This native evergreen tree produces large (2′-3′ wide) fragrant flowers from May until frost. On good sites, they can grow over 80′ tall, but they are slow-growing and are usually much shorter (30′-60′) and on drier sites even shrub-like. They do best in moist, acidic sites in full sun or light shade. Mulch around them with leaves or pine straw. Ground hardwood mulch can spread diseases. In the wild, they often grow in places where they are seasonally flooded. in In cultivation, they tend to do better where there is good drainage, especially where the soil is not acidic. They are not deer resistant, but deer can only eat what they can reach. If deer area a problem, surround your Gordonia with Eupatorium perfoliatum, Teucrium canadense, Verbena scabra, or other deer-resistant plants, to protect them until they are taller. Cutting off the lower branches will protect them from being torn or ripped by deer, but if you can leave the lower branches, they will help to keep the wind from drying the soil out.. and to hide the bright red fallen leaves.
I had been looking for a Gordonia for a client for over a year, without success. Today, 6/23/17, I found a source. They are not easy to find. This batch of 7 gallon plants that I have found are 5′-6′ tall.
I did not grow these in my nursery, nor do I have them on hand. I am sourcing them from a nursery that I have worked with years and have found them to be very reliable. If you would like me to order one (or more) for you, please add them to your cart and pay for them,. (We will reserve your plants upon payment and when our order is large enough, we will arrange for delivery) If you need me to deliver them in the local area and/or plant them for you, I will charge for those services upon completion Delivery and plantings charges are $36 a man-hour, plus costs for soil amendments.
The picture was taken by George Westerfield.