Do Magnolia Trees Grow Fast?

It depends on which cultivar you are referring to. However, most Magnolia varieties are moderate to fast-growing but tend to stop growing once they reach a certain height. They do not reach their maximum height of ten to 20 feet until they are about 25 years old and rarely get any taller. Many street trees in Chicago have been measured at 30-40 feet tall (but this is just a guess). You may see some small Magnolia Trees growing along highways or roadsides throughout the city.

Blossoming magnolia on gray background

The Growth Rate of a Magnolia Tree

The growth rate is faster than most trees. However, the fully mature height of your magnolia tree will vary depending on which species you choose to bring home with you. The average member of the magnolia family will grow between one and two feet per year, depending on the individual. Growing to full maturity may take between fifteen and thirty years. An amazing fact is magnolias tend to grow faster than dogwood. It is important to note that the growth rate of magnolias and dogwoods can be affected by various factors such as soil conditions, moisture levels, and the amount of sunlight they receive. When fully grown, these trees can reach heights of 60 to 80 feet, indicating that they will require a lot of space to develop if you decide to plant one in your yard. It varies depending on your climate, so an experienced gardener must monitor your tree’s growth.

Do Magnolias Grow Fast On Their Own?

No. Magnolia trees do not grow fast on their own. It takes a lot of space and cares for them to flourish, including proper soil content and water throughout the growing season, along with adequate shelter from wind, sun, or other problems that could injure the tree’s development process. New plants can sprout from fallen magnolias if you dig underneath a large plant near its root ring!

Magnolia flower isolated on white background.

Where Do Magnolia Trees Grow Best?

Magnolias prefer a location in the garden where they will receive full sun to light shade throughout the day. Your magnolia may benefit from being planted in a shaded location in a hot or dry climate. However, this is not guaranteed. If possible, avoid placing your flowers in exposed or windy areas because strong winds can cause damage to large flowers and their typically brittle branches.

Is it Possible to Accelerate Magnolia Tree Growth?

When fed regularly, a magnolia will grow at the fastest possible rate. If you like to get the most out of your granular fertilizer, get one complete, such as a 16-4-8 formula. Use a slow-release fertilizer to ensure you get the most benefit—application to the root zone, approximately 1.5 times the distance from the trunk to the drip line. Apply 12.5 pounds of 16-4-8 fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of the root zone. The root zone should be fertilized every two years. After applying the product, scratch it into the soil and thoroughly water it. Use a slow-release fertilizer and feed the tree twice or three times during each growing season if you use one.

The magnolia prefers even, regular moisture during its growing season (spring, summer, and early fall). The tree does not tolerate prolonged dry spells or excessive wetness, stunting its growth. During drought, give the tree an inch of water per week. The tree prefers organically rich, loamy soil that drains well. You can add compost and fine sand to your soil at planting time to improve drainage, especially if your soil is clay-based and tends to stay wet after rain.

Mulching helps a magnolia tree grow faster by keeping the roots cool and moist during the summer. Spread straw, shredded bark, or another organic mulch in the spring, extending the mulched zone beyond the tree’s root zone a foot or two. Avoid mulching the trunk to prevent unwanted disease. Mulching also keeps weeds and grass from competing for soil nutrients and stunting the tree’s growth when mowing or trimming plants around the tree, avoiding wounding the trunk or branches, as these wounds allow pathogens to enter the tree’s interior.

Close-up of a blooming Magnolia tree in Paris. The magnolia flower is a symbol of respect and fidelity.

Magnolia Trees of Various Sizes

Magnolia VarietiesMaturity HeightMaturity SpreadGrowth Rate
Anise Magnolia30-50 feet30-50 feetmoderate, growing 1-2 feet per year
Alexandrina Magnolia20-30 feet30 feetmoderate, growing 1-2 per year
Ashe’s Magnolia15-25 feet25 feetmoderate to fast
Bigleaf Magnolia40 feet40 feetmoderate
Centennial Star Magnolia15-20 feet10-20 feetmoderate to fast
Kobus Magnolia50 feet35 feetslow, growing 1 foot per year
Lily Magnolia12  feet8-12 feetslow, growing 1 foot per year
Little Gem Magnolia15-20 feet7-10 feetslow
Saucer Magnolia20-30 feet25 feetmoderate, growing 1-2 feet per year
Southern Magnolia80 feet40 feetslow to moderate, height increases less than 1-2 feet per year
Star Magnolia20 feet10-15 feetmoderate to fast, 1-2 feet per year
Sweetbay Magnolia10-35 feet10-20 feetmoderate to fast, 1-2 ft per year