Why the Bracken's Brown Beauty Southern Magnolia?
Bracken’s Brown Beauty gives many northerners (as well as southerners) the opportunity to enjoy that shining example of southern hospitality—the Southern Magnolia. This noble and beloved tree will bring welcome greenery into the cold heart of winter, while in summer it will adorn itself with beautiful bowl-shaped white flowers that will perfume the air with their heavenly scent during all of your warm-weather outdoor get-togethers. In fall, its red fruits will usher songbirds into your yard to feast.
An icon of the South, our regal native Southern Magnolia has been coveted by Yankees for ages, but it has generally been too tender to be grown north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Bracken’s Brown Beauty Southern Magnolia changed that. Selected from a crop of open-pollinated seedlings in 1968 and released in the 1980s, this variety has been shown to shrug off much colder winters than its siblings. However, when Ray Bracken selected this form at his South Carolina nursery, cold-hardiness wasn’t even on his radar! He chose Bracken’s Brown Beauty for its extremely dense and pyramidal growth habit, its petite but abundant and precocious flowers, and its handsome glossy foliage.
How to use in the landscape?
The “Brown” in Bracken’s Brown Beauty Southern Magnolia comes from the undersides of its lustrous green leaves, which are coated with a soft, rusty brown fuzz. The two-tone effect is nice, and the velvety coating makes the leaves unpalatable to all kinds of chewing pests. Give this majestic, long-lived legacy tree a prominent spot in your landscape, where it will welcome visitors with its southern charms for generations to come.
How To Plant
Bracken’s Brown Beauty Southern Magnolia is at home in rich soil in full sun to part shade. Give it some shelter from prevailing winter winds in the northern parts of its range. In very cold winters, it may lose some of its leaves, but healthy, established trees will re-leaf in late spring, good as new. Southern Magnolia casts a dense shade that prevents growing anything directly beneath it, so let mulch be the groundcover of choice. Run over fallen leaves with the lawnmower to help them break down and recycle their nutrients. Bracken’s Brown Beauty is a vigorous selection and is a moderately fast-growing tree in warmer regions.
How To Water
Water weekly, or better yet, use the Bower & Branch® Water Element to deliver just the right amount of moisture to your tree throughout the growing season.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.
How To Prune
The best time to prune a Bracken's Brown Beauty Southern Magnolia is in late Spring to early Summer - after flowering has occurred.
Hardiness Zone: 6-9