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Published: Thursday, December 31, 2009, 12:01 a.m.

Plant pick

  • Great Plant Picks

WHAT: Chinese witch hazel is a garden classic. In late January and February it is a showcase for short, golden-yellow filamentlike flowers.
WHY PLANT IT: It is the most fragrant of all witch hazels and worth growing for that characteristic alone.
It is disease resistant and easy to grow.
Autumn color makes it a truly multiseasonal shrub. Its leaves turn butter yellow first, then orange and finish scarlet before they fall to the ground.
WHERE: Witch hazels thrive in well-drained, fertile, rich soil in full sun. They also grow well under the bright shade of tall trees or with a half day of sun and a half day of shade.
Provide regular water during summer dry spells, soaking deeply to encourage a deep and extensive root system.
HOW: Pair this plant, also known as hamamelis mollis, with red-stem dogwoods, picea omorika, stewartia pseudocamellia, Ken Janeck rhododendron, black mondo grass and hellebores for an incredible winter garden.
ACTUAL SIZE: Though smaller than some other varieties, this witch hazel reaches about 8 feet high by 8 feet wide in 10 years and up to 12-by-12 at maturity.
LEARN MORE: See www.greatplantpicks.org.
Source: Great Plant Picks
Story tags » Gardening

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