Plant of the week- Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’

Yes after a couple of weeks break the plant of the week is back and opening up 2018 with a really special plant indeed and one of my favourites. Hamamelis have been one of my favourite group of plants since I was 18 and caught their scent on a cold January day, then I saw their tiny spider like flowers in such a wide of colours and I was even more hooked, even now 27yrs on, they have never lost their appeal to me.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’ isn’t my favourite of all the witch hazels but it’s close too it and one that has such an adapt name! Every time I see I, I imagine Jamie Oliver with a zester, peeling off line thin lines of orange zest. It is a hybrid between H. Japonica and H. Mollis and this particular form was bred by one of the most famous of Hamamelis breeders, a Dutchman named de Belder. Unlike a lot of the hybrids, it does have a stunning spicy scent, thought to be like marmalade by many. As well as great scented flowers, this is also a good form to grow for autumn colour, with its leaves turning a brilliant orange colour during this time. The name Hamamelis comes from the Greek words, Hama means at the same time and Melon meaning apple or fruit, the earlier flowering autumn forms quite often have the fruits on the branches at the same time as the flowers

It grows ideally in a moisture retentive soil that doesn’t dry out or get too wet, it dislikes Both greatly, almost as much as it dislikes thin chalky soils, it will tolerate alkaline soils as long as they are deep and loamy. That said it is well worth growing in a big container as long as it doesn’t dry out. When planting, it is worth adding lots of organic matter into the soil as well as some Vitax Q4 so the plant gets off to the best start it can. Once growing, it requires very little care, some formative shaping and removal of crossing branches etc is all that is required for the plant to reach its maximum size of around 3mx3m. There are no pests or diseases that target this plant apart from the normal ones like aphids etc and to make matters even better it’s pretty deer proof as well.

It can be seen at various gardens but the RHS at Wisley has a cracking specimen that is looking beautiful at the moment. Again it is stocked by a few nurseries with pan global plants being a good place to start

7 Comments Add yours

  1. John Kingdon says:

    I haven’t heard of this variety before. It now becomes a contender for a space where I want to grow a small tree or large shrub which is fairly open and provides early interest. I’ve more or less decided that one of the front lawns will transmogrify into grass paths around beds, this being the only way I’ll be able to risk looking at your plants of the month. “Week” was a mistype, wasn’t it?.

    1. thomashort says:

      It would be prefect there John 👍 sorry no 🙁🙁🙁🙁😂😂😂😂

    2. thomashort says:

      It would be a very worthy contender John, it’s one of the best of them all I think, personally I think that’s a great idea, you could have the first garden for the plant of the week and what a stunning place that will be indeed 😀👍👍👍 no sorry wasn’t a typo but indeed correct, trouble is a love learning about plants and want to learn more indeed 😀

  2. tonytomeo says:

    We discontinued production of hamamelis because they are unpopular here. People are impressed to see them in bloom, but do not plant them in their own gardens.

    1. thomashort says:

      That’s a great shame 🙁 I think they have grown in popularity the last few years here as more people are taking notice of winter gardens and winter plants 😀

      1. tonytomeo says:

        The weird thing about them is that people love seeing them in other areas, but are unaware that they grow here as well. People think of them as something of the Northwest.

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