Magnolia tree las cruces

Evergreen Magnolia Trees

Last Updated on March 7, 2021 by Paul Guzman

Evergreen Magnolia Trees (Magnoliaceae). Many folks think the Magnolia tree will not do well in the Southwest but actually, they do.  Many think they need lots of water and humidity and this is partially true.  In the Southwest, it is usually hot and dry and humidity levels are low except during the monsoon season.

Evergreen Magnolia Trees

How much water does a Magnolia tree need?

With temperatures hovering around 110° Fahrenheit during the mid-summer heat Magnolia’s need lots of water.  Mainly during the first 3 to 4 years after initial planting.

We recommend watering every day for the first month after planting.  Then 30 minutes every other day on a good drip system.

Evergreen Magnolia Trees

Types of Magnolia Trees.

Majestic Beauty® Southern Magnolia – Magnolia grandiflora ‘Monlia’
It does well in the Southwest. It will get about 40 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide. It gets big enough to give out a good shade or just use a landscape tree.  Nice large glossy thick leaves that are resistant to insects.

You can see more Magnolia tree photo and information over at

Bracken’s Brown Beauty
It is another tree that will do great around the Southwest, it has thick green foliage on top with a brown bottom.  It tolerates cold better than other types of Magnolia trees. They will grow to about 30 to 50 ft. tall and 15 to 30 ft. wide.

Are Magnolia trees Evergreen?

These trees don’t mind the hot sun but it is essential to water more often during the mid-summer months especially during the first three of four years of growth.

Fertilize about every 2-3 months with a good nitrogen-based fertilizer.  You could use Iron or iron chelate to keep your Magnolia tree a nice green color.

Is the Magnolia flower fragrant?

Yes, they are. It is also considered an evergreen tree, however, it will lose old foliage in early spring but will give out new growth about the same time. All Magnolia trees will produce a large creamy white very fragrant flower.

The flowers will bloom out during the spring seasons and not always at the same time.  They will open up four, five, or more at a time until the hot season comes around.

Flowers are large about 2-3 inches wide. There are over 200 species of Magnolia trees but the Southern type does well throughout the Southwest area. Magnolia trees are disease and insect-resistant.

Where to plant this tree?

Plant this tree as a stand-alone tree and should be used in a formal or informal type of landscape design. – It is not suited for a Xeriscape or rock design landscape.  Of course, it is your landscape and you can plant it where you want to.  But give it plenty of space to grow as it will give you beauty and shade.

Problems with Magnolia Trees.

Magnolia trees (spp) are susceptible to insects such as aphids, caterpillars, thrips, and scale. Ladybugs and lacewing insects will eat the bad insects.  Spraying with an organic insecticide such as neem oil or insecticidal soap will work.

Leaf spot, verticillium wilt, and blight are common diseases on these trees.  Spraying with a fungicide will help remove this type of disease.  But, your best course is to keep your tree healthy by observing your tree consistently.  Make sure there is no overspray from a lawn sprinkler system.  In the Southwest, they need lots of water but make sure it drains well.

USDA zones 6-10

There are many more types of Magnolia trees and you can see more of them at

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    • Brianna
    • May 11, 2020

    My magnolia tree seems to have all but died! There are a few healthy leaves at the very base of the tree, but the rest of the branches are dry and brittle. Can it be saved?

    1. Reply

      It is hard to say, Brianna. Magnolia trees in the southwest need lots of water. They need water every day this time of the year. As long as your soil drains well there should be no problem with over-watering. At this time of the year, the leaves of Magnolia trees will turn yellow and fall off followed by new growth. I would remove all dead and dying stems, branches and leaves then water thoroughly the next 10 days and see if it responds? If not It may not come back. Please, let me know how it goes.

    • Brianna
    • May 12, 2020

    Thank you very much for your reply! Just to verify, should I cut all the dead branches, including the trunk, down to the base where the leaves are still green? Or leave the trunk as is and just cut all the dead branches around it?

    1. Reply

      I would prune off any dead branches. If they have leaves it is still a viable branch. You can scrape off a small portion of the bark on the main trunk with a small sharp knife. If you see green it is good at that point, however, if you see dark brown or black behind the cut it is dead at that point.

    • Brianna
    • May 13, 2020

    Thank you very much! I will try that and see what happens.

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