Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dwarf Fothergilla, Dwarf Witch Alder
Fothergilla gardenii 'Blue Shadow'

Family: Hamamelidaceae
Genus: Fothergilla (foth-er-GIL-la) (Info)
Species: gardenii (gar-DEN-ee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Blue Shadow
Additional cultivar information: (PP15490)
Hybridized by Handy; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2002

Synonym:Fothergilla gardenii x major
Synonym:Fothergilla major

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

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4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Feb 21, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Few plants have such vividly glaucous blue foliage. Unlike F. 'Blue Mist', it colors vividly in the fall. Easy to root like its parent 'Mt. Airy'.

This is a hybrid F. x intermedia and not F. gardenii, and has the greater adaptability of the hybrid.

US PP # 15,490 2005.

Positive rkwright85 On May 20, 2014, rkwright85 from Horton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have two of these planted on opposite sides of my paperbark maple and it's a great combination, especially in the Fall. One of my favorite shrubs because the blue leaves are so cool looking. The one problem I have noticed are reversion shoots, most of the time it isn't too bad of a problem but I've had to cut off a lot of green shoots too. The leaves start green but become blue as they mature. The only other problem I've had is they're hard to find, I've had to mail order them from across the country.

Positive Treadwell On Dec 8, 2007, Treadwell from Westport, CT wrote:

Leaves are glaucous blue-green, water beads beautifully after a rain. Prefers moist soil. Slow growing to 5ft. in 10 years. White flowers appear in mid spring and have a mild honey like scent. Fall foliage is superb yellow to bright orange-red and lasting late into fall.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 29, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant is a branch sport of Mike Dirr's strong growing selection Fothergilla major Mount Airy.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Westport, Connecticut
Plainfield, Illinois
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Cleveland, Mississippi
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (2 reports)
Lexington, Virginia

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