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Little Gem Magnolia vs Other Magnolias

Little Gem is one of the most unique magnolias. Its white flowers are simply stunning against the green foliage. Today we will compare this magnolia to other similar varieties.

Alta Magnolia vs Little Gem Magnolia

The main difference between Little Gem Magnolia and Alta Magnolia is the flowers. Little Gem Magnolia has white flowers 8 inches across while Alta Magnolia has larger flowers that can reach 10 inches across. Also, Alta Magnolia blooms only once a season in midsummer, while Little Gem blooms in early summer and blooms again in late summer or early fall.

The second difference is size. Little Gem is a larger plant that can reach 20 or even 25 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Alta usually does not grow taller than 18 feet and wider than 9 feet. It follows that Alta Magnolia is better suited for small yards.

Also Alta Magnolia has larger leaves that reach 7 inches long and 2 inches wide. Little Gem has leaves that are 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. Due to its smaller size and larger leaves, Alta Magnolia looks lusher than its competitor.

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

Flower size is the main distinguishing feature of Little Gem Magnolia and Southern Magnolia. Little Gem has flowers 8 inches in diameter while Southern Magnolia flowers are 12 inches in diameter. In addition, Southern Magnolia is not a rebloomer, while Little Gem can rebloom at any time from late summer to early winter.

The next thing that differentiates them is the size of the crown. Southern Magnolia is a much larger plant, it can easily reach a height of 80 feet or more and a width of 40 feet. Little Gem Magnolia is more modest in size, usually 20-25 feet tall and 10 feet wide. When choosing, you need to realize that the Southern Magnolia needs a lot more room to grow normally.

Southern Magnolia needs a strong root system to support a large crown. This means that the roots of this tree can be considered as invasive. If the Southern Magnolia is planted too close to foundations or other concrete structures then it can damage them. On the other hand, this does not happen to Little Gem Magnolia because its roots are not as big and powerful.

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 color of the underside of the leaves is what most distinguishes Little Gem Magnolia from Kay Parris Magnolia. Little Gem has a greenish-brown, almost smooth underside. At the same time as Kay Parris has a bright orange-brown underside, in addition, its structure is velvety. In this respect, Kay Parris is much more ornamental than Little Gem although the leaf size is approximately the same.

The second difference is the crown. Both plants are about the same size, 20 feet high and 10 wide. They have a multi-branched structure, but the Kay Parris Magnolia has stronger branches that can withstand heavier loads. This is especially important in cold climates, where Little Gem will break or bend, Kay Parris can easily take it all.

Kay Parris is also a little hardier, it can be planted from USDA hardiness zone 6, whereas Little Gem should not be planted north of zone 7. It follows that Kay Parris is available to a wider 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 basic distinction between Little Gem Magnolia and D.D. Blanchard Magnolia is size. The Blanchard Magnolia is larger than the Little Gem, reaching a height of 50 feet and a width of 30 feet. At the same time, Little Gem grows to 25 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Blanchard Magnolia also grows faster than Little Gem.

If you want a wide canopy for shade quickly, the D.D. Blanchard Magnolia is better suited for this than a competitor. But you have to remember that a big tree needs a bigger area and should be planted a considerable distance from buildings. Also, the bigger the tree the more trash there will be in the fall.

In addition, the leaves and flowers of Blanchard Magnolia are larger than those of Little Gem. This makes it more interesting in terms of ornamentality.

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

Size is what puts Little Gem Magnolia and Exmouth Magnolia apart. Exmouth Magnolia is almost twice the size of Little Gem, it can reach 40 feet tall and 30 wide. Little Gem Magnolia is smaller and grows to 25 feet tall and 10 wide.

The Exmouth Magnolia also has a wider crown, which is almost spherical. Little Gem Magnolia, on the other hand, is narrower in shape. This means that if you need a shade tree, Exmouth Magnolia is a better choice. It also grows faster, which means you will reach your goal sooner.

In addition to the size of the crown, Exmouth Magnolia has larger flowers and leaves. And it certainly looks more decorative.

The last small difference is the color. Exmouth Magnolia has cream-colored flowers while Little Gem’s flowers are snowy white.

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 first thing that differentiates Little Gem Magnolia from Sweet Bay Magnolia is the flowers. Sweet Bay Magnolia has a flower size of 2-3 inches across while Little Gem flowers can reach 8 inches across. In addition, the color of Sweet Bay Magnolia flowers is creamy with a slight hint of pink or red. Little Gem Magnolia on the other hand has pure white flowers.

Another difference is the leaves, or to be precise, the underside of the leaves. Little Gem Magnolia has a brownish-green lower part of the leaf that is a little rough. Sweet Bay Magnolia, on the other hand, has a smooth, light gray underside.

A significant advantage of Sweet Bay Magnolia over its competitor is that it is much more hardy. It is recommended to grow up to zone 5 in the north, which means it is available to almost everyone in 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

Size is the major difference between Little Gem Magnolia and Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia. Little Gem is a compact magnolia not exceeding 25 feet in height and 10 in width. Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia is larger and can reach 60 feet tall and 30 feet wide.

The size of each of these magnolias determines where they can be planted. Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia needs to be in a large yard because it cannot be planted close to buildings. Little Gem, on the other hand, is better suited to small gardens.

In addition, Little Gem can bloom repeatedly, which is different from many varieties. While Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia has no tendency to 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