Great Plant Pick: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida,’ witch hazel

The pale-yellow flowers of “Padilla” witch hazel are bright additions to the winter landscape.

What: Witch hazels are renowned for producing flowers just when we need them most: winter. Hamamelis x intermedia “Pallida” produces large, sulfur-yellow flowers in mid- and late winter. “Pallida” is more horizontal than other cultivars of witch hazels. The pale-yellow flowers are bright additions to the winter landscape. They are best displayed against an evergreen backdrop. You can under-plant it with hellebores, dwarf sweet box and Cyclamen coum.

Where: Witch hazels thrive in rich and well-drained soil, but will tolerate sand and clay if drainage is adequate. Provide a location with full sun to light or open shade.

Size: “Pallida” will grow to be 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide when mature.

Care: Regular water during dry weather will encourage the best flowering, but well-established plants can tolerate occasional watering. Minimal pruning is needed to maintain its graceful vase-like form. Beginner pruners should consult an experienced pruner or take local classes before attempting to prune.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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