Witch Hazel Growth Rate  – Can We Call It Fast Growing?

This medicinal spidery flower tree grows at a moderate growth rate

Jackie Bale/Jacky Parker Photography/Westend61/Friedhelm Adam/gettyimages


Witch hazel is a beautiful landscape plant with fragrant and colorful flowers appearing in winter. It is resistant to most diseases and pests and demands almost negligible maintenance. Native to North America, Japan, and China, they have a medium growth rate, but how fast does witch hazel grow in exact terms depends on the conditions you expose it to.


What is Witch Hazel – Just Some Unique Flower or More?

Witch hazel is not just another spidery flower tree, it comes with so many medicinal properties. From using it as an astringent people often use it to calm down inflammation, itching and more.


Its flowers add color to the garden across the year within the USDA hardiness zones three through nine with its attractive yellow flowers and spectacular autumn foliage. Its native varieties are hardy, but most hybrid species thrive between USDA hardiness zones five through eight.


You can grow it from the seed, which may take about one to two years to sprout. But, ideally, what is the growth rate for witch hazel from there onwards? Continue reading to find out.


How Fast Does Witch Hazel Grow?

Witch Hazel Grow


Almost all witch hazel plants have a moderate growth rate, growing between twelve to twenty four inches per season till they achieve a mature height of between fifteen to thirty feet.


But, there are only a few ideally planted shrubs with an excellent witch hazel growth rate of 24”, rest most of them grow between 6-12” only. These can produce twenty-four inches of growth seasonally.


Some problems can impede the witch hazel’s growth, such as drought stress that slows down the growth in inland, dry, and hot climates if the shrub does not get supplemental water or improperly sites in the summer months.


Fortunately, witch hazels can grow in different conditions provided you plant them in moist soil and bright sun, with light levels going from light shade to full exposure. The plant does not appreciate heavy shade because it slows down the witch hazel tree growth rate, resulting in less autumn foliage and a leggier form.


The soil must be moderately alkaline to acidic and have good moisture retention with good drainage, but its composition can go from clay to humus.


The plant does not need heavy care or upkeep if it gets the necessary supplemental water during the summer. However, light pruning to eliminate the dead or spindly growth elevates its appearance. If all these conditions are right, how fast do witch hazel trees grow?


If grown from seeds, a well-cared-for and properly sited witch hazel will reach its flowering stage in about six years.


Witch Hazel Tree Height – How Tall Do They Get?

With its medium growth rate, witch hazel varieties can grow between 12 and 24 inches. Upon maturity, the average witch hazel is between 15 and 30 feet, with a 15 to 25 feet spread. Given the witch hazel tree growth rate, you must select its planting space cautiously, as common witch hazel can grow as tall as twenty-five feet and nearly as wide.


On the contrary, a small variety, Vernal witch hazel, has a maturing height between six and ten feet. However, you can curtail their height with proper pruning techniques after they finish blooming. But, given the growth rate of witch hazels and the average height, it is best to plant them in large planting areas. They have a slow-growing, shallow root system. Thus, offering them ample space does them good.


How Much Space Does Witch Hazel Need?

How Much Space Does Witch Hazel Need


Typically, most witch hazel varieties are cultivated in the ground. The majority grow in a slightly-rounded, vase-like shape, becoming as wide as tall. We already know the witch hazel growth rate. So, the plant usually adds between one and two feet per year and grows between fifteen to thirty feet with an almost equivalent spread.


Hence, we recommend leaving ample space between the two plants for effortless growth. Thus, botanists recommend growing two plants at least ten to twelve feet apart.


Similarly, if you plant the witch hazel near your house or a structure, ensure the location is at least ten feet away from the building. It lets the plant grow and develop well without inflicting any damage.


Where Does Witch Hazel Grow Best?

Where Does Witch Hazel Grow Best


We have seen how fast does witch hazel grow, but it will only happen if the conditions are favorable. So, witch hazel will thrive in the following conditions:


  1. A spot where it receives partial to full sun, but witch hazel appreciates full sun better. Partial shade is recommended in hotter climates, followed by the intense afternoon sun.
  2. Witch hazel enjoys moist, loamy, and rich soil, but because of its hardy habit, it can adapt to various conditions. The plant can grow in alkaline and acidic pH levels but prefers neutral to acidic soil more. Nonetheless, the soil must have good drainage and air circulation for a healthy witch hazel growth rate. Adding a mulch layer can also do wonders for the plant as it helps retain moisture in the soil.
  3. Witch hazel loves moisture, but it does not survive in soggy, waterlogged soil. Hence, you must be cautious and not overwater or underwater the plant. When the plant is young, regular watering is beneficial.

However, as the plant establishes, rainfall must cater to the plant’s watering requirements. But, if you live in an area with insufficient rain, you must ensure that the plant does not experience prolonged drought. Thus, feel the topsoil. If it is dry, you must immediately pour water.

  1. One of the standout features of witch hazel is that, unlike the other trees, it flowers in cold winter months. It can tolerate various conditions and can survive ok in USDA hardiness zones three through nine. Thus, both hot and cold climates act as suitable for the plant.
  2. For the plant to grow well, it also demands moderate humidity levels. Dry, arid conditions can be fatal for the plant. On the contrary, excessive moisture can also be a breeding ground for fungal infections like powdery mildew. So, on days when humidity is low, misting the plant can help.
  3. Witch hazel might also have stunted growth if you do not feed it well. Thus, adding compost does not do more than balancing the moisture levels and drainage in the soil. It adds nutrients to the soil, making it loamy and rich, a mandate for the witch hazel. Though witch hazel is not a heavy feeder, providing them with a liquid, well-balanced fertilizer during the summer months can be favorable for growth.


Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1. How long does hazel take to grow?

Ans. You will see the fruit-bearing in approximately four years in witch hazels, but you may have to wait for six to seven years for heavy yields.


Ques 2. Which is the fastest-growing witch hazel?

Ans. Hamamelis virginiana witch hazel growth rate is one of the fastest one. It grows quickly and reaches a 30’ height.


Ques 3. What is Arnold Promise Witch Hazel’s growth rate?

Ans. Arnold Promise has an average growth rate, and the plant tends to take several years to get 15 feet tall. They do the best if planted in fall, but they can also do ok with a summer or spring plantation, provided you water deeply and frequently.


Ques 4. Which is the slowest-growing witch hazel?

Ans. Chinese Witch Hazel is a slow-growing, small, deciduous tree that can get 20 feet tall with an equivalent spread. However, in most environments, it is between 10 and 15 feet.


Summing Up…

Even though witch hazel has a moderate growth rate, its plethora of medicinal and environmental benefits make them a valuable addition to any landscape.