Why plant Gold Star Magnolia?
Gold Star Magnolia is a delightful medium-sized flowering tree that will usher in the spring season in your garden with its pale yellow blossoms. Before the leaves begin to unfurl, the fragrant, creamy yellow blooms will be perched on the branches, ready to celebrate the arrival of lengthening days and warmer weather. You’ll want to plant this ornamental tree outside your window, so you can view its progress every day. Show it off in the front yard, and the whole neighborhood will enjoy it, too! When the floral extravaganza is over, the foliage will add a new element of drama—the leaves emerge with a showy bronzy cast, which is an unusual bonus for a Magnolia Tree.
The late plant breeder, Phil Savage, had a passion for Magnolias, and he filled his yard in Bloomfield, Michigan with Magnolia Trees that he had hybridized himself. He’s best remembered for creating the popular ‘Butterflies’ Magnolia, but Gold Star was another of his treasures. To produce it, he started with ‘Miss Honeybee’ Magnolia, a selection of the yellow-flowering American “Cucumber Tree” Magnolia (named for its long green fruits) and crossed it with a pale pink-flowering form of the Japanese Star Magnolia. Gold Star was one of the seedlings that resulted from this pairing. Because of the young plant’s beautiful bronzy new foliage, it originally went by the name of ‘Bronze Leaf Baby Shoes’ Magnolia.
How to use Gold Star Magnolia in the landscape?
Many Magnolias can be grown either as large, multi-stemmed shrubs or as more traditional single-trunked trees. Our growers have chosen to train Gold Star Magnolia from a young age to take the form of an upright-pyramidal, single-stemmed tree. Its branching habit is naturally dense and symmetrical, and Gold Star will get taller, fuller, and more impressive with each passing year.
Hardiness Zone: 5-9
How To Plant Gold Star Magnolia
Gold Star Magnolia is an undemanding tree that isn’t difficult to grow provided a few conditions are met. It needs to be in all-day sun or light shade, and a well-drained but moisture-retentive soil is essential. At Bower & Branch we recommend that all trees be planted two inches above grade, and with Magnolias, planting a bit high is especially important, because these trees can’t abide constantly “wet feet.” A generous layer of bark or wood chip mulch will moderate soil temperatures and help keep soil moisture at levels optimal for good growth. Gold Star blooms later than the Star Magnolias and its blossoms usually avoid late freezes, though they aren’t completely immune to them.
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
Prune late spring to early summer to be able to enjoy the flowers each spring. Not much pruning work required as the Gold Star Magnolia is very low maintenance.