Moonglow is evergreen.

The Details

The dark green, silver-backed leaves of Moonglow Sweetbay Magnolia are lovely to look at as they dance in the wind, but they are more than just a pretty ornament. Sweetbay Magnolia foliage nourishes our native tiger swallowtail and Spicebush swallowtail butterfly caterpillars, as well as those of the handsome Sweetbay silkmoth.

How to Grow

Plant your Moonglow Sweetbay Magnolia in a sunny spot, or one with light shade. Water regularly. Although it will be tolerant of dry spells once it is well established, Moonglow will perform much better with constant moisture. Unlike other Magnolias, it will even withstand occasional flooding. Mulch with organic matter and use our Elements™ Watering System to keep the rootzone cool and moist. Like all Sweetbays, Moonglow will perform best in acidic (low pH) soils, so if Rhododendrons and Azaleas grow well in your area, this tree should be happy. In very alkaline soils, its leaves may become chlorotic (yellowish). Moonglow is otherwise easy to please!

More Info

Cold Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 5
Heat Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 7
Exposure Full Sun - Part Shade
Avg Mature Height 15-35'
Avg Mature Width 10-20'
Growth Rate Fast
Leaf Color Shiny, Dark Green
Fall Leaf Color Evergreen - Semi Evergreen
Flower Color Creamy White
Flower Time Spring
Fruit Color N/A
Fruit Time N/A
Foliage Color Shiny, Dark Green
Bloom Time Spring
Cary Award Winner No
PA Gold Medal Award No
Attractive Bark No
Attracts Birds Yes
Attracts Butterflies No
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators Yes
Deer Resistant Yes
Drought Tolerant No
Dry, Poor Soils No
Edible Fruit No
Fragrant Yes
Groundcover No
Hedge/Windbreak No
Native Yes
Salt Tolerance/Seashore No
Seasonal Cut Branches No
Shade Tolerance Yes
Showy Flowers Yes
Specimen Yes
Urban Conditions Yes
Utility Line Trees No
Wet Moist Soils Yes
Winter Interest No
Woodland Garden No
Decor/Craft Use No

Size Guide

Size Guide Scale


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Moonglow® Sweet Bay Magnolia Tree