Hamamelis x intermedia 'Strawberries and Cream'

10 witch hazels to grow

Discover 10 beautiful witch hazels to grow for scent and flowers in late winter.

Witch hazels (Hamamelis) flower in late winter and early spring, when many other plants are dormant. The unusual, spidery flowers, in shades of yellow, orange and red, appear on bare stems and have a distinctive, spicy fragrance. Many also look great in autumn, when their leaves change colour before falling.

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Discover 10 plants to prune in the dormant season.

Witch hazels thrive in sun or partial shade, and they appreciate a slightly acidic soil, although they will cope on neutral soil if it has had plenty of organic matter incorporated and is well drained. They prefer a sheltered spot, protected from strong winds. Some varieties grow quite wide – something to bear in mind if space is an issue. Keep plants moist in summer.

Here are 10 of our favourite witch hazels to grow.

The unusual, spidery flowers, in shades of yellow, orange and red,
appear on bare stems and have a distinctive, spicy fragrance.

1

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Strawberries and Cream’

The flowers of Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Strawberries and Cream’ are a mix of pale yellow and a soft red.

Height x spread: 3.5m x 3.5m

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2

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Aphrodite’

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Aphrodite’ has slightly crimped, orange-red, strongly scented flowers. The leaves intense red before falling in autumn.

Height x spread: 4m x 4m

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3

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Westerstede’

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Westerstede’ has yellow, slightly scented flowers. Its leaves fade to yellow before falling in autumn.

Height x spread: 3.5m x 3.5m

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4

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ has unusual, copper-red flowers with a light scent. The leaves turn a dramatic shade of yellow in winter.

Height x spread: 4m x 4m

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5

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ has bright yellow, curling flowers, which appear slightly later than those on other varieties. The leaves turn orange and red in autumn.

Height x spread: 4m x 4m

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6

Hamamelis mollis ‘Goldcrest’

Hamamelis mollis ‘Goldcrest’ is a Chinese witch hazel with large, golden yellow flowers tinged with maroon. They have a strong, sweet scent.

Height x spread: 4.5m x 4.5m

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7

Hamamelis mollis ‘Brevipetala’

Hamamelis mollis ‘Brevipetala’ has strongly scented, deep ochre-yellow crinkled flowers, which become red at the base. The leaves turn bright yellow-orange before falling in autumn.

Height x spread: 3.5m x 3.5m

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8

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Savill Starlight’

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Savill Starlight’ bears showy, ribbon-like yellow flowers in late winter, and has good autumn colour.

Height x spread: 4.5m x 4.5m

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9

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Barmstedt Gold’

‘Barmstedt Gold’ has large, golden-yellow flowers; leaves turn shades of orange and yellow in autumn.

Height x spread: 3m x 3.5m

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10

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’

This popular variety has masses of yellow flowers in late winter and early spring. It offers great autumn colour, too, in shades of yellow, orange and red.

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Height x spread: 2.5m x 3m

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Pruning witch hazels

Remove crossing or diseased branches in early spring, once the flowers have finished, and apply a mulch of well-rotted compost or manure around the base of the plant.