How to Grow and Care for Magnolia 'Jane'

Magnolia 'Jane' shrub branch with large pink and white flowers and buds

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Part of the Little Girl Series of hybrid magnolias developed in the 1900s, the magnolia 'Jane' is a cross between M. liliiflora ''Reflorescens' and M. stellata 'Waterlily'. Along with 'Ann', 'Betty', 'Judy', 'Pinkie', 'Randy', 'Ricki', and 'Susan', the other seven hybrids, Magnolia 'Jane' was created by botanists Francis DeVos and William Kosar at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. Some call the plant a magnolia tree, but it's best described as a large, multi-branched shrub.

The flowers of the Jane magnolia are fairly large, especially relative to the overall size of the plant. Under ideal conditions, the blooms can reach 8 inches across when fully open. The flower color is displayed in two different time periods. When the flower is still closed, the color is burgundy-purple, and the flowers are shaped like tulips. After the flower has been fully open for a while, the color of the outer side of the petals fades to pink. The petals are white on the inside.

Common Name Magnolia 'Jane'
Botanical Name Magnolia liliflora 'Reflorescens' x stellate 'Waterlily'
Family Magnoliaceae
Plant Type Deciduous shrub
Mature Size 8 to 12 feet wide and 10 to 15 feet tall
Sun Exposure Full sun to part shade
Soil Type Organically rich, medium moisture, sandy, silty, tolerates clay soil
Soil pH Neutral to slightly acidic
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color Purple with white interior
Hardiness Zones 4-8 (USDA)
Native Area United States

Magnolia 'Jane' Care

Plant the magnolia 'Jane' in the spring or early fall in a location where it can grow to its full maturity without movement, as the shrub doesn't do well with transplanting. Pick a location that allows the roots to spread and branch freely, away from building foundations, walls, and decks

To plant magnolia 'Jane,' dig a hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. Mix the removed soil with compost or peat moss to enrich the soil and loosen existing dirt. After putting the plant in the soil, water it well and then add a 2-inch layer of much.

Magnolia 'Jane' shrub with long bare branches with large pink and white flowers

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Magnolia 'Jane' shrub bare branches with large pink and white flowers against blue sky

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Magnolia 'Jane' shrub branches with large pink and white flowers and buds

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Light

Plant the magnolia 'Jane' in a location that has full sun or part shade. Avoid placing it in an area with warm southern exposure, which could encourage the buds to open too early in the spring months. If a magnolia gets too much hot sun, the blooms could suffer from sunscald.

Soil

Magnolia 'Jane' grows best in organically rich, medium-moisture soil that's neutral to slightly acidic. Add a layer of root-zone mulch to help the soil retain its moisture, but keep it 4 inches away from the trunk of the plant. Magnolias adapt fairly easily to a variety of soils, including clay, loam, or sand, but it doesn't do well in wet or poorly drained soils.

Water

This deciduous shrub needs to be watered weekly for the first growing season. When it's hot, water every few days to soak the ground up to 8 inches. Check the first 2 to 4 inches of soil to see if it's dry; if it is, it's time to water. If the magnolia is well-established, it's moderately tolerant to drought.

Temperature and Humidity

This shrub can tolerate temperatures as low as -30 or -20 degrees Fahrenheit. It also needs proper air circulation to avoid powdery mildew, its biggest threat.

Fertilizer

Once the magnolia 'Jane' is established, fertilize it in the spring every two to three years. To fertilize, you can spread compost around your bush in spring and water it in. Then, in early fall, use a fertilizer geared to acid-loving plants, such as Holly Tone.

Pruning

The magnolia 'Jane' doesn't need much pruning during the first couple of years. As a general rule of thumb, the earliest-flowering trees and shrubs set flower buds the previous year, so be careful not to prune at the wrong time and end up losing flowers. Simply remove the dead or damaged branches immediately after the plant flowers during the Spring months.

However, there is no rule stating that you have to prune Jane magnolias at all, although it is advisable to prune away any suckers that might develop to keep the shrubs looking neat. After two years, don't prune the magnolia tree at all because the tree won't heal from the cutting.

Propagating Magnolia 'Jane'

Magnolia 'Jane' is a sterile plant, meaning it doesn't produce seeds and must be propagated via cuttings. Here's how:

  1. Choose stems that are between softwood and semi-hardwood growth, and take them in the morning when the plant is holding more moisture.
  2. Snip 4 to 6 inches off the chosen stem with sharp pruning shears, and wrap it in a wet paper towel.
  3. Dip the bottom of the cutting into a rooting hormone that contains IBA with a 4,000 to 5,000 parts per million solution.
  4. Plant it immediately in a 5-inch pot filled with moist potting soil, using a misting chamber if you have one available. The cuttings will form rooms within eight weeks.

Overwintering

This is a cold-hardy tree that can survive freezing winter temperatures. At the extreme edges of its range, you can wrap in burlap and mulch around the base during particularly cold periods.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Magnolia 'Jane' is a hardy shrub with few pest or disease problems that are serious enough to warrant treatment. Powdery mildew can occur on leaves that are overcrowded and kept too moist. Additionally, leaf spots can affect magnolia leaves due to fungal and bacterial causes, but this is a rare occurrence.

How to Get Magnolia 'Jane" to Bloom

One of the most important factors in keeping your magnolia healthy enough to bloom is water. This shrub loves moist soil and will produce flowers only if it is watered regularly.

Common Problems With Magnolia 'Jane'

If leaves wilt and turn brown, the problem is likely leaf scorch, which is caused by under-watering. Keeping the soil moist will reverse the problem and encourage optimal growth.

FAQ
  • How tall does magnolia 'Jane' get?

    Magnolia 'Jane' shrubs can grow to be 10 to 15 feet tall.

  • What is an alternative to magnolia 'Jane'?

    While there are several magnolia varieties to choose from, another flowering tree choice is the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), which features lovely yellow flowers and bright fall foliage.

  • Do magnolia 'Jane' flowers smell good?

    The flowers have a light, pleasant fragrance but will not perfume your yard with a notable scent.