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
Registered or introduced: 2002
Synonym:Fothergilla gardenii x major
Synonym:Fothergilla major
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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


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

Westport, Connecticut

Plainfield, Illinois

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Cleveland, Mississippi

Morrisville, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (2 reports)

Lexington, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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.