Hamamelis mollis

Chinese witch hazel

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This classic witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis, is highly desirable. It is actually one of the parents to the H. x intermedia hybrids. Flowering in late January and February like the others, its short filamentous flowers are a golden yellow. It is the most fragrant of all witch hazels and worth growing for that characteristic alone.It is disease resistant (as are all in the genus) and easy to grow. The bonus of autumn color makes it a truly multi-seasonal shrub. Leaves first turn butter yellow then orange and finish scarlet before they fall to the ground. Plant Hamamelis mollis with red-stem dogwoods, Picea omorika, Stewartia pseudocamellia, Rhododendron 'Ken Janeck' and a groundcover of black mondo grass and Helleborus foetidus for an incredible winter garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: vase-shaped shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 12 ft. 0 in. (3.66 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 12 ft. 0 in. (3.66 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: yellow

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: occassional watering

Seasonal Interest: autumn color

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: bronze, chartreuse, blue

Great Color Partners: dark green, silver

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