The Fothergilla, or witch alder, is a native shrub that’s easy to fall in love with.  They are beautiful and very low maintenance.  It can work as a foundation shrub in a group or mass in a shrub border.  Would also look nice massed on the edge of a wooded area.

About Fothergilla Shrubs

There are two species of fothergilla and they vary dramatically in size.   Large (Fothergilla major) may grow 6 to 10 feet in height and the dwarf (Fothergilla gardenii)  may reach 3 -4  feet tall.  There are also many other hybrids that are being introduced such as Fothergilla intermedia which combine the qualities of both species.  They like full sun to part shade and like well-draining soil.  They will also benefit from a layer of mulch to help retain moisture.

Outstanding Qualities

What makes them so spectacular is their four season interest!

Early April.   White, bottle-brush blooms appear that have a sweet fragrance.  Flowers last about 2-3 weeks.

Late Spring-Summer.  Beautiful green to blue-green foliage. 

Fall. This is the showiest display for Fothergilla. The frost-tolerant foliage takes on vibrant, fiery colors of purple, red, yellow, and orange and sometimes a combination of all four.  The best color is produced in full sun.  The coloration each year might be slightly different due to weather conditions.

Winter.  Once the autumn foliage is over, the interesting zig-zag branch habit of these upright, small shrubs is seen and adds winter interest.  **

The Fothergilla shrub does not require pruning and there are no serious insect or disease problems.  They are considered deer resistant and attracts bees and butterflies.

Select a Fothergilla for Your Landscape

If you’re looking for a new shrub for your foundation plantings, mixed border or naturalizing on the edge of the woods, a Fothergilla is a great choice.  There is so much to love about this seasonal beauty.

Whitehouse Landscaping has been designing, installing and maintaining beautiful custom landscaping in Montgomery, Chester, and Berks counties, PA for over 20 years.  We have the horticultural knowledge in landscaping to make sure the right plants are chosen for the right place.  Our goal is to make sure your landscape thrives.  Get started today by requesting a free consultation or call 484-300-4290.  We’re always happy to help you.