Witch hazel: varieties and their characteristics at a glance

Witch hazel

The witch hazel is a thriving highlight in wintry gardens. As with many other plants, there are also different types of witch hazel. What these are, shows our little overview.

Magic nut varieties overview
Japanese witch hazel

The witch hazel, also known under its botanical name Hamamelis, captivates in autumn and winter with delicate flowers. A distinction is made between North American and East Asian species and crosses from the two East Asian species.

All have in common that they beautify the cold season with delicate, colorful flowers. 

Witch hazel from North America and East Asia
Virgin Witch Hazel and Spring Witch Hazel are native to North America. Other species include Japanese and Chinese witch hazel.

In the garden, the two plants from East Asia are more popular because the flowers are larger and the flowering times longer. Flowering begins in December and lasts until the end of March. From the East Asian Witch Hazel shrubs numerous crossings have emerged.

Flowers in the wintry garden: witch hazel from yellow to dark red
In spring and summer, witch hazel can hardly be distinguished from hazelnut. However, the two plants belong to different genera and have no similarities except the similar name and partly the leaf shape. The witch hazel casts off its leaves in the fall. Then, however, as if by magic, the flowering phase begins in early winter.

roven witch hazel species for the garden

Matching the Christmas season, the variety ” Pallida ” begins to bloom. It has quite large, sulfur-yellow flowers and is therefore easily recognizable from a distance. The flowers smell intense. 

Also among the early flowering Hamamelis species is the variety ” Primavera “. It is full of flowers and provides medium-sized, golden yellow flowers for a spring-like sight in the garden. The petals are slightly curled. The variety “Jelena” is a beautiful eye-catcher even outside the flowering season. In autumn, the leaves turn to a magnificent scarlet red. When the witch hazel “Jelena” starts to bloom, the long petals, which become brighter toward the top, are particularly impressive. The flowers glow in an intense orange. In February, the flowers of the variety “Diane” open. With an intense shade of red, witch hazel “Diane” completes the flowering of the Hamamelis varieties. The foliage turns to a warm shade of orange in autumn, but can also reach a strong scarlet red. 

The right location for the witch hazel

Witch hazel shrubs are very easy to care for. They can grow up to four meters over the years. That may take time. The witch hazel grows only very slowly. A cut is not necessary.

The witch hazel prefers a light, airy soil. On the other hand, the location needs a bit more attention. The plant is hardy, but: A sheltered location on the house wall promotes the flowering. In mild winters, witch hazel flower earlier, more lush and more enduring than in extremely frosty years with very low temperatures.

No magic: Worth knowing about witch hazel varieties

  • Various crosses of Chinese and Japanese witch hazel
  • Winter bloomers from December to March
  • Looser soil and sheltered location promote the bloom joy
  • Hardly cut necessary, easy to clean
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