Little Gem Magnolia Tree

Classic Magnolia Fragrance for Smaller Spaces

Just as its name suggests, this specimen tree is quite a ‘little gem’ with all the wonderful qualities you’d want from a magnolia and more! Also known as the dwarf southern magnolia tree, the Little Gem Magnolia tree can be planted as a privacy screen or hedge.

The Magnolia grandiflora Little Gem tree features smaller dark green foliage and a very compact narrow form and grows much slower than its other Magnolia relatives. The evergreen leaves of this southern tree are leathery with a deep glossy green color on top and fuzzy, rusty-brown undersides.

The magnolia gem tree produces large, fragrant, creamy white, saucer shaped flowers that are 4-6 inches wide. Its beautiful and creamy white flowers bloom in the early spring to early summer growing season. The hardy tree has a bronze brown bark all year long that looks nice paired with the glossy leaves.

The white fragrant flowers on the Little Gem Magnolia Tree will give way to spherical, cone-like fruiting clusters that mature in the late summer to early fall months of the year. They release individual rose-red coated seeds suspended on slender threads at maturity. These seeds are food sources for many types of wildlife including birds, squirrels, and deer.

Dwarf Little Gem Magnolia Care

This privacy tree prefers full sun to partial shade and is generally tolerant of soil extremes including acidic soils as long as they are well drained soil. It can be moderately drought tolerant after the root system establishes. The Little Gem is useful in small gardens or landscapes and does well with seacoast exposure as it is salt tolerant.

Not the most cold hardy flowering magnolia tree as it does better in the southeastern United States. Grow this little gem southern magnolia in USDA plant hardiness zones 6-10. If you are looking for a more cold hardy evergreen tree – check out the Bracken’s Brown Beauty Magnolia.

The Little Gem Magnolia growth rate is slower than other semi-deciduous magnolias. The slow growth rate is up to 1-1.5 feet per year. Little Gem magnolia size will grow to around 20 to 25 feet tall over the first 20 years and 10-15 feet wide.

If planting Little Gem Magnolia hedge, space the flowering trees at least 10 feet apart. They are the perfect small trees for privacy if you are not looking for height. They are pest and disease resistant and easy to grow. Be sure to apply a thick 2 inch layer of mulch surrounding the root ball to help retain moisture.

Shop our Little Gem Magnolia for sale.

For information on planting your new magnolia tree, check out our How to Prune a Magnolia and  Magnolia Grow Guide.


Botanical Name

Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem'

Sunlight Full Sun / Partial Shade
Flower Color White
Foliage Color Green
Mature Height 20-25 ft
Mature Width 10-15 ft
Growing Zones 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Growing Zones
Special Features
  • Fragrant, white flowers
  • Evergreen
  • Attractive foliage
  • Compact size

Shipping Info

Once your Little Gem Magnolia Tree order is placed, we will ship your plant(s) within seven business days year round unless during the checkout process you request otherwise in the space provided to do so.

Perfect Plants’ shipping specialists carefully package your plants using a proven packaging method that ensures your plants arrive healthy, colorfully alive and ready to flourish. We’ve coined the term ‘upside down box test’ and we do just that; we carefully package so that regardless of the direction your box is handled, it will not harm your precious plant that’s inside.

upside down test

No shipping process is without a problem from time to time. On rare occasions some plants may experience some of the following during their transit: drooping, minor leaf-loss and/or minimal yellowing/discoloration, minor limb damage, etc. These instances are quite rare, but can happen when shipping plants in boxes.

Plants normally recover within a few weeks after planting. If a damaged box has injured your plant on the inside, please notify us within 5 days of receiving you package(s) by emailing us a photograph of the damage.

We always do our very best to ensure that your plants are packed and shipped in the safest, gentlest and most effective way possible.

Will my plants and trees look like the photographs?

Absolutely! Unlike other online nurseries, our photos are of actual plants and trees we’ve grown here, on our family operated nursery.

our story Lloyd nurseryGrowing our own plants and trees helps to ensure we ship you the best quality plants that are free of pests and diseases.

Your plants and trees may however not ship with flowers on them, like the photographs. This all depends on the time of year you buy your plant or tree. Crape Myrtle trees, for example, only bloom during the summer months, so if you purchase one during the spring or fall, they would ship without flowers. Once planted, your plants will grow and thrive giving you flowers for many years to come!

Pot Sizes

Pot sizes (commonly referred to in gallons) are shipped in the same size nursery trade pots which may vary in actual volume. Some plants may have been at the approximate pot size listed, but require excess dirt to be removed so that you will not be paying any additional shipping costs. This doesn’t happen very often though.

Shipping Fees

Our shipping charges are based on the value of your order.  Please use the chart below to see what your shipping charge will be.

shipping matrix 2-16



Magnolias grow well in organically rich, well-drained soil and neutral to acidic soil. Ideally soil should be evenly moist but not soggy. They can grow in moderate shade, but growth and flower production are best in full sun or partial shade.

The Little Gem is generally intolerant of soil extremes and environmental pollutants. This compact Magnolia maintains it’s oval shape well naturally and requires little pruning other than to promote a balanced, strong frame when young and to remove dead or damaged branches. Pruning on occasional to improve shape should be performed after flowering to avoid damage to the following seasons buds.

To achieve a hedge, Little Gems’ centers should be spaced 5 or more feet apart.


Dig a hole approximately twice as wide as your new plant’s root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball is equal with the ground level.

Loosen the root ball using a small garden spade or by hand. Breaking smaller outer roots can encourage growth into the new soil, but take care to not damage large primary roots.

Place the plant in the hole and ensure that it is situated evenly upright. Use the excavated soil to fill in around the root ball, using your foot to pack it in firmly. Thoroughly soak with a hose as you fill in the dirt. Take great care to not leave any gaps or air spaces around the root ball as this could kill the plant.

A 2-4 inch layer of mulch is strongly recommended to help retain moisture and discourage weed growth. Apply mulch over the entire planting area but keep away from the stems or trunk by a few inches. Ensure that the plant and surrounding soil is completely soaked with water.

To ensure the proper nutrients are available for the life of your Little Gem Magnolia, our proprietary Perfect Plants Special Blend Soil and a once yearly application of Nutricote Total 360 Fertilizer are great considerations for your new plants!

38 reviews for Little Gem Magnolia Tree

Based on 38 reviews
Showing 4 of 38 reviews (4 star). See all 38 reviews
  1. Storm

    Great company, great tree…you helped me out so much!

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  2. Nancy (verified owner)

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    They were kind, fast and efficient when I forgot a discount code. Corrected fast and promptly. One tree came and was beautiful with several flower buds, the second tree had many cut branches, no buds only one side was branched out.

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    • Perfect Plants (store manager)

      Hi Nancy, thank you for your thoughtful words on the little gem magnolia. Hope you enjoy those gorgeous white blooms for years to come!

  3. John O. (verified owner)

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    I ordered 3 of these trees. When they arrived one of them did not look as nice as the other two. They have been planted for 10 days now and seem to be holding up just fine. The one is still a little thinner than the other two. The two that are healthy and full looking are the reason I ordered these trees. They already have big white flowers blooming and beautiful dark green leaves. I hope the third one catches up. Great customer support so prior to purchasing the trees and also after I made my purchase.

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    • Perfect Plants (store manager)

      Hi John, thank you for your feedback on our Little Gem Magnolia tree. We are glad you love them and they have bloomed already. Wow!!

  4. Anonymous (verified owner)

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    Overall the plant came dehydrated with many leaves sliced or broken and even found a black ring neck snake in one of the containers! It too was dehydrated lol. However, after watering them initially and planting within 3 days they have sprung back up and livened.

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    • Perfect Plants (store manager)

      We are so glad to hear your Little Gem Magnolia tree has perked up! So crazy a little snake snuck in there to greet you. Thank you for sharing.

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