Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Common witch hazel is a deciduous shrub with a long herbal and folk pedigree. Used both as an astringent and as one of the preferred woods for making dousing rods, witch hazel has useful applications in the garden and out. It's a popular understory shrub, or small tree, that can reach 20 feet in height (6.10 meters). It makes a good screening or border plant, and it produces bunches of fragrant, yellow, narrow-petalled flowers in late fall or early winter.
Soil: Provide moist, rich soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and plenty of mulch.
Water: Younger specimens are not drought tolerant, so keep them well-watered during the summer months.
Zones: 3 to 9
Plant: Witch hazel likes partial shade and can be planted in spring or fall.
On the next page, we'll learn about our last top winter plant, the hellebore.