A broad, upright large deciduous shrub, Susan magnolia has fantastic spring flowers that are dark rose-purple in bud and open to fuchsia-pink. The fragrant cup-shaped blooms appear just before the oval, lush green leaves emerge.
This large shrub to small tree is part of The Girls Series of magnolias (sometimes called the Little Girl Series), which were hybridized at the United States National Arboretum. All are known for their lovely fragrant flowers that bloom a bit later than star and saucer magnolias, so their buds are less likely to be harmed by untimely spring frosts. ‘Susan’ is a hybrid between Magnolia stellata ‘Rosea’ and M. liliflora ‘Nigra’.
Magnolias should be planted in full to partial sun and rich, well-drained soil with an acid to neutral pH. Mulch magnolias around their base well to help retain moisture and keep the soil cool. They resent root disturbance, soil compaction and soggy or very dry soils, so plant them in a good location where they can grow for the long term.
Susan magnolia is a prized shrub for the spring garden. Bold shrub borders, open lawns or large foundations beds are all ideal settings.