Adding to the wreath

A Magnificent Magnolia Wreath Brings Cheer to the Season

I love experimenting with different wreaths, and this year I decided to try making one out of magnolia since they produce such gorgeous foliage. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! The glossy leaves with textured undersides create an interesting contrast that looks unique and eye-catching while still maintaining the classic natural look of a fresh wreath.

Make a magnolia wreath

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Monrovia. All opinions in this post are my own. Be sure to check out the shop.monriovia.com giveaway at the end of this post as well!

Magnolias have an interesting botanical characteristic called indumentum, which is a layer of trichomes or small hairy looking bristles covering an area of a plant (in the case of magnolias, it is on the underside of the leaves). Indumentum works to protect plants from insects and help to control water absorption and sun damage.

making a magnolia wreath

While many magnolias are prized in the spring for their scented blooms, Magnolia Grandiflora is known for its foliage. It has attractive, dark green leaves with a rusty brown color peeking out from underneath. The glossy green of the leaves would be attractive enough on its own, but the underside of each leaf is often covered with a thick brown or rust colored indumentum which creates a textural quality that looks like velvet.

How to make a Magnolia Wreath

Materials

  • Magnolia Grandiflora branches with leaves intact
  • Wire wreath form
  • Florist paddle wire
  • Incense cedar, juniper berry branches, or seeded eucalyptus (optional)

tools for wreath making

Make it!

To begin, you will need a wire wreath form. Gather your magnolia clippings in small bundles before securing them to the wreath.

Wrap each bundle around the wreath form with wire, overlapping them so that the stems are covered by the leaves of the next bundle. To see detailed instructions for attaching your bundles, head over to my tutorial on how to make an evergreen wreath.

making a magnolia wreathI use twine for most wreaths that are tossed in the compost after the holidays because it is compostable. But for a wreath that will last many months or even years, I use paddle wire.

You can use a set of needle nose pliers to tighten the paddle wire as the branches dry out and shrink. Just turn the wreath over and gently twist the wire to tighten the hold on the branches.

magnolia wreath for the holidays

It’s not necessary to add anything other than magnolia leaves to the wreath, although a few branches of incense cedar, juniper berry branches, or seeded eucalyptus can add a little extra interest. I decided that my plain magnolia wreath needed a little jazzing up.

Magnolia wreath

I love the way this incense cedar looks with the magnolia, plus it has a lovely fragrance, so I added some to my wreath in between the magnolia leaves.

Adding to the wreath

Now it’s perfect!

Care

In most areas, the wreath should last for a few months and look freshly crafted. Over time, the green leaves will fade to brown but the indumentum will stay the same color. The leaves will become more brittle as the wreath ages, so wipe it gently with a soft cloth to clean without breaking the leaves.

Magnolia Varieties

Here are a few different types of magnolia that produce gorgeous foliage. If you are thinking of adding a magnolia to your garden, one of these will be just the thing—even if you only have space for a container garden!

Magnolia Bracken's Brown Beauty from Monrovia

Magnolia Bracken’s Brown Beauty from Monrovia

 

Most Popular for Cutting Material:

Bracken’s Brown Beauty Magnolia has bright green glossy leaves with a faded brown underside. Hardy in Zones 5-9.

D.D. Blanchard Southern Magnolia has large, very dark green glossy leaves with a bright, rust-colored underside. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

Kay Parris Magnolia has much smaller leaves than the two listed above. The leaves are bright green and glossy, with a velvety underside and wavy edges that create an interesting shape. Hardy in Zones 6-9.

Best for a Small Space:

If you want to grow a magnolia but don’t have a lot of extra room, the Little Gem Dwarf Southern Magnolia is for you! It is bred specifically for container gardening, so you can get the beauty of a magnolia with whatever space limits you have. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

Teddy Bear Southern Magnolia is also a small space dream because of its upright habit. The shiny, deep green leaves have a heavy reddish-brown felt beneath and in the warm months, there are large 6- to 8-inch fragrant white flowers to enjoy. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

Teddy Bear Magnolia from Monrovia

Teddy Bear Magnolia Courtesy of Monrovia

Dramatic Foliage:

For a really stunning display, check out the Alta Southern Magnolia. Its glossy leaves are such a dark green that they look almost black, which contrasts beautifully with the rusty undersides. Hardy in Zones 6-10.

A Magnificent magnolia wreath for the holidays

Giveaway!

I’m thrilled to be giving away a $50 gift card to shop.monrovia.com so you can pick out just the right plant for your garden! To enter, leave a comment on this post by December 18th, 2017. The contest is open to residents of Canada and the US with the exception of Quebec and where prohibited.

For even more wreath-making tips, see these posts:

 

About the Author : Stephanie Rose

A city girl who learned to garden and it changed everything. Author, artist, Master Gardener. Better living through plants.

View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Heather Raymond
    Heather RaymondNovember 21,17

    oh my gosh this is a beautiful wreath!

  2. ROTH Patricia
    ROTH PatriciaNovember 21,17

    My mom loved her winter trip to the south. I would love to make a magnolia wreath.

  3. Lynn
    LynnNovember 22,17

    I finally planted a magnolia tree (Sunsation) 2 years ago. It flowered last year and was stunning. Too bad my tree is bare with no leaves. Love the wreath!

  4. Aime
    AimeNovember 22,17

    I love the addition of the cedar and the contrast of the spiky needles with the dark, shiny magnolia leaves. We are having a crazy warm fall in PA. Have you tried preserving branches with glycerin or other preservation methods to prolong the life?

  5. Thelma Bellows
    Thelma BellowsNovember 22,17

    Beautiful. I love the one with the added greens. Magnolia leaves make a stunning all year around wreath. ♥

  6. Thelma Bellows
    Thelma BellowsNovember 22,17

    Beautiful. I love the one with the added greens. Magnolia leaves make a stunning all year around wreath. ♥

  7. Linda Condon
    Linda CondonNovember 22,17

    I love the magnolia wreath for Fall, especially since I am not into the typical Autumn colors of yellow and orange!

  8. Kimberly Andrew
    Kimberly AndrewNovember 22,17

    What a grand idea! Thanks for sharing this.

  9. Deborah W.
    Deborah W.November 22,17

    I love magnolia wreaths. This is stunning!

  10. Janice
    JaniceNovember 22,17

    Unfortunately I had to leave my beautiful magnolia tree that I’d grown from a one gallon stick when we moved last year. After 22 years it was a gorgeous 10 footer loaded with creamy white blossoms. Boo hoo! Will definitely be planting another! Lovely wreath!

  11. Peggy
    PeggyNovember 22,17

    I love the wreath but, unfortunately, the only greenery to be found around here at this time of the year is at a florist shop! 🙁

  12. Nadine
    NadineNovember 22,17

    Thank You for the wreath tutorial and the great giveaway!

  13. Hope B.
    Hope B.November 22,17

    I love magnolia trees and making Christmas wreaths for gifts, so pretty and festive.Thanks for giving directions for the magnolia wreath, they stay fresh a long time.

  14. Dale Cecchettini
    Dale CecchettiniNovember 22,17

    A perfect Holiday project as a Master Gardener for gifts to family and friends!

  15. Ann
    AnnNovember 23,17

    I love this! I love magnolia wreaths but have never made one. Think I’ll give it a try! Happy Holidays to you and your family. <3

  16. Denise
    DeniseNovember 23,17

    Beautiful wreath!

  17. Kim Kascak
    Kim KascakNovember 23,17

    Thank you for the magnolia wreath tutorial! It’s beautiful!

  18. Basilbecky
    BasilbeckyNovember 24,17

    I am going to try and make this beautiful wreath. I have a very large magnolia in my Kentucky front yard…thanks for the info.

  19. Ginger
    GingerNovember 25,17

    Lovely wreath and good info. Magnolias are one of my favorites!

  20. Kristin
    KristinNovember 26,17

    Love your wreath and will try with my magnolia leaves!

  21. Laura
    LauraNovember 26,17

    This really is lovely I do not have the patience for such a thing though !!

  22. Maureen Bodensteiner
    Maureen BodensteinerNovember 26,17

    I love magnolia wreaths. The seed pods are so beautiful too. Spray them gold and place in a bowl for extra Christmas beauty.

  23. Moureen Ballard
    Moureen BallardNovember 26,17

    I love your magnolia wreath and how it can work for both autumn abd winter decors.

  24. Liz
    LizNovember 26,17

    Beautiful wreath, lots of shots of the finished product but no real pictures of how you attached the leaves to the frame. Just wrapping wire around the frame doesn’t seem like it would hold the leaves tightly enough.

  25. Sue
    SueNovember 29,17

    Love the Magnolia wreath! Pre-made wreaths are SO expensive, so I think I will give your techniques a try and make one for my front door. Thanks for the inspiration!

  26. Karen
    KarenDecember 4,17

    What a wonderful blog! So happy that I discovered you this morning! Your wreath is lovely; now I need to plant a magnolia so I can make one, too!

  27. Sharon Lane
    Sharon LaneDecember 4,17

    Thanks for tutorial and info about Magnolias. For years, I’ve used these leaves, paired with branches of Nandina stalks/berries and they last for at least two months.The Southern magnolia in my front yard was planted in mid-1950 and is truly on its last years. They are beautiful but, one word of caution: As they drop old leaves and flower/seed pods, be prepared to let it mulch itself.

  28. Lorri Rauscher
    Lorri RauscherDecember 6,17

    I love this wreath..so simple yet elegant.😊

  29. CSt.Jean
    CSt.JeanDecember 6,17

    Great feature and such a beautiful wreath! I love Magnolia leaves for their two-tone, however may have difficulty growing these varieties successfully in New England. I’m new to your blog and loving every feature! Thank you and keep up the great work!

  30. Jill Williams
    Jill WilliamsDecember 6,17

    Beautiful wreath! My mother always decorated an evergreen wreath at Christmas, lots of work attaching (and then removing) artificial fruits and berries…This magnolia wreath looks very elegant.

  31. One of God's
    One of God'sDecember 6,17

    The beauty of the magnolias is shown off again. Well done. Thank you for the opportunity to shop Monrovia. I’d be delighted to order some of their merchandise.

  32. Sarah
    SarahDecember 6,17

    Gorgeous!

  33. Gnoma D
    Gnoma DDecember 6,17

    I have made evergreen wreaths for many years, and I’d love to try my hand at one made from magnolia leaves. They are so beautiful

  34. Nancy S.
    Nancy S.December 6,17

    Beautiful wreath. Would love the opportunity to win the Monrovia card. Thank you!

  35. Chris Shackelford
    Chris ShackelfordDecember 7,17

    Love the color and texture contrasts of the wreath ! Need to get a Magnolia planted in my garden.

  36. Debby Hastings
    Debby HastingsDecember 7,17

    I love the natural beauty of this magnolia wreath! Can’t wait to make it!

  37. sharon weaver
    sharon weaverDecember 7,17

    Did you wire each leaf on separately or are they bunched and wired. Simply beautiful. I now want to plant my own magnolia bush

  38. Evelyn Lynch
    Evelyn LynchDecember 7,17

    Wow! I love this tutorial! I have seen some magnolia green available at the grocery store. I must try my hand at this wreath!

  39. Tracy music
    Tracy musicDecember 7,17

    Gorgeous wreath!!

  40. Krista
    KristaDecember 7,17

    Beautiful and inspiring as always!

  41. MARTHAIA
    MARTHAIADecember 7,17

    Beautiful wreath !!!! Magnolia trees are so stunning…

  42. Amy Gies
    Amy GiesDecember 7,17

    This magnolia wreath is so classic and the leaves are long-lasting so would be great for the whole season. I love the practical and artistic tips on the Garden Therapy blog. Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful images that pop up in my email!

  43. Ann Duncan
    Ann DuncanDecember 8,17

    Thanks for the giveaway! Those are beautiful trees….not hardy for me, but I’d love a chance to pick out something for my colder garden or to create a window box. Love what you did with the planter and recycled window.

  44. becky j
    becky jDecember 8,17

    What great ideas, inspiration and clear directions you give- thank you so much! Thank you too for the giveaway, what a blessing that would be….don’t we all need a little bit of plant/garden therapy :)!!

  45. Constance Wheeler
    Constance WheelerDecember 9,17

    I love magnolia trees and shrubs .. I have a new shrub now that I’m going to plant in a very special place. I’d love to have a tree but just don’t have the right spot for it yet. I know someone with a nice large tree so I’m going to get some leaves from them and make this neat wreath !! Thanks for the directions and for the chance for the giveaway also !!

  46. Barbara Consbruck
    Barbara ConsbruckDecember 9,17

    The wreath is beautiful. That Teddybear magnolia would go great in my small yard.

  47. mattsgramma
    mattsgrammaDecember 10,17

    The wreath is so beautiful and thank you for the opportunity to enter a nice giveaway.

  48. B. Donna Hall
    B. Donna HallDecember 10,17

    My parents planted a beautiful Southern Magmolia tree when they built their home in the 1950’s. It grew to be as tall as their two store house. I’ve always wanted to have a magnolia of my own, but I didn’t think I had enough space for one. I’m going to locate a smaller variety now to plant this spring. Surely, the Little Gem or the Teddy Bear Magnolia will be perfect for me. I love the beautiful lemon-scented flowers they have.

  49. Patti
    PattiDecember 10,17

    I love that wreath but sadly I live in Illinois where magnolias don’t grow well.

  50. Linda
    LindaDecember 10,17

    Love magnolias ♥️

  51. Patte Wood
    Patte WoodDecember 10,17

    Even here in Virginia, most wreaths are made from evergreens. I love this wreath. Gardening has been hard for me ever since I contracted Lyme disease, but I still look forward to small projects. I turned to growing mostly herbs that can be in containers and joined our local herb guild. Truly a healing experience.

  52. Donita Romero
    Donita RomeroDecember 13,17

    I absolutely love magnolia anything! If I could get my hands on some fresh magnolia I’d definitely make one.

  53. Amir Baber
    Amir BaberDecember 14,17

    I love your Magnolia wreath! I live in Virginia and it’s just perfect for this locale. Though I don’t have a magnolia of my own, (not for lack of trying with cuttings!) I procured some branches from my sister-in-law to decorate the mantels for my wedding 20 yrs. ago. Still have the leaves in my craft box. I think I will attempt using them attached to some cedar for this wreath. Wish me luck!

  54. barbara hardie
    barbara hardieDecember 15,17

    I made a wreath out of pine cones and cedar this year .after looking and reading about this wreath…I am going to try and make my mom and daughter one like yours ..love it

  55. vicki
    vickiDecember 15,17

    I love the smell of the Magnolia, now something to create with the leaves.. Love it!

  56. Linda
    LindaDecember 17,17

    This is a beautiful wreath. I’ve never made one with magnolias before.

  57. Sherry Peterson
    Sherry PetersonDecember 17,17

    Love the wreath!

  58. Patty Cassity
    Patty CassityDecember 17,17

    First of all I LOVE this wreath! A beautiful alternative to the fir tree clippings. Secondly, I am so happy to have been introduced to Monrovia.com! Super interesting website!

  59. kelly k
    kelly kDecember 17,17

    beautiful! magnolia is definitely on my list now of plants i need!

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