witch hazelWinter-flowering shrubs ,trees and flowers open up a new opportunity for gardeners to exploit the potential of the winter garden in all its beauty by growing some of the season’s most beautiful woody plants.

Witch hazels, is a deciduous, winter-flowering shrub. There are many winter growing plants with their crumpled petals in various shades of copper, gold, burnt orange, ember-red and lemon-yellow.

Depending on the variety, the witch hazel’s elegantly ragged flowers can appear on starkly bare stems from as early as Christmas or as late as March. They last an average of six weeks and despite their apparent fragility, are defiant of even the iciest winter weather.

One of the early winter flowering plant is Hamamelis ‘Jelena’ whose toffee-orange colored flowers start appearing from January.  Another such variety is Hamamelis. ‘Aphrodite’, a handsome shrub that produces an abundance of lightly-scented, orange-bronze flowers in late winter. Among the other Hamamelis varieties , the most strongly scented include the luminously lemon-flowered H. ‘Pallida’ and H. ‘Jermyn’s Gold’. H. ‘Barnstedt Gold’ is a typical variety that produces an abundance of large, perfumed, dark-golden flowers along its bare branches. The burnt-orange flowers of H. ‘Rubin’ with the long-petalled, golden-orange, fragrant blossoms of H. ‘Vezna’, the centres of which are flushed dark-red.

All witch hazels do best in full sun or light shade and in an acid/neutral soil, but are tolerant of alkaline soils as long as they are deep, friable and fertile. These flowers are resistant to cold temperatures however, the young plants should be saved from frosts and cold winds.

Witch hazel’s shallow roots require watering young plants during any prolonged dry spells. Protection of  the vulnerable root system with a mulch of leaf mould or garden compost is advised to keep the soil weed-free.

It would be better if to position witch hazel against a backdrop of evergreen foliage and in a spot where its delicate, translucent flowers can be easily seen. Gardens with small spaces may have them relatively compact with an annual spring prune, which will also encourage it to be more floriferous.The plant can also be successfully grown as a fan-trained specimen against a wall.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tagged with:

Filed under: Flower GardeningFlowersGardeningGardening Tipshome and gardenHome GardeningWinter Gardening

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!