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11 Witch Hazel Varieties for Your Landscape


Witch hazel is a deciduous shrub and popular landscaping plant. You can easily use it as a central specimen plant alongside other shrubs or among perennial wildflowers. Plant several together to create an attractive hedge. Grow it along a woodland edge or alongside a building that offers partial shade. These plants make an excellent addition to a winter garden or pollinator garden.

These shrubs are low-maintenance and easy to grow. Most witch hazel varieties grow well in full sun or partial shade, making it easy to find a place for them in your landscape. Provide them with a location with organically rich and acidic soil. They don’t tolerate dry conditions, so find a place with moist yet well-drained soil. Adding a layer of mulch keeps the roots moist and also helps control weeds. 

These shrubs have so much to offer. They are showy throughout the entire year, so you will have four seasons of enjoyment. In the winter, the bare, smooth brown bark and branches have a very attractive form. They then burst into bloom for an amazing early-season floral display. Spring brings a plethora of fresh, new, bright green leaves. During the summer, this very attractive shrub displays dense greenery and provides foraging and nesting opportunities for songbirds. In the fall, you can admire its vibrant yellow foliage.

Keep reading to learn more about 11 of the many superb witch hazels available for your landscape project.

‘Amethyst’

Close-up of a flowering Hamamelis 'Amethyst' plant against a blurred sunny garden background. The fragrant, spidery flowers of 'Amethyst' showcase a rich amethyst-purple hue, creating a striking contrast against the bare branches.
The ‘Amethyst’ cultivar boasts burgundy-red winter flowers and vibrant red-orange fall foliage.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis ‘Amethyst’
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


8 – 10 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


5 – 8

This cultivar has beautiful, deep burgundy-red flowers. The flowers bloom in late winter and are much appreciated at a time when the rest of your landscape is either still sleeping or just starting to wake up. The flowers are slightly fragrant, and on warm days, they will attract the earliest active pollinators.

‘Amethyst’ not only has beautiful spring flowers, but it also comes with very showy fall foliage. Rather than the usual bright yellow fall colors that most varieties display, ‘Amethyst’ has flashy red and orange autumn foliage. This shrub would make an excellent specimen in any garden arrangement.

‘Arnold Promise’

Close-up of Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' against a blurred brown background. This deciduous shrub is renowned for its late-winter to early-spring blooms, which precede the emergence of leaves. The fragrant, spidery flowers are a warm, buttery yellow, creating a cheerful and eye-catching display.
This cultivar is a medium-sized shrub that offers fragrant yellow winter flowers.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


12 – 15 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


5 – 8

‘Arnold Promise’ witch hazel is a medium to large-sized shrub that would be useful as a hedge planting or grown along a walkway where it can be most appreciated and enjoyed. You definitely won’t want to hide this shrub away in a distant corner. This cultivar has a very upright growth form and has the appearance of a small tree. 

Anywhere you want some winter color, ‘Arnold Promise’ is a good option. It produces long-petaled yellow flowers that cluster along its bare branches in late winter, around the same time as your spring bulbs are starting to appear. The flowers are fragrant and, on warm winter days, will attract a few pollinators as well as plenty of attention.

Common Witch Hazel

Close-up of a blooming Common Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) against a blurred sky background. This shrub produces fragrant, spidery yellow flowers that bloom in clusters along its bare branches. The flowers appear simultaneously with the purple-red shrub's fruit capsules, which explosively discharge seeds upon ripening.
Eastern North American common witch hazel thrives in moist areas, featuring showy yellow flowers.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis virginiana
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


15 – 20 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


3 – 8

Common witch hazel is native to eastern North America. It can be found growing along moist forest edges and along riparian margins and stream banks. A mid-winter walk through the forest or stream can yield a surprise blooming of showy yellow flowers when all other plants appear to be brown and dormant. 

The common species will grow into a small tree in ideal conditions, reaching up to 30 feet tall. These plants will grow very well in both full sun and partial shade, although you will see the best flowering in a full-sun location. These taller plants make great small shade trees or an excellent addition to a woodland garden or tall hedge for a summer vegetative screen. 

‘Diane’

Close-up of a flowering Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane' bush against a blurred garden background. This deciduous shrub is celebrated for its late-winter to early-spring blooms, which emerge before the foliage. The fragrant, spidery flowers showcase a rich and intense coppery-red color, creating a warm and vibrant display.
This stunning variety enchants with red-orange winter flowers and vibrant fall foliage.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


12 – 15 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


5 – 8

‘Diane’ is a stunning cultivar with extremely showy red-orange flowers. It blooms in the winter, bringing life to your winter landscape with its gently fragrant aromatic blossoms. In the fall, it displays equally showy yellow-orange foliage. 

‘Diane’ is a medium-sized shrub or small tree with a spreading form. Grow it in a woodland garden, along a pathway, or as a seasonal shrubby hedge. This very attractive plant will add year-round beauty and curb appeal anywhere you decide to grow it.

‘Harvest Moon’ 

Close-up of a flowering Hamamelis 'Harvest Moon' tree against a blurred background. This deciduous shrub is particularly valued for its late-winter to early-spring blooms, which precede the emergence of leaves. The fragrant, spidery flowers showcase a warm golden-yellow color, creating a cheerful and luminous display.
The ‘Harvest Moon’ cultivar is ideal for landscape use and features fragrant late-season yellow flowers.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis ‘Harvest Moon’
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


15 – 18 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


3 – 8

‘Harvest Moon’ is a shrub or small tree that would look great in any landscape setting. Use it as a small understory tree, a small shade tree, or as part of a privacy hedge. ‘Harvest Moon’ is a fairly large shrub, growing up to 18 feet tall and 12 feet wide, so you can plant it in a location with a bit more open space. 

In late fall, ‘Harvest Moon’ will lose its leaves and then immediately enter its blooming period. The bright yellow flowers grow in little clusters along the stems, so you will enjoy this tree full of fragrant and cheerful late-season blossoms. Plenty of late-season pollinators and birds will also come to investigate, welcoming an abundance of life to your home garden.

‘Jelena’

Close-up of a flowering bush Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena' against a soiled garden background. The shrub produces spidery, fragrant flowers in late winter to early spring, before the emergence of its leaves. The unique and striking feature of 'Jelena' is the color of its flowers, which range from coppery orange to deep red, creating a warm and vibrant display.
This medium-sized shrub thrives in moist soil, displaying fragrant, coppery-red flowers in late winter.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


8 – 12 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


5 – 8

‘Jelena’ is a medium-sized shrub that can be easily included in a variety of landscape projects. It will grow up to 12 feet tall and equally as wide. Use ‘Jelena’ along a woodland edge or as an accent plant in a sunnier part of your landscape. Just make sure the soil stays consistently moist. Witch hazels don’t like to dry out for too long. 

This witch hazel variety blooms in late winter, and if it snows, it will provide a beautiful display of snow-covered blossoms. The flowers are sweetly fragrant and coppery red at the center with long orange petals. The orange and red shades of autumn foliage are equally attractive for your fall landscape. 

‘Little Suzie’ 

Close-up of a flowering Hamamelis virginiana 'Little Suzie' bush against a blurred garden background. 'Little Suzie' adorns itself with small, fragrant yellow flowers. These spidery blooms, with strap-like petals, emerge from inconspicuous buds and lend a delicate beauty to the bare branches.
This medium-sized shrub displays fragrant, late-fall yellow blooms and versatile growth.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis virginiana ‘Little Suzie’
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


4 – 5 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


3 – 8

‘Little Suzie’ is a cultivar of the native common species. This cultivar produces long-petaled flowers that are highly fragrant. ‘Little Suzie’ will often bloom in late fall, sometimes while the showy autumn-yellow leaves are still attached to the stems, giving this plant a very showy yellow glow!

‘Little Suzie’ is a medium-sized shrub growing between four and five feet tall and equally as wide. Its compact stature makes this plant very versatile. Use it along a woodland edge or grow it in a rain garden or other location with moist soil. Plant ‘Little Suzie’ in a shrub garden or anywhere you want a bit of cheerful late-season color.

‘Lombart’s Weeping’

Close-up of a flowering Hamamelis vernalis ‘Lombart’s Weeping’ bush covered in a layer of snow. The Hamamelis vernalis ‘Lombart’s Weeping’ is a distinctive cultivar of the vernal witch hazel known for its graceful and weeping form. This deciduous shrub showcases fragrant, spidery flowers in varying shades of orange and red, emerging from bare, arching branches.
This compact cultivar suits various landscapes, boasting fragrant winter blooms and autumn yellow foliage.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis vernalis ‘Lombart’s Weeping’
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


4 – 5 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


4 – 8

This small cultivar would make a wonderful addition to many landscape locations. It grows only four to five feet tall, making it easy to incorporate into a native plant garden, woodland garden, or winter garden. Any location with rich, moist soil would be suitable for your ‘Lombart’s Weeping’ tree. 

This variety blooms in mid to late winter when your landscape might otherwise look rather brown and dreary. The flowers grow in loose clusters along the stems and are pleasantly fragrant. They have loose clusters of reddish-orange petals, which add some subdued wintery color. The autumn foliage is an attractive yellow.

Ozark

Close-up of a flowering Ozark Witch-Hazel bush in a sunny garden against a blurred background. The Ozark Witch-Hazel adorns itself with clusters of fragrant, spidery flowers in shades of yellow to rust-red. The ribbon-like petals unfold from scaly buds, creating a captivating contrast against the grayish-brown bark.
Native Ozark supports wildlife and boasts fragrant yellow-orange winter blooms.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis vernalis
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


6 – 10 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


4 – 8

Ozark is a deciduous shrub native to the central and southern United States. It grows naturally as a woodland understory plant in rich, moist, acidic soils. This attractive native plant can be easily grown as a landscaping plant in any location with rich, moist soil. Use it in your native plant garden, as a hedge, or in your wildlife-friendly landscape, where it will support birds and pollinators. 

This variety blooms in mid to late winter. Its showy yellow-orange flowers bloom in little clusters all along the woody stems. The flowers have a pleasant fragrance and add some welcome color to your yard. This mid-size shrub has an attractive tree-like form, growing up to 10 feet tall and equally as wide. It will spread and colonize by root suckers unless you prune these regularly.

‘Pallida’

Close-up of flowering branches of Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’ bush against a blurred background. The deciduous shrub graces the landscape with fragrant, pale yellow blooms. The spidery petals unfurl from scaly buds, creating a beautiful contrast against the bare branches.
Hybrid ‘Pallida’ witch hazel, with fragrant winter blooms and brilliant fall foliage, suits various landscape uses.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


9 – 12 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


5 – 8

This mid-sized shrub is a hybrid cross between the Japanese witch hazel and the Chinese witch hazel. ‘Pallida’ is a cultivar that produces a dramatic winter bloom to brighten your dark and snowy days. The flowers cluster along the stems and have long, pale yellow petals, giving this shrub a distant look of frilly yellow branches. The flowers have a pleasant fragrance so be sure to plant this variety where you will pass close enough to fully appreciate it.

In the fall, ‘Pallida’ displays brilliant deep yellow foliage. This plant grows up to 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide, giving it a broad, sprawling appearance. Place it in your shade garden or along a woodland edge. You can also use it as a hedgerow or border plant. It will grow well in full sun or partial shade, but it produces the most abundant flowers with more sunlight.

‘Ruby Glow’

Close-up of a flowering Hamamelis x intermedia 'Ruby Glow' bush in a sunny garden with a blurred background. During late winter to early spring, this deciduous shrub adorns itself with rich, reddish-purple blooms that add a dramatic burst of color to the landscape. The spidery, fragrant flowers unfurl from scaly buds, creating a visually striking contrast against the bare branches.
The ‘Ruby Glow’ witch hazel boasts stunning red winter flowers and vibrant fall foliage, supporting wildlife.
botanical-name
botanical name


Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Ruby Glow’
sun-requirements
sun requirements


Full sun to partial shade
height
height


10 – 12 feet
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


4 – 8

‘Ruby Glow’ is a stunning cultivar with beautiful deep red flowers. The flowers bloom in the middle of winter to bring color and a delicate fragrance to your landscape. In the autumn, the leaves turn from green to yellow-orange with a hint of red for a very showy foliage display.

‘Ruby Glow’ is a medium-sized shrub that can grow 10 to 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Its bushy form is attractive year-round, and it provides excellent cover for wildlife, especially songbirds, who may use these shrubs for nesting, shelter, and foraging opportunities.

Grow your ‘Ruby Glow’ along a woodland border or edge where it gets plenty of bright sunlight but also a bit of shade each day. It prefers moist, well-drained soils that are both acidic and rich in organic matter. A healthy witch hazel in ideal conditions will give you many years of enjoyment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Witch hazel spreads by root suckers and will easily spread into a colony. If you wish to prevent colonies from forming, you’ll need to prune your witchhazel plants. Use a sharp pruning tool to remove root suckers while they are still small. You can safely remove root suckers at any time. If you want to prune to maintain a desired shape and size, wait until after your plant has finished flowering in the spring.

The smaller varieties of witch hazel can easily be grown in a container. The container should be large and have excellent drainage. Since witch hazel plants like acidic soil, you can create your own ideal soil blend to suit your plants and then place the container in a partially shaded location. The biggest challenge you may face with a container-grown plant will be keeping the soil moist. These plants really appreciate moist soil, so keep a close eye on your plant and offer it a deep drink of water anytime the soil starts to dry out.

Yes. The best variety to try growing from seed will be the native species, Hamamelis virginiana and Hamamelis vernalis. These two species will grow true to form. If you try to grow a seed collected from a hybrid or cultivar variety, the resulting seedlings will not grow true to the parent plant.

Growing from seed is a test of patience. The seeds are easy to grow but require extended cold stratification and will take a long time to germinate. You’ll need to keep them moist during the germination process. While this can be done, you’ll have to wait several years to have a small, healthy shrub to enjoy.

Final Thoughts

If you have the space for a small to medium-sized native shrub, give serious consideration to one of the many varieties of witch hazel. These fascinating plants provide year-round beauty in your landscape. 

Few other plants bloom in the wintertime and provide such an interesting boost of color during a typically drab season. The summer foliage fills in lush and green, followed by a showy autumn foliage display. Witch hazel has many uses in your landscape, from hedgerows to woodland gardens to full-sun specimen shrubs. As long as you can provide rich, moist, acidic soil, your plants should thrive and be long-lived and vibrant!



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