Sweet Thing ® Magnolia - 'Magnolia virginiana var. australis'Sweet Thing ® is a very tough dwarf evergreen Sweetbay Magnolia. Those responsible for this new cultivar are George Dodson of Sleepy Hollow Nursery and Fernando Campbell Boyd III of Boyd Nursery Company. The original Sweet Thing ® was discovered by George Dodson in a block of seedlings that were planted in 1990 at Sleepy Hollow Nursery. It was obvious when the plant was just about 3 years old that it was very special. After watching other Magnolia virginiana var. australis trees in the same block for years, they began to get 8, 10, and then 15 feet in height, but there continued to be one, very compact, dense-looking, evergreen tree that was less than a third the size of the others. After watching the unique little tree for years, and having no name for the new plant, Joe Fore, a landscaper from East Tennessee, was touring the farm in the late 90’s and was shown the new tree. George told Joe that the name needed to contain the words ‘sweet’ or ‘bay’—since the unnamed Magnolia was a Sweetbay Magnolia. Out of the blue, Joe suggested the name ‘Sweet Thing’, and the name stuck. Campbell Boyd perfected its propagation technique and now it can be grown as a substitute for Holly and Laurel hedges. It can be used in mass plantings, as a large evergreen foundation plant, or as a specimen or corner plant.
||Sweet Thing ® Magnolia|
||Full Sun to Partial Shade|
||Leaves are ovate in shape, up to 4.75 inches long and 2.5 inches wide. They are deep lustrous green above, and blue-white and downy beneath, especially when young.|
||Approximately 20 feet in height at maturity and 10 feet wide|
||Zone 5 to 9. For an idea of your plant zone please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.|
||Small, multi-stemmed, evergreen shrub of compact, upright spreading habit, eventually forming a shrub-like tree.|
||Slow to medium; with water and fertilizer a fast grower.|
||Flowers are short-lived, but produced over a long period, from early to late summer, and are highly scented of lemon. They are cup-shaped at first, opening to a broad saucer.|
|Diseases & Insects:
||Essentially problem free.|
||It is an ideal evergreen foundation plant and can also live in large pots on patios with no protection. As further proof of its hardiness, Sweet Thing ® roots have been exposed to -10 degrees Fahrenheit when left outside in pots over the winter–with absolutely no damage. It is a strong growing, versatile and tough plant.|
||Soil should be well drained. Tolerates high soil moisture levels and does tolerate inundation. Plant tolerates any soil type.|
||Water regularly after initial planting and prune as necessary to maintain form and desired shape.|
||Fertilize an area three times the canopy spread of the tree 1 to 2 times a year with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Only fertilize an established tree.
||Dig a hole three times the diameter of the root system, with a depth no deeper than the original soil line on trunk. Break up the soil to the finest consistency possible. Place plant in hole and fill, compacting the fill dirt. Water the plant heavily to seal soil around the roots and remove air pockets. Water well, and remember to water regularly until they have started to grow.