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Witch hazel

Witch hazel

Buying a witch hazel plant is worthwhile for any garden. This is because witch hazel enchants every gardener's heart with its fragrance and its early flowers.

   
 
Garnet Red Witch Hazel 'Feuerzauber'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Feuerzauber' has intense, dark red flowers already starting in...

£34.40 *

Light Yellow Witch Hazel 'Primavera'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Primavera' with light yellow flowers that appear in mid-February

£34.40 *

Orange Witch Hazel 'Jelena'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Jelena' forms orange flowers in January

£34.40 *

Orange Witch Hazel 'Orange Beauty'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Orange Beauty' has bright orange flowers in the middle of January

£34.40 *

Red Witch Hazel 'Ruby Glow'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Ruby Glow' forms fascinating, orange-red flowers at the end of...

£34.40 *

Witch Hazel 'Aphrodite'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Aphrodite'

£34.40 *

Witch Hazel 'Barmstedt's Gold'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Barmstedt's Gold'

£34.40 *

Witch Hazel 'Diane'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Diane' forms fine, intense red flowers in February

£34.40 *

Yellow-flowering Witch Hazel 'Arnold Promise'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Arnold Promise' has yellow flowers starting in March

£34.40 *

Yellow-flowering Witch Hazel 'Westerstede'

Hamamelis intermedia 'Westerstede' has light yellow flowers from the end of February to...

£34.40 *

   
 

More useful information about Witch hazel

These elegant winter flowers will please you for many years with their special scent and the typical shape. The leaves are similar to those of the hazelnut shrubs, although they are not related to each other, and witch hazel also does not form edible nuts. Witch hazel blooms in January and February, and until March. Another peculiarity of this plant is that the fruits of develop before the flowers. The fruits are little black capsules and they burst with a bang and throw out seeds.

The wild witch hazel plants from North America (Hamamelis virginiana), also known as virgin witch hazel, are mainly used for medical and cosmetic purposes, and often serve as rootstock for the hybrid varieties Hamamelis x intermedia. These summer green shrubs grow to be about 4 metres high and also just as wide. Hamamelis x intermedia are usually planted in gardens and are hybrids of Chinese witch hazel (Hamamelis mollis) and Japanese witch hazel (Hamamelis japonica). As early as January, the garnet red witch hazel Hamamelis x intermedia 'Fire Magic' opens its deep red flowers with the typical thread-shaped petals. Also, in January and sometimes the orange witch hazel Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena' already blooms in December. This strain has a special colour because 'Jelena' comes in intense orange with slight browning, and the details of the flowers show up in the colour gradient. Also, in January, Hamamelis x intermedia 'Orange Beauty' blooms with its bright orange flowers. The red witch hazel Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane' shows intense red flowers in February. The bright yellow witch hazel Hamamelis x intermedia 'Primavera' also presents its flowers in February. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Ruby Glow' has orange-red flowers starting from late January to February. The witch hazel x intermedia 'Westerstede' blooms in February and March, with the 'Westerstede' flowers showing beautiful details. 'Westerstede' is considered one of the most popular classics. Hamamelis x intermedia flowers 'Arnold Promise' is one of the latest bloomers; this witch hazel does not open its yellow flowers until the beginning of March.

How and When Do You Plant Witch Hazel?

A witch hazel plant can be grown in the garden or in container practically all year round, except in the winter when the ground is frozen. These beautiful winter flowering shrubs are best used as solitary plants. They need enough space as they grow quite large over the years. You should calculate about 16 square metres of space for a witch hazel plant. Every witch hazel plant should have enough space for blooming in the garden and in a container and to unfold their loose growth over the years. As witch hazel plants grow very slowly, the area can still be filled with shorter-lived shrubs and perennials in the early years. However, these should not get too close to the roots of witch hazel, as witch hazel cannot tolerate competition in the root area.

A witch hazel plant is planted like any other shrub – the planting hole should be twice as big as the root ball in the pot is large. Break apart the roots well and spread them out fan-like in the planting hole. Carefully fill with soil and then water. In the first year, during hot summer periods, you must regularly water the witch hazel plants in the garden and in containers. Well-grown Hamamelis shrubs will later cope in the garden, as they form enough deep roots.

Location

It is important for the witch hazel that it is in a sunny to partially shaded site, and that the soil is not too wet. It blooms better in a sunnier location, and it grows better in the sun, too. In partial shade, witch hazel grows slower and flowers less strongly. An ideal location for witch hazel is a milder location, for example in front of a wall or in front of an evergreen hedge, where it is protected from cold easterly winds. Then the flowering lasts longer and the scent can spread better. But it is especially important that the witch hazel plant always gets enough water. It should not dry out in the garden or in containers. That's why it should be mulched in the spring with compost and bark. Ideal for these popular winter flowers is a nutrient-rich, humus-rich, well-drained soil. When making a display with witch hazel in addition to the flower colour it should also be noted that it also has beautiful autumn colouring. Their leaves shine in the strongest yellows and oranges, which can be beautifully set in scene with autumn bloomers such as Rudbeckias and dahlias.

What Witch Hazel Types are Best for Balconies?

A witch hazel planted it in a pot or container on the balcony or on the terrace, is perfect because the popular these winter bloomers are also very beautiful in containers! And if the pot is big enough, these plants can thrive quite well on a balcony or terrace. If you want to buy a witch hazel and plant it in a container, you simply have to know that the plant then needs water and fertiliser on a regular basis. And in very cold winter, you have to make sure that the container does not completely freeze with the soil. First, it could damage the container. And second, it is also not favourable for the root ball of the plant when it completely freezes. Therefore, some insulation material should be applied around the container. The witch hazel plants themselves are completely hardy and do not need winter protection. If you want a red flowering witch hazel you can choose between Hamamelis x intermedia 'Fire Magic' and Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'. With its filigree, intense red flowers and enchanting details, Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane' is the queen of the February garden. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Ruby Glow' with its red to orange coloured leaves and beautiful details is also very inspiring in February. If you want an orange blooming witch hazel, you should look at 'Ruby Glow' as well as Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena'. The variety 'Jelena' has a special rust orange floral design, the details of which are slightly brownish. That is why 'Jelena' is always easy to distinguish from other types of witch hazel. Those who prefer a classic yellow witch hazel cannot avoid the classics Hamamelis x intermedia 'Westerstede' and Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise'. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Westerstede' flowers in February and March, Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' only flowers in March. Thus Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' is the latest flowering witch hazel.

The orange and red varieties of Hamamelis x intermedia such as 'Jelena', 'Diane' and 'Orange Beauty' with their beautifully detailed flowers in orange and red colours have gained popularity in recent years. They are trendy for balcony gardeners, just like the variety 'Ruby Glow'. Even the yellow classics continue to stay up to date. 'Westerstede' and 'Arnold Promise' are still in great demand. Because 'Westerstede' flowers a little later, this variety is especially popular for floristic applications around Easter.

Can You Cut a Witch Hazel Plant?

No, that should be avoided. Witch hazel shrubs naturally have a beautiful, harmonious growth habit. In principle, these plants do not tolerate cutting. On the one hand, the witch hazel plants grow slowly and the cuts also heal poorly. If a branch of witch hazel looks unattractive, it can be removed after blooming. With old Hamamelis shrubs, however, it is tricky with the rejuvenation. At most you may occasionally saw out an old branch of the plant to ground level, but never remove too many at once! Cutting back is otherwise not a good idea, as witch hazel does not sprout again from the old wood. But if you cut a few flowering twigs for a vase in the winter, then the shrubs can cope with it. And such a fragrant witch hazel branch in the room is very nice – this fragrance in the house is really one of the main reasons to buy a witch hazel. Especially the classic yellow Hamamelis x intermedia 'Westerstede' which also does well in the spring.

Is it Poisonous?

No, witch hazel is basically non-toxic to humans if used properly. If you buy witch hazel, you own a popular medicinal plant that was used by primitive Indians in ancient times. For cosmetics and remedies mainly the Virginian witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is used. I often blooms in October and it contains valuable tannins. These have astringent and anti-inflammatory effects. In homoeopathy, in naturopathy and in the production of natural cosmetics, this plant is therefore of great importance. Hamamelis is mainly used to treat skin problems, it cleanses and closes the pores, and also helps with eczema. For example, a face lotion made of witch hazel extract is popular. This can also be easily made yourself. In addition, tea is sometimes cooked from the bark, which can help with internal inflammation. However, this tea should not be drunk too much, as there is a certain amount of toxicity in larger quantities.

Buying and Making Your Own Cosmetics

Witch hazel lotion is a well-known natural cosmetic. You can also buy witch hazel and make your own cosmetics or natural remedies. For skin creams and various natural remedies the flowers of witch hazel are not used, but the bark. And for cosmetic and medical purposes, one usually uses American witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, not the bred hybrids. However, the hybrid varieties are usually grafted onto roots of Hamamelis virginiana. In autumn, it often happens with the hybrid varieties that wild shoots form out of the rootstock. They must cut away at the beginning. Of course, the branches of Hamamelis virginiana thus obtained may be used to make Hamamelis water or an extract by themselves. A tea using witch hazel can be cooked from it. With this one can treat internal discomfort, or you can let it cool off and use as a tonic. Hamamelis bark contains tannins as well as astringent, i.e. contracting active ingredients, which on the one hand act against inflammation, and on the other hand, when applied to the skin, help to close the pores and refine the appearance of the skin.

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