Do magnolia trees lose their leaves?

Updated April 17, 2017

The magnolia tree is a large, popular flowering tree that is found abundantly across the southeastern United States. Known best for its large, highly fragrant blooms, the magnolia can be evergreen, semi-evergreen or deciduous depending upon the climate and species.

Planting Zones

Magnolia trees are found most abundantly across the southeastern portion of the United States, but can be found as far west as Texas and as far north as New York. Most species of magnolia tree can be planted in growing zones 3 through 8. Trees that are planted in the more northerly zones may not grow to be nearly as big and may behave as either semi-evergreen or deciduous trees, losing their leaves as the temperature drops.


There are over 80 different species of magnolia trees found around the globe. Most are evergreen or semi-evergreen, meaning that they always have leaves. The leaves may drop individually as new leaves grow, but in general, there is never a time that the magnolia is not green. There are, however, some species of magnolia tree, such as the cucumber tree, the star magnolia and the saucer magnolia that are deciduous and will drop their leaves annually.


Evergreen magnolia trees, while very hardy and attractive, do actually lose their leaves over time, as new leaves appear. The leaves that do drop suffocate anything that might potentially have grown beneath the tree.

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About the Author

A seasoned freelance writer, Ilana Boyum got her first writing job in the sports department at the "Sun Sentinel Newspaper" in 1993. In 1998 she began working as a copywriter at a small ad agency, and was quickly promoted to head copywriter. Boyum attended Florida Atlantic University.