plant quick find clear

sunlight

flower color

foliage color

plant type

height

seasonal features

special features

problem solvers

Fothergilla

Fothergilla

A North American native, fothergilla deserves a place in every shade garden for its profuse honey-sweet brushy blooms and open, airy habit. The leathery leaves feature light undersides and turn to fiery shades of red, orange, and bright yellow in autumn. The tangled branch structure intrigues even in winter landscapes. An added plus: This shrub requires only light pruning as part of its low-maintenance lifestyle. 

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE

Light:

Part Sun, Shade

Type:

Height:

From 3 to 20 feet

Width:

3 to 9 feet

Flower Color:

Special Features:

Zones:

4-8

Propagation

Solution for Shade

Bursting with spring blossoms and fall color, fothergilla (also known as witch hazel) is an all-around great shrub. Plant it near a partially shaded entryway or patio where you can enjoy the sweet fragrance of its bottle-brushlike flowers each spring. Or add it to a perennial garden or shrub border for a bold display of fall color at the end of the season. Fothergilla's round, dense shape blends well with a host of different garden plants and container combinations. This multi-season shrub comes in two species: Fothergilla major, which grows 6 to 10 feet tall, and dwarf Fothergilla gardenia which reaches 3 to 5 feet tall.

Learn how to add a shrub border using these tips!

Easy-Care Companions

Fothergilla looks particularly at home in woodland garden settings where its informal structure can be appreciated. Plant this shrub with rhododendron hybrids such as 'Anna H. Hall' (pink buds that open to white flowers) and 'Roseum Elegans' (rosy lavender flowers) since they share the same soil requirements. Add large clumps of daffodils, snow drops, and other favorite spring bulbs for a bold early season show of color.

As both a wildlife nectar source and nesting spot, deer-resistant fothergilla is a favorite plant of other species of wildlife. Plant it alongside viburnum, spicebush, and elderberry to create a robust wildlife habitat in your own landscape. Blanket the area around the shrubs with a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch to suppress weeds and pave the way for easy maintenance around equally easy-to-care-for shrubs. 

Find everything you need to become a master mulcher here.

Fothergilla Care Must-Knows

Fothergilla grows best in part sun or shade and acidic, well-drained, moist, nutrient-rich soil. Water this shrub regularly during the first growing season after planting. Once it establishes an extensive root system, it can withstand prolonged dry periods and rarely requires supplemental watering. Cover the soil around fothergilla with a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch to suppress weeds and prevent soil-moisture loss. Light pruning may be needed once every so often to remove suckers at the base. Do not shear this shrub. Fothergilla has a pleasing informal branching habit and doesn't tolerate tight pruning well.

More Varieties of Fothergilla

'Beaver Creek' fothergilla

This variety of Fothergilla gardenii  is a compact, neatly mounded selection that grows 4 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-8

'Blue Shadow' fothergilla

Fothergilla major 'Blue Shadow' sports steely blue foliage that creates a cool contrast with bright green and gold-color plants. It grows to 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Zones 5-8

Dwarf fothergilla

This type of Fothergilla gardenii is a mounding type that grows 3 feet tall, making it perfect for a low hedge or edging plant. It's native to areas of North America. Zones 5-9

Large fothergilla

Fothergilla major is a great background shrub for the shade garden that grows 8 feet tall and wide. It's native to areas of North America. Zones 5-9

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE
close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...

Add My Photo close
I Did It!
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Please pick a jpg at least 600x600px.
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Your photo failed to upload. Please try again or visit your profile.
No one has shared their photo yet.
close