Sweetbay Magnolia Tree

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  • Fragrant White Flowers
  • Light Preference/Tolerated (Bright Direct Light)
  • Average Watering Needs
  • Mature Height 10-35 feet
  • Growing Zone 4 - 10

If you are looking for a beautiful flowering shrub or small tree for your yard, then the Sweetbay Magnolia or Magnolia virginiana as it is botanically called, is definitely worth considering. Growing usually to no more than 35 feet, but possibly more in the south, its scented white flowers in spring and red seeds in fall provide long-seasonal interest. The Sweetbay Magnolia tree produces glossy-green foliage and can either be grown as a multi-stem or single-stem specimen.

Native to Eastern parts of North America, the Sweetbay Magnolia Tree is fast growing and deer resistant. It also has good resistance to Magnolia scale disease. Ideal for growing as part of a border or as a specimen tree in a lawn, the Sweetbay Magnolia prefers moist soil and will even cope with periodic flooding. Evergreen or semi-evergreen depending on where it is grown, it may need some winter protection when grown in zone 5. 

Sweetbay Magnolia Tree Care

Tolerating full sun to partial shade, the Sweetbay Magnolia Tree favors moist and fertile soil and will struggle in dry soils. Preferring a slightly acidic soil of pH 5.5 – 6.5, this magnolia will even tolerate clay. It is best planted in the spring and should be watered regularly during the first few years while establishing. Once established, water the Sweetbay Magnolia during long dry periods and during extended periods with temperatures over 75 °F. Mulching with a layer of organic matter can help conserve moisture and prevent the soil from drying out. 

Although relatively low maintenance, the Sweetbay Magnolia tree may require pruning, especially when young to establish its desired form. Prune immediately after flowering in late spring to promote a single-stem or multi-stemmed habit, and remove any dead, dying or diseased branches. 

Sweetbay Magnolia Tree Spacing

Whether grown on its own or as part of a border, make sure it has room to mature as you’ll want to be able to appreciate the stunning flowers come spring. Depending on the location and desired form, the Sweetbay Magnolia can reach an eventual 35 feet tall by 30 feet wide, or even taller when grown in the most southern regions.

Sweetbay Magnolia Tree Information

Light Exposure: Bright Direct Light
Care Requirements: Easy
Watering Requirements: Average water needs.
Pet Friendly: No
Kid Friendly: No
Air Purifier: High
Habit: Upright
Growth Rate: Fast
Mature Height: 10-35 feet
Mature Spread: 10-20 feet
Flowering: Yes
Flower Color(s): White
Flower Shade/Description: Cream-White
Fragrant: Yes
Foliage Type:
Foliage Color(s): Green
Foliage Description: Dark Green
Temperature: ()
Humidity: Average (40% - 60%)
Common Name: Sweetbay Magnolia Tree
Other Name(s): Sweetbay Magnolia
Scientific Name: Magnolia virginiana

Plant Type: House Plant


Container Sizes

Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.

4.5 Pot

4.5" Pot
 Also Know As:
   4.5" Container

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months
 Plant Size:
   ~ 3"-6"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.5"H x 3.75"W
   1.42 quarts

Quart Pot

Quart Pot
 Also Know As:

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 4"-8"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.75"H x 4.5"W
   1.50 quarts

2.5 Quart

2.5 Quart
 Also Know As:
   2.5 Quart Pot

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1.5 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 8"-12"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 6.5"H x 6.5"W
   2.20-2.30 quarts

#1 Pot

#1 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #1 Container
    1 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 10"-14"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 7"H x 7.75"W
   2.26-3.73 quarts

#2 Pot

#2 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #2 Container
    2 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2-3 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-18"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 9.5"H x 9.5"W
   1.19-1.76 gallons

#3 Pot

#3 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #3 Container
    3 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 3-4 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-30"
 Pot Size:
   ~9.5"H x 11"W
   2.32-2.76 gallons

For more detailed information, please click here.

Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.