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Lawn & Garden

Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana

Common Name: Common Witch Hazel

Type: shrub

Family: Hamamelidaceae

Zone: 3 to 8     Find Your Zone

Height: 15 to 20 feet

Width: 15 to 20 feet

Bloom Time: October to December

Bloom Color: yellow with red and orange

Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade

Fall Color: yellow and orange

Soil: well drained, clay, damp

Leaves: deciduous

Fertilizer: Vigoro Tree, Shrub and Evergreen

Pruning: Common Witch Hazel should be pruned in early spring before the plant leafs out.

This plant tolerates clay and damp conditions, as it usually grows near stream banks.  It can be used as a tall hedge or in a natural area. Witch Hazel’s yellow blooms show up in October through December and are very fragrant. This plant produces a “fruit” consisting of a greenish seed capsule at the same time as it is flowering. These seed capsules turn brown and release the seed the following year. Not only does this plant reseed but it also gets root suckers that will need removing. Check out our article on 10 brilliant winter flowering plants.



STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type. 
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cypress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.

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Posted 2015-08-30T17:33:43+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL