Hamamelis – Witchhazel


Hamamelis 'Jelena'
Hamamelis ‘Jelena’ – Jelena Witchhazel

A lot of people consider March “Hate Month” here on the island. After a long, grey winter, year-round gardeners yearn for some color! Of course, there are many plants that thrive on Nantucket with winter color. The stems of Yellow and Red twig dogwood, Willow and High bush blueberry are beautiful. And plants that hold their fruit over the winter, like Winterberry, have great value in the winter landscape. But wouldn’t you just die for some flowers? Enter – Witchhazel!

The waxy petals of this winter-blooming shrub are a sight for sore eyes when they cover the branches of these versatile plants in February and March. The flowers range in color from clear yellow to deep amber and red, depending on the species and cultivar. The habit is also varied; some plants are more upright, with smooth branches, while others are much more arching or contorted. There are plants that will colonize to fill a large space, and others that fit into tighter spots, especially with some pruning. Hamamelis prefers moist, even soggy soils, but will perform as long as it has regular water in normal conditions. It can be sighted in full sun, but does very well in partial shade, as well.

An interesting alternative to Forsythia, tough as nails, and not bothered by insects or disease – Give Witchhazel a try. You’ll like it!