Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) 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)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Red-Orange Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Bloom Time: Late Winter/Early Spring
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds 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) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Propagation Methods: From semi-hardwood 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: Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
On Mar 21, 2012, rkwright85 from Horton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I've had this plant for several years and it has never performed well while Fothergilla and Hamamelis x intermedia have never had problems. It grows fine but the foliage is less attractive than other witch hazels, fall color is a dull yellow and it rarely produces many flowers.
On Mar 16, 2008, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:
Vernal witch hazel is a very tough plant; it is no accident that it hails from the contiguous areas of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, and thus the derivation of its other common name - Ozark witch hazel.
The notes above mention requirement of wet conditions, and this is an indication of where Vernal witch hazel is found in nature along streams. This is not a necessity in the landscape, where this plant will grow in just about anything you might provide.
The flowers are small, and often hidden by persistent old foliage through the winter, but this pales in comparison to the enveloping fragrance this plant provides in late winter when it blooms. You will turn your head when in its presence, and wonder what it is that smells so divine.
Every neighborhood ought to have a couple of these. The persistent leaves serve well as some winter screening; the toughness (including tolerance of wetness) allows use in marginal areas; and the flowers/fragrance at a time when not much else is going on in most landscapes is reason enough to have a Vernal witch hazel in the garden.
On Jan 3, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
This species provides a welcome source of nectar to butterflies and bees that over-winter where it is hardy. Unfortunately it is also very attractive to hungry rabbits and rodents; branches and shoots and roots must be protected during the dormant season.