Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Surprise!

Here’s Magnolia ‘Ann’ on March 25th, when she started blooming:

March 25

And here she is again on April 14th, after two serious storms with high winds plus a week of lows in the thirties, INCLUDING one night where it got down to TWENTY-SEVEN degrees:

April 14

Who would have expected for any spring flowering magnolia to flower this long or through that kind of weather?

Besides ‘Ann’, I have a regular saucer magnolia, which lost its flowers to the cold weather; a M stellata x M loebneri cross which ditto; a star magnolia which ditto; a Yulan magnolia which hasn’t started flowering yet (disappointing because it’s several years old and most magnolias are a little more precocious than this); and a M sieboldii which also hasn’t started flowering yet but has more of an excuse because it just went in last year.

Besides blooming early and withstanding awful weather better than the other magnolias, ‘Ann’, I know from last year, will rebloom later in the summer. Though I must add here that Japanese beetles will eat the flowers, which is very very very annoying. And even if they don’t, the repeat bloom isn’t as abundant. But still, it’s great to have a magnolia blooming in August!

AND, it’s pretty easy from cuttings, too. Here’s my tiny 2-inch-tall baby, one of the few cuttings to survive last year’s early summer drought:

Doesn’t look like much yet, I know, but it will grow!

Nobody paid me to advertise ‘Ann’, btw. It’s just a snazzy little shrub that impressed me this spring.

By ‘little’, I mean so far. You’d expect this shrubby magnolia to get about ten feet by ten feet eventually. Magnolias are fairly drought resistant and will take some afternoon shade, plus I love them, so eventually I’ll probably have even more along that walkway . . . especially since I expect I’ll take more cuttings off ‘Ann.’

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