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Magnolia stellata – Star Magnolia

Magnolia stellata (Star Magnolia) is a shrub which grows to a height of 5 metres and a width of 5 metres. It has a slow growth rate. It has a hardness rating of 4 and is quite resilient to frost.

Star Magnolia will flower in September to October. The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by beetles.







5 metres


5 metres


E. Asia - Japan

Magnolia stellata Growing Guide

Ideal Conditions for Planting Star Magnolia 

Star Magnolia will grow in light (sandy), medium (loamy), hard (clay) soil. It is important for the soil to be well drained. Star Magnolia prefers moist soils. Star Magnolia can grow in semi or areas with no shade.

Habitat are woods in mountains. Found only in the mountains to the northeast of Nagoya.

Magnolia stellata Cultivation Details

Best grown in a warm position in a moderately rich free soil of an open texture. Succeeds in acid or neutral soils in sun or part shade. Tolerates alkaline soils so long as they are deep and rich in humus. Prefers plenty of humus in the soil.

The branches are brittle so a sheltered position is required. Very tolerant of atmospheric pollution. Dormant plants are hardy to about -15°C. The fleshy roots are easily damaged and any transplanting is best done during a spell of mild moist weather in late spring.

A very ornamental plant, the flowers start to be produced when the plant is only 2 years old and have a delicate sweet perfume, though they are easily damaged by frost or wind. A number of cultivars have been developed for their ornamental value.

Plants are slow-growing. Very closely related to Magnolia kobus and possibly no more than a geographical form of that species.

How to Propagate Star Magnolia

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed must be kept cold over the winter and should be sown in late winter in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in the spring but it can take 18 months.

Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter.

They can be planted out into their permanent positions when they are more than 15 cm tall, though should be well mulched and given some protection from winter cold for their first winter or two outdoors.

Layering in early spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, early summer in a frame.


  • Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Author: Bean. W.
  • The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. Author: Huxley. A.

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About the author 

Gary Clarke

Hi, I'm Gary Clarke, gardening enthusiast and former landscaper. I have had privilege of sharing my gardening knowledge at Aussie Green Thumb since early 2020.

I have a passion for using native Australian plants in Aussie gardens and I always try to promote growing fruit trees and vegetable gardens whenever possible.

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