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Witch Hazel Shrub

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Witch Hazel Shrubs

The Many Attributes Of Using Witch Hazel Shrubs In Landscaping
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis 

Witch hazel is a wonderful addition to any garden. When other plants are preparing for their winter sleep, common witch hazel awakens in a burst of gold foliage and yellow, orange, and red flowers. These flowers have a spidery appearance. The leaves are oval and around 4 inches in length. The eastern variant of witch hazel most often blooms near the end of winter around mid January. They are sometimes used along fence lines for privacy purposes. Both variants offer fragrant and beautiful foliage. The fragrance of witch hazel is a pleasant mix of spicy and herbal. Witch hazel reaches maturity after a year of growth. They have a unique method of seed dispersal where the seed pods explode with an audible pop and fling the seeds up to 40 ft away. Many species of birds enjoy these seeds as food. Bees hunting for food late in the season are also attracted to this fragrant bloomer. Witch hazel’s history and medicinal uses make for good conversation topics. The twigs of the tree were used as dowsing rods by the early settlers of the Americas. It’s leaves and bark were boiled and used as an astringent and beauty product by Native Americans. Witch hazel is still used in the same fashion by many people today. This makes it particularly popular among herbalists for their gardens, but the average person can still enjoy the beauty and fragrance of this shrub. The whimsical witch hazel is sure to brighten up any fall or winter day. 

These deciduous shrubs grow to a height of 10-25 ft tall at a growth rate of 1-2 ft per year. Pruning this shrub shortly after it flowers will keep growth minimal if space is an issue. The spread of this shrub can reach around 12 ft. They perform best in an area that receives at least 4 hours of sunlight. They require free-draining soil and an adequate supply of moisture. Acid soil is best for them, but they can thrive in neutral soil. When first introducing witch hazel to an area, it’s good to add organic and compost matter to the soil. Once these shrubs are fully settled into your garden, they do not require much tending except in drought prone areas where watering is needed.

 

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