Hamamelis mollis. Great Plant Picks photo.

Hamamelis mollis. Great Plant Picks photo.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane.' Great Plant Picks photo.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane.’ Great Plant Picks photo.

Would you like more color in your garden? Now that the rain and clouds have returned, does your landscape seem empty and dull?

Consider planting a witch hazel. These beautiful large shrubs have leaves that turn bright colors in the fall. For example, the leaves of the classic witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis, turn butter yellow then orange and finally scarlet before they fall to the ground.

Many gardeners cherish witch hazel because they flower in the dead of winter, just when we need a spark of color in the garden. And most are fragrant.

Hamamemlis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise.' Great Plant Picks photo.

Hamamemlis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise.’ Great Plant Picks photo.

Witch hazels are large shrubs. Most varieties grow to 8 feet or more. They are disease resistant and easy to grow.

Great Plant Picks recommends five witch hazel varieties: the three in this post as well as Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ and Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida.’

Witch hazels prefer rich, well-drained soil and full sun or light shade. They also prefer regular water during dry weather, but well-established plants will tolerate occasional watering.

Some pruning is needed to maintain their graceful vase-like form. Great Plant Picks recommends that beginning pruners consult an experienced pruner or take a pruning class before attempting to prune.


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