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Common Witchhazel

Hamamelis virginiana

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Common Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Hamamelis virginiana flowers

Hamamelis virginiana flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Common Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Hamamelis virginiana

Hamamelis virginiana

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  18 feet

Spread:  20 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Witch Hazel

Description:

A large shrub with an upright, wide-spreading habit of growth; fall is its season to shine, with fragrant bright yellow strap-shaped flowers and golden fall foliage (which often hides the flowers); grow where space is not a problem

Ornamental Features

Common Witchhazel has fragrant yellow strap-like flowers along the branches in late fall before the leaves, which are interesting on close inspection. It has green foliage throughout the season. The serrated round leaves turn an outstanding yellow in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Common Witchhazel is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Common Witchhazel is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Common Witchhazel will grow to be about 18 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Screening  Naturalizing 
Applications
Flowers  Fall Color 
Ornamental Features