Acclimating a witchhazel

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)November 4, 2012

I picked up a couple vernal witchhazel as my last late season purchase.

One was at peak fall color, no big deal but the other one was completely green. Almost look like a plant in June.

Its a 1 gallon, 3 year old. Looks pretty quite vigorous.

I've had it in my garage the last couple nights but put it out in the shade during the day. Temps have and will average mid 40s during the day and mid to upper 20s during the night.

How long would you acclimate this plant? I'm almost ready to just get it in the ground...doubtful it will root out anymore.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

where did it come from???

and if both came from the same source.. than it is probably just as dormant as the one that already colored ..

just plant it


    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 2:04PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

From the west coast. Their weather was much more mild than I had thought...In fact I thought they were getting more early freezes.

I'll get it in the ground tomorrow night. Likely have to sprint home to get it done since its going to get dark @ 5:15 now.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 5:14PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Where did you get your Witch Hazel? I am going to be in the market for some in a few months. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 6:45PM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

I got a Hamamelis x intermedia 'James Wells' from forestfarm. It was fairly small (understandably), yet it had flowerbuds on it for next year. Should I knock them off, or just let the thing do what it wants? (Hope we don't get too harsh a winter - They're supposedly only zone 6 hardy)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 7:59PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Whitman farms has quite a few. H. vernalis has much more reliable fall color and is more hardy than the Hamamelis x intermedia.

Jimbo, are you saying yours is actually flowering right now? Likely stress. Some of the flower buds opened on mine too.

'Quasimodo' Vernal Witchhazel is at the top of my wishlist. Both rarefind nursery and broke arrow have it.

Song sparrow has quite a few H. vernalis as well. Several with red fall color, which is somewhat unique as the species is typically yellow.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 8:10PM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

No, actually I'm saying it has next year's flowerbuds in place - This is a tiny, 8-inch whip of a plant.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:19PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Perfectly normal if you ask me. The develop them the season before. Like a Magnolia.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:59PM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

I do understand that; rhododendrons are another shrub that bloom on last year's growth. What I'm wondering is if I should let it bloom next year, even if it is only a 1-year old cutting.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 2:53PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

I would let it bloom, even if you only get a few flowers and it is young. Witchhazel are fairly tough, a couple flowers won't take anything away from the plant like other shrubs can have happen. Plus you can enjoy the flowers too!

One thing with the Witchhazel, is to keep watering until the ground is frozen. They LOVE the water and need it to stay happy. I water mine in August drought, so I will have flowers in fall and spring. Flowers just don't develop without PLENTY of water for me.

For planting the new purchases, stick it in the ground as Ken says. It WILL grow roots until the ground freezes, so it will do better over winter, take off better next spring.

If you feel it is too cold for the plant, you could drop a bushel basket (preferred because it won't hold moisture), or a taller plastic tub, for cover at night. Then remove cover in the early AM light, before sun comes up to heat plastic, getting plant acclimated to the more extreme cold of your area.

Good luck with your plants, I like my Witchhazels a lot.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 4:29PM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

Thanks for the info! I planted it a few weeks ago; the ground still isn't frozen, and it looks like we still have a few weeks before it does. I've seen witchhazels used with great effect down at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. That's down by the city along the white river, though - Quite different from the windswept climate out in the country! My property has a lot of different microclimates, though - It isn't flat, so there's areas that have good air drainage.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 7:22PM
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