Pink Lobner Magnolia: Eye Candy In Your Garden

pink Lobner magnolia

Photo Is Compliments of Michelle Bortsch

Magnolia loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’, or pink Lobner magnolia is a very handsome deciduous shrub having a multi-stemmed habit and beautiful two-toned flowers at an early age. The strap-like petals are similar to Star Magnolia.

All winter long Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ is covered with large fuzzy buds. In early spring the buds open revealing a wonderfully delicate display of soft pink flowers. The strap-like petals drape over the branch and quiver in the slightest breeze. Once the flowers have passed rich green foliage gives a tidy appearance through the growing season. The small stature makes this an excellent choice for the urban landscape. Pink Lobner magnolia can be grown as either a single trunk or multiple trunk specimen adding natural grace to the garden. The compact scale of the tree make it a good choice for around patios and it combines well with rhododendrons, azaleas and compact shrubs. Under planting with spring bulbs or hellebores will enhance the spring show.

This small tree is a cross of M. kobus and M. stellata. It has star-shaped flowers (3 to 5 inches across) with 10 to 14 narrow white petals, sometimes tinted in lilac-purple or pale pink. The blossoms are fragrant and appear before the leaves in mid-spring. Pink Loebner magnolia grows to 15 to 20 feet tall.

How To Make Your Pink Lobner Magnolia Thrive

This magnolia is easy to grow. It flowers best when planted in full sun to light or open shade. It will thrive in a rich moist to well-drained soil (preferably acidic to neutral soil), but will tolerate sand and clay if the drainage is adequate. Regular summer water will allow the best flowering and healthiest growth (magnolias do not tolerate wet feet). Plant in an area that is protected from strong winds to help the flowers last their longest and keep the young foliage from being damaged. Magnolias have fleshy roots that can easily be damaged so limit extensive gardening under established trees. Little pruning is required other than removing dead and broken limbs, or poorly formed limbs. Pruning is best done after flowering.

Magnolia flower buds are susceptible to late-season frosts; shelter large-leaved species from windy locations.

General Pink Lobner Magnolia Information

Pests and Disease

Pink Lobner Magnolia may be damaged by horse chestnut scale, snails, capsid bug, weevils, snails, scale insects, thrips, planthoppers.  Diseases include: bacterial leaf spot, spot anthracnose, canker, dieback, butt rot, powdery mildew, anthracnose, and fungal spots.


Sow seeds in autumn, stratify to hasten germination. Root softwood cuttings in early summer. Magnolias can be layered in early spring, grafted in winter, and propagated by bud in summer.


Little pruning is required other than removing dead and broken limbs, or poorly formed limbs. Pruning is best done after flowering; magnolia pruning should be carried out in midsummer when in full leaf.

Garden Uses

This gorgeous pink-flowering Magnolia can be treated as a small tree or large shrub. Plant pink Lobner magnolia up close to enjoy the flowers from indoor or outdoor living spaces. Integrate into flowering shrub borders or use as an accent in a sea of massed perennials. Make it the focal point of a smaller city garden, where you can carefully control the shape for night lighting and visibility.

Quick Facts

  • Plant Type: Tree
  • Foliage Type: Deciduous
  • Plant Height: 15 to 20 feet
  • Plant Width: 10 to 18 feet
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 5 to 9
  • Flower Color: Pink
  • Flower Time: Spring
  • Flower Attributes: Fragrant, showy flowers
  • Light Exposure: Full sun to light or open shade
  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Water Requirements: Occasional to regular during dry weather
  • Special features: Deer resistant

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  1. I planted one earlier this year and had just one flower. I’m keeping fingers crossed for next year. It does have small buds though.. 🙂
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