Although we’re getting what I hope to be our last cold snap, it’s starting to look like spring in Knoxville and surrounding areas with a few early-blooming trees showing off their color. As a Knoxville landscape designer, I love Saucer Magnolias. Here’s why:
Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)
What It Looks Like:
Saucer Magnolias have incredible white and pink blooms in late winter, helping to ring in the spring. In Knoxville and the surrounding areas, you’ll typically see these blooms peek out in early March. After the blooms have dropped, you’ll see dark green leaves that are big and broad. This contrasts nicely with its silvery-gray bark.
Where to Use It
A Saucer Magnolia will grow quickly to about 20-30 feet tall and equally wide so it’s a great choice if you’re feeling impatient. The beautiful structure of the tree, starting with its multiple trunks and moving up to its low, delicate canopy make it an excellent specimen tree that really shines in early spring.
What It Needs:
These trees prefer partial to full sun, but you’d do well to provide them some protection to help prevent Saucer Magnolias from blooming too early. Oftentimes, the buds of a Saucer Magnolia open too early and can become damaged from cold temperatures and frost. To help prevent this, avoid planting Saucer Magnolias where the plant might heat up too soon in the season such as near buildings where it’s insulated from cold.
What to Pair It With
For an impressive look in your Knoxville landscaping, plant your Saucer Magnolia with low-growing, evergreen shrubs or groundcover. Consider David Viburnum for contrasting leaf texture; Blue Cascade Distylium for a smaller, darker leaf; or Liriope combined with a spring bulb mix such as Daffodils and Tulips.
For more springtime inspiration, check out another early-blooming tree and get inspired about bulbs from Julie’s trip to Salt Lake City. If you’re ready to get started on your next Knoxville landscaping project, call us at 865-765-5550 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.