Little gem vs. teddy bear magnolia trees

Updated February 21, 2017

The Little Gem and Teddy Bear are dwarf varieties of the southern Magnolia tree. These trees are small enough to be planted and enjoyed in one's backyard or front lawn, and they can be cultivated in most warm to temperate climates.

Magnolia Grandiflora

Both varieties of the Magnolia grandiflora are evergreen trees with glossy, dark green leaves. It is generally tolerant of drought, heat and humidity and flourishes in the southern region of the United States.


Both the Little Gem and Teddy Bear variety are small enough to be considered shrubs. The Little Gem can be expected to grow about 20 feet; Teddy Bear magnolias are a bit smaller, growing about 15 feet tall, 20 feet at the maximum.


The Little Gem produces very fragrant and large, creamy white flowers in the spring and summer during the first year of growth. The promise of these lovely flowers so early in its growth makes Little Gem magnolia trees more popular for home landscapes. Teddy Bear magnolias will begin to flower during the third year of growth.

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Lucinda Harper has traveled far and wide, writing about her professional work experiences in education, politics and the beauty industry since 2004. She graduated from the University of California Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.