Fothergilla (Witch Alder) ~ Beautiful Hardy Ornamental Shrubs

Easy To Care For

Looking for a low maintenance, deer resistant, perennial shrub that can be grown in sun or shade? Consider Fothergilla (also known as witch alder). Witch alder, unlike it's better known cousin witch hazel, is not grown for medicinal uses but for its ornamental beauty. Bottle brush shaped flowers appear in the spring giving off a delicious fresh honey scent. Witch alder boasts deep green or blue green foliage during the summer then turns out a beautiful showing of colored leaves in autumn.

This is one of the popular Fothergilla Gardenii shrubs and this particular one is named Jane Platt Dwarf Fothergilla. It will grow up to three feet in height and offer you blazing fall color. This variety also happens to be insect resistant.

Jane Platt Dwarf Fothergilla
Jane Platt Dwarf Fothergilla

This Sea Spray Fothergilla is an intermediate that can grow to five feet tall. It offers pretty pastel shades of red, pink and orange leaves in autumn.

Sea Spray Fothergilla
Sea Spray Fothergilla

This KLMsixteen variety is called May Bouquet Hybrid. This is a larger shrub that can grow as tall as eight feet. It's known for its huge blossoms and lasting fall color.

May Bouquet Hybrid
May Bouquet Hybrid

And this Fothergilla major, appropriately known as Large Fothergilla can grow to heights of twelve feet and be just as wide. You'll enjoy its cheery colored leaves in the fall.

Large Fothergilla
Large Fothergilla

These shrubs are a hardy sort surviving very cold winters and hot summers. The shrubs shown in this article are all growing in Ohio.They're generally recommended in zones 5-9. Plant them in sun or part shade and provide medium moisture. They can be propagated by taking cuttings or collecting and drying seeds from the seed heads. If your local nursery does not make them available to you they are easily obtained by mail order. I recently obtained a shrub from a large home improvement store.

Comments 19 comments

Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

Oh! A lot of people are gonna love this hub! I tell you, I know a few...

Thumbs up! It has been Stumbled upon as well!

Warmest regards and infinite eternal blessings,


Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thank you Mystique. I'm new here. Good to see a familiar name.

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Beautiful shrub. Not sure they would grow in Hawaii, but one could only try. Thanks.

tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 6 years ago from Normal, Illinois

Beautiful! I love gardening! Thanks for the great hub!

Tashtoo profile image

Tashtoo 6 years ago from Nova Scotia

Lots of info provided and the pics are fantastic. Makes me resent my black thumb even more :( This, however, might be a plant that even I could not harm! Well written piece that should be very well received!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Thumbs up! Beautiful ornamental!

BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

I really do like your pics.

mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

Great info. I'm always on the hunt for deer resistant plants. They can be so destructive.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

The “Jane Platt Dwarf Fothergilla happens to be insect resistant”. Do you have any more information bout this insect resistance please? Fascinating piece, thank you :-)

Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio Author

I can tell you what I think I know but please don't quote me on this :-) I believe when a plant is called insect resistant it means that the plant is less apt to incur damage from insects. Some plants are genetically altered. There is bacteria in the soil, called gt for short, that is not harmful to humans, pets and supposedly beneficial insects. By altering the plants gene to include the gt it supposedly does away with the bad guys. I've notice that butterflies like these shrubs. Hope that helps.

valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

gorgeous flowers, and welcome to hubpages. Looking forward to more of your hubs.

Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 6 years ago from Florida

Great info - I'll tell my sister in law - the deer eat everything she plants in her yard.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

These are lovely, Kay! Thanks for a bit of Spring this gloomy California day. Much appreciated and welcome to HubPaages!

profile image

customastrocharts 6 years ago

I learn something new every day!

Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 6 years ago

Great hub, Kay. And fantastic pictures! : ) This looks like a very interesting shrub. I will have to check into it!

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Great hub with full instructions for the brownest of thumbs!

Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thank you all for the kind comments.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Okay, I'm hooked. Must become your fan.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Thank you for this introduction to a beautiful plant I didn't know. I'm looking forward to getting to know it--and your writings--better!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    More by this Author

    Click to Rate This Article