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Witch Hazel Shrub - Hamamelis virginiana
The Witch Hazel Shrub is a beautiful deciduous plant. This green-leafed shrub blooms with bright yellow flowers between October and December. The ribbon-like yellow petals usually appear after the leaves have fallen, but sometimes will show up while the oval-shaped yellow autumn leaves still cling to the branches. It also has fruits which will form from fertilized flowers. They first appear as green capsules, but then they turn brown over time. The fact that this shrub’s flowers, fruits, and leaves can all appear on its branches at the same time is the reason for its scientific name. Hamamelis loosely translates as “together with fruit.”
Its hardy nature makes it an easy to grow shrub. Because of this, it is viral amongst gardeners as a shrub hedge or screen. Its fragrant flowers often lead to it being built in an area where its pleasant scent is noticeable. It is often the last bit of color in a garden due to its late bloom.
This shrub can be planted successfully in USDA zones 3 to 9. It requires a lot of sunlight and does best in full sun or partial shade. Flowering will peak in full sun. It does well in moist, acidic soil and can also handle heavy clay soil. It can grow up to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide in the best conditions. The height increases by 13 to 24 inches each year, giving it a slow to medium growth rate. Pruning can be done in early spring to keep the shrub from growing that large if preferred. This plant requires very little maintenance to flourish and rarely has any insect or disease problems.
The sunny yellow flowers of this shrub add a glow of happiness to yards and gardens. The delightful fragrance of those flowers creates and even more cheerful atmosphere. It is so easy to care for that it is an excellent fit for even the most hands-off gardeners.