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How to Plant a Jane Magnolia

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017
Jane magnolia adds a soft touch of color to the garden.
magnolia image by Anna Polishchuk from Fotolia.com

Jane magnolia is one of a group of trees developed at the United States National Arboretum in the 1950s. The group is known as the “Little Girl” magnolias. Jane blooms with purple buds that open to reveal white interiors. Grown as a shrub or small tree, Jane will eventually reach 10 to 15 feet in height, with a 10-foot spread. Jane magnolia is hardy to USDA Zones 4 to 7.

Scout out a location in which to plant the Jane magnolia. The area should receive morning sun and afternoon shade. Keep in mind the eventual size of the tree when choosing the location. Site it at least 15 feet away from other trees, fences and other structures.

Aerate the soil in the planting area by digging it up, to a depth of 12 inches, using a gardening fork. As you dig, poke at any large clumps of soil to break them up and remove any rocks or other debris that turns up.

Pour a 3-inch layer of compost onto the planting bed and use the gardening fork to mix it in with the existing soil, to a depth of 8 inches.

Dig a planting hole for the Jane magnolia. Dig the hole the same depth as the nursery pot in which the tree is growing and three times the diameter. Lightly scrape the bottom and sides of the planting hole with the gardening fork.

Remove the Jane magnolia from the nursery pot and loosen the rootball with your fingers. Place the rootball in the bottom of the planting hole and cover it with soil until the hole is half full. Fill the hole with water and when it drains, finish filling it with soil. Use your feet or hands to pack the soil around the base of the tree.

Water the Jane magnolia until the water puddles and maintain a consistently moist soil until the tree produces new growth.


Things You Will Need

  • Gardening fork
  • Compost
  • Shovel

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.