Star Magnolia grows best with mulch spread out to the edge of the canopy to eliminate competition from turf and ground covers. Plants reach their mature height very slowly, growing about one foot per year. Best flowering occurs in the full sun in a rich, porous and slightly acid soil. It is reportedly hard to transplant successfully in the cooler portions of its range but I (Dr. Gilman) have had little problem in the south transplanting these trees. Transplant while the plants are still dormant or plant from containers at any time the soil is not frozen. Killing point for young roots is 21 degrees F; for mature roots 9 degrees F.

Many stems sprout from the base of the tree forming a dense canopy in a full sun location. These aggressive sprouts usually do not form flower buds for a year or two.