Q: My family from Germany visits every year and they love magnolia trees. Is there any variety I can buy that will survive the winters in southern Germany?
A: Plant hardiness zones in Germany run North-South, rather than East-West like they do in the U.S. That means eastern Germany, both the northern and southern areas, is Zone 6, comparable to the mountains of North Carolina. Western Germany is comparable to the northern half of Georgia. That said, some Southern magnolia varieties are reputed to be much more cold-hardy than others. Suggest ‘Edith Bogue’ or ‘Bracken’s Brown Beauty’ to your German friends. If planted in a spot where they can grow large but be sheltered from winter wind, they should be fine.