WITCH HAZELS CAST THEIR SPELL!
Not only are its bright orange flowers easily spotted right now in gardens in Raleigh, the pungent smell is quite noticeable as well. These late winter/early spring bloomers are the perfect bold pop of color after the forsythia and cherry trees have fizzled out and along side of flowering dogwoods (and right before the Sousa dogwoods make their debut)!
Witch hazel is virtually maintenance-free and resistant to most pests and diseases. It performs best in full sun (or filtered shade in hotter regions), where the flowers glow like fiery embers in the backlight of the low early spring sun. They prefer well-amended soil and regular water and are tolerant of acid or alkaline conditions.
Witch Hazel Care
While most varieties reach 10-20 feet high and wide at maturity, witch hazels can be kept smaller with pruning once they are finished blooming. Prune before summer so that the following year’s buds can develop. Suckering twigs that form around the base should be removed. Once new flower buds appear, branches can be cut and forced to bloom inside.