Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
There are several different breeds of Witch hazel shrubs, and all are beautiful to see, deciduous, and growing to a height of anywhere between eight feet high and 30 feet wide. Depending on the species you choose, the flowers can be seen in red, yellow or orange, blooming from fall to late winter. Interestingly, the flowers are pollinated by moths rather than bees and the hybrid species do not produce fragrant flowers. The United States is home to the American Witch hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana) and can grow to heights of 30 feet and 20 feet wide; it is commonly used as borders to large, open areas, as they can grow up to 24 inches per year. To grow and enjoy the sweet-smelling fragrance and full size of the shrub, full sun and moist, well-drained, acidic soil are best, but they are adaptable to partial sun and less than idyllic growing conditions. However, they do need to cool off (below 45 degrees) for short periods, which can be hard in the warmer parts of the country. In fact, you are not likely to find this beauty west of Texas. One thing that makes the Witch hazel shrub so popular with gardeners is how low-maintenance they are once the watering routine is in place. They are also tolerant of deer and pests, making the gardener’s life easier. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing is the germination period. As you can have the shrubs sent in bare root, seedling or transplant condition, it is important to know that the American Witch hazel does not flower until it is six years old and seedlings should be potted in plants for two or three years until they are strong enough to be planted outdoors. The bare root will take an additional year to sprout.