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Audubon® Sweetbay Magnolia
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Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Sweetbay Magnolia will lure you outside in late spring and early summer with its deliciously fragrant blooms. Then, it will lure the birds in late summer and fall with its shiny red fruits! Robins, cardinals, and mockingbirds are among those that may stop by for a meal. The high-fat fruits are especially valuable to migratory birds like orioles and kingbirds, who need to shore up their energy reserves for their long flights. Because Sweetbay Magnolia flowers over a long period, its fruits ripen over a long period, too, giving all the neighborhood birds a chance to discover your offerings. A fine addition to your backyard bird habitat.
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 5
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English settlers called this tree the “Beaver Tree,” because they used the aromatic roots to bait beaver traps. They also used the flowers to make perfume and the wood to make veneers and small boxes. Spicebush and Tiger Swallowtail butterflies have been using this tree for eons to raise their young, so if you’re looking to attract either beavers or butterflies to your yard, this is the tree for you! Our “Single-Stem” Sweet Bays are grown in an unconventional way for the species—“Tree-Form,” like their cousin, the Southern Magnolia.
So many wonderful traits…where do we start? This environmentally friendly native tree has long bluish-green, semi-evergreen foliage with silvery undersides. Very fragrant, lemony-scented, creamy white flowers bloom in early summer and are followed by unique fruit pods with orange-red seeds. All of these exceptional characteristics make it an excellent choice for your outdoor living area.
How to Grow
Sweetbay Magnolia is a neat tree with fragrant cream colored flowers in summer. They tend to be a little fussier than other Magnolias though. They prefer full sun to light shade and a protected location from harsh winter winds. Sweetbays also like soils that are acidic and a little on the organic side, they are also tolerant of moist soils. One major plus is that the Sweetbay is free of pests. Apply a medium rate fertilizer to your Sweetbay once a year in the fall. This application is only needed for the first few years (about 3 or 4) and it supplies your tree with the essential nutrients needed to provide lush new growth and flowers for the following spring. These yearly feedings also help your tree become established in your landscape. Sweetbay’s do not require pruning, but if needed prune after it is done blooming - Sweetbay’s bloom on old growth, not new growth.
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