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Little Gem Magnolia vs Other Magnolias

Little Gem stands out as a truly special magnolia. Its white blossoms look amazing against its green leaves. Let’s see how this magnolia stacks up against other similar types.

Alta Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

The key differences between Little Gem Magnolia and Alta Magnolia mainly revolve around their flowers, size, and leaves.

Starting with the flowers, Little Gem Magnolia showcases white flowers that are about 8 inches wide. In contrast, Alta Magnolia boasts bigger flowers, reaching up to 10 inches in width. Additionally, their blooming patterns differ. Little Gem Magnolia blooms early in the summer and might bloom again in late summer or early fall, while Alta Magnolia typically blooms just once a season, around midsummer.

When it comes to size, Little Gem is generally larger, potentially growing up to 20 or 25 feet tall and spreading about 10 feet wide. On the other hand, Alta Magnolia tends to be smaller, usually not exceeding 18 feet in height and 9 feet in width. This makes Alta Magnolia a more suitable choice for smaller yards.

Finally, the leaf size is also a distinguishing factor. Alta Magnolia’s leaves are larger, about 7 inches long and 2 inches wide, compared to Little Gem’s leaves, which are smaller at around 5 inches long. This gives Alta Magnolia a lusher appearance due to its combination of smaller overall size and larger leaves.

Little Gem Magnolia vs Alta Magnolia

Little Gem Magnolia vs Alta Magnolia

Little Gem Magnolia Alta Magnolia
USDA Hardiness zone 7-9 7-9
Mature height 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) 15-18 ft (4.5-5.4 m)
Mature width 8-10 ft (2.4-3 m) 5-9 ft (1.5-2.7 m)
Growth rate medium medium
Flowers  size 8” across 10” across
Leaf size 5” long and 2” wide 7” long
Reblooming yes (late summer, fall, early winter) no
Light exposure full sun, partial shade full sun
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.4-7.3 5.5-7.0
Watering one time per week in a drought one time per week in a drought

Southern Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

The primary difference between Little Gem Magnolia and Southern Magnolia lies in the size of their flowers and their blooming patterns. Little Gem Magnolia has flowers that are about 8 inches wide, whereas Southern Magnolia boasts much larger flowers, reaching around 12 inches in diameter.

Another key difference is that Southern Magnolia typically does not rebloom, while Little Gem has the potential to rebloom from late summer through early winter.

Size is another notable distinction. Southern Magnolia is a significantly larger tree, capable of growing over 80 feet tall and spreading to about 40 feet wide. In contrast, Little Gem Magnolia is more compact, generally reaching heights of 20-25 feet and a width of about 10 feet. This size difference is important when considering planting space, as Southern Magnolia requires substantially more room.

Additionally, the root systems of these two trees vary greatly. Southern Magnolia needs a robust root system to support its large size, which can become invasive. Its roots can cause damage if the tree is planted too close to foundations or concrete structures.

Little Gem Magnolia, on the other hand, doesn’t have this issue due to its smaller and less aggressive root system.

Read also: Magnolia Tree Care Guide

Little Gem Magnolia vs Southern Magnolia

Little Gem Magnolia vs Southern Magnolia

Little Gem Magnolia Southern Magnolia
USDA Hardiness zone 7-9 7-9
Mature height 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) 60-80 ft (18-24 m)
Mature width 8-10 ft (2.4-3 m) 20-40 ft (6-12 m)
Growth rate medium fast
Flowers  size 8” across 12” across
Leaf size 5” long and 2” wide 10” long and 8” wide
Reblooming yes (late summer, fall, early winter) no
Light exposure full sun, partial shade full sun
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.4-7.3 5.3-7.0
Watering one time per week in a drought  one time per week in a drought

Kay Parris Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

The most noticeable distinction between Little Gem Magnolia and Kay Parris Magnolia is the color and texture of the undersides of their leaves. Little Gem features a greenish-brown underside that’s almost smooth. In contrast, Kay Parris boasts a vibrant orange-brown underside with a velvety texture, making it more ornamental in appearance, even though the leaf sizes of both plants are similar.

Another key difference lies in the structure of their crowns. Both varieties typically reach a similar size, about 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide, with a multi-branched structure. However, Kay Parris Magnolia is known for its stronger branches, which are more capable of withstanding heavy loads. This attribute is particularly beneficial in colder climates where Little Gem might struggle with breaking or bending, whereas Kay Parris can endure such conditions more effectively.

Additionally, Kay Parris Magnolia is slightly more cold-hardy compared to Little Gem. Kay Parris can be planted in USDA hardiness zone 6, while Little Gem is better suited for zones 7 and warmer. This makes Kay Parris a more versatile option for a broader range of gardeners.

Kay Parris Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

Kay Parris Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

Little Gem Magnolia Kay Parris Magnolia
USDA Hardiness zone 7-9 6-9
Mature height 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) 20 ft (6 m)
Mature width 8-10 ft (2.4-3 m) 10 ft (3 m)
Growth rate medium fast
Flowers  size 8” across 8-10” across
Leaf size 5” long and 2” wide 6” long and 2” wide
Reblooming yes (late summer, fall, early winter) no
Light exposure full sun, partial shade full sun
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.4-7.3 5.3-7.0
Watering one time per week in a drought  one time per week in a drought

D.D. Blanchard Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

The main difference between Little Gem Magnolia and D.D. Blanchard Magnolia lies in their size and growth rate. D.D. Blanchard Magnolia is significantly larger, growing up to 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide, whereas Little Gem is more compact, reaching about 25 feet in height and 10 feet in width. Additionally, D.D. Blanchard Magnolia tends to grow faster than Little Gem.

For those seeking rapid growth and a wide canopy for shade, D.D. Blanchard Magnolia is the preferable choice. However, it’s important to consider that larger trees require more space. They should be planted away from buildings to accommodate their size. Also, keep in mind that bigger trees tend to shed more leaves in the fall, which can mean more cleanup.

Another aspect where D.D. Blanchard stands out is in its larger leaves and flowers, which add to its ornamental appeal compared to the smaller-leaved and flowered Little Gem.

D.D. Blanchard Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

D.D. Blanchard Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

Little Gem Magnolia D.D. Blanchard Magnolia
USDA Hardiness zone 7-9 7-9
Mature height 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) 50 ft (15 m)
Mature width 8-10 ft (2.4-3 m) 30 ft (9 m)
Growth rate medium fast
Flowers  size 8” across 10” across
Leaf size 5” long and 2” wide 7” long and 4” wide
Reblooming yes (late summer, fall, early winter) no
Light exposure full sun, partial shade full sun
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.4-7.3 5.3-7.0
Watering one time per week in a drought  one time per week in a drought

Exmouth Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

The primary distinction between Little Gem Magnolia and Exmouth Magnolia is their size. Exmouth Magnolia is significantly larger, capable of reaching about 40 feet in height and 30 feet in width, nearly double the size of Little Gem Magnolia, which typically grows to around 25 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

Additionally, Exmouth Magnolia features a broader, almost spherical crown, compared to the narrower shape of Little Gem Magnolia. This makes Exmouth Magnolia a more suitable choice for those in need of a shade tree. Its faster growth rate also means you’ll achieve the desired canopy size quicker.

Exmouth Magnolia not only stands out in terms of crown size but also in its larger flowers and leaves, enhancing its ornamental appeal.

Another subtle difference is in the flower color. Exmouth Magnolia’s flowers are cream-colored, while Little Gem Magnolia produces snowy white flowers.

Exmouth Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

Exmouth Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

Little Gem Magnolia Exmouth Magnolia
USDA Hardiness zone 7-9 7-9
Mature height 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) 40 ft (13 m)
Mature width 8-10 ft (2.4-3 m) 30 ft (9 m)
Growth rate medium fast
Flowers  size 8” across 10” across
Leaf size 5” long and 2” wide 10” long and 8” wide
Reblooming yes (late summer, fall, early winter) no
Light exposure full sun, partial shade full sun, partial shade
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.4-7.3 5.3-7.0
Watering one time per week in a drought  one time per week in a drought

Sweet Bay Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

The most noticeable difference between Little Gem Magnolia and Sweet Bay Magnolia is the size and color of their flowers. Sweet Bay Magnolia has smaller flowers, about 2-3 inches wide, and they are creamy in color with a slight pink or red tint. In contrast, Little Gem Magnolia boasts larger flowers that can reach up to 8 inches across and are purely white.

The leaves of these two magnolias also differ, particularly on their undersides. Little Gem Magnolia has a brownish-green and somewhat rough underside to its leaves. Sweet Bay Magnolia, however, features a smooth, light gray underside, setting it apart.

Another important distinction is in their hardiness. Sweet Bay Magnolia is more robust and can be grown in colder climates, up to USDA hardiness zone 5. This makes it a more accessible option for a wider range of gardeners across the U.S.

Sweet Bay Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

Sweet Bay Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

Little Gem Magnolia Sweet Bay Magnolia
USDA Hardiness zone 7-9 5-9
Mature height 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) 20 ft (7 m)
Mature width 8-10 ft (2.4-3 m) 10 ft (3 m)
Growth rate medium fast
Flowers  size 8” across 2-3” across
Leaf size 5” long and 2” wide 5” long and 2” wide
Reblooming yes (late summer, fall, early winter) no
Light exposure full sun, partial shade full sun
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.4-7.3 5.3-7.0
Watering one time per week in a drought  one time per week in a drought

Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

The most significant distinction between Little Gem Magnolia and Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia lies in their size. Little Gem Magnolia is more compact, generally not growing taller than 25 feet and 10 feet wide. In contrast, Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia is much larger, potentially reaching up to 60 feet in height and 30 feet wide.

This size difference directly influences where they can be appropriately planted. Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia requires a spacious yard due to its large size and should not be planted too close to buildings. Little Gem Magnolia, however, is more suitable for smaller gardens because of its more modest dimensions.

Another notable difference is their blooming patterns. Little Gem Magnolia has the unique characteristic of being able to bloom multiple times, unlike many other varieties. Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia, on the other hand, does not typically rebloom.

Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

Little Gem Magnolia Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia
USDA Hardiness zone 7-9 7-9
Mature height 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) 40-60 ft (12-18 m)
Mature width 8-10 ft (2.4-3 m) 20-30 ft (6-9 m)
Growth rate medium fast
Flowers  size 8” across 10” across
Leaf size 5” long and 2” wide 6” long and 3” wide
Reblooming yes (late summer, fall, early winter) no
Light exposure full sun, partial shade full sun
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.4-7.3 5.3-7.0
Watering one time per week in a drought  one time per week in a drought