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How to Grow Fothergilla gardenii Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Dwarf Fothergilla

The Fothergilla gardenii plant is a slow growing shrub. There are two members in the genus, the other being Fothergilla major. The Alabama witch alder (Fothergilla monticola) is usually classified into the major genus.

These ornamental plants are usually grown both for their attractive spring flowers and their colorful autumn leaves.

Dwarf fothergilla

Fothergilla photograph by Lynn.

Plants typically reach about three feet (90 cm) in height. They carry small fragrant flowers on terminal spikes in the spring, and their dark green leaves turn a lovely color in the autumn, ranging from yellow through to bright red.

Quick Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Fothergilla gardenii
  • Common Name (s): Dwarf fothergilla, Witch Alder, American wych hazel, Dwarf witchalder
  • Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): 5 to 8 / H5

Plant Details

  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Deciduous shrub. Compact and slow growing.
  • Plant Height: 18 to 36 inches (45 to 90 cm)
  • Plant Spread: 24 to 48 inches (60 to 1.2 m)
  • Blooms: Mid to late spring
  • Flower Details: White. Fragrant. Showy. Catkin-like inflorescent spikes to 1.5 inches (4 cm).
  • Leaf Foliages: Broadly Ovate. Dark green leaves appear once flowering has completed. These turn yellow, orange, and crimson red in the fall.

Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Full sun (best results) and partial shade / afternoon shade in hot areas
  • Suitable Soil Types: Sandy loams. Well drained, does not like heavy soils.
  • Suitable Soil pH: Acidic soils
  • Soil Soil Moisture: Medium
  • Sowing, planting, and Propagation: Can spread from root suckers. grow from softwood cuttings in the summer.
  • Care: Lightly prune to remove damaged and diseased tissue; once pruned provide a mulch and a light feed.

Further Information

  • Best Garden Use: Fall color, massed, flower borders, woodland, cottage garden.
  • Family:
  • Closely Related Species:
  • Miscellaneous: USA native plant. Two seeded fruit.
  • Family: Hamamelidaceae
  • Further Reading and References used: Wikipedia; MBG