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Plant Profile: Mountain Witch Alder

Updated: Mar 24

Plant Profile Quick Facts about the Mountain Witch Alder

Mountain Witch Alder, also known as Fothergilla major, is a stunning shrub that deserves a place in every garden. This deciduous plant is native to the southeastern United States and is loved for its unique and eye-catching appearance. It has a USDA hardiness zone range of 5a - 8a, making it suitable for planting in the Groton area.


Mountain Witch Alder is named for its beautiful witch hazel-like flowers that bloom in early spring before the leaves emerge. These fluffy white blossoms are delightfully fragrant and attract bees and other pollinators to the garden. It also attracts birds to its semi-dense shape, serving as a good hiding and resting spot.  The foliage of Mountain Witch Alder is equally striking, with a vibrant green color that turns brilliant shades of orange, red, and purple in the fall.


This shrub typically grows to a height of 3 to 6 feet, with a spread of 3 to 5 feet, making it a perfect choice for adding interest and structure to landscape designs. Mountain Witch Alder is easy to care for and thrives in moist, well-drained soil in full to partial sun. It is also relatively low maintenance, requiring only occasional pruning to maintain its shape. The shrub may spread by root suckers to form colonies if suckers are not removed.


Whether planted as a focal point in a mixed border or used as a hedge or screening plant, Mountain Witch Alder is sure to attract attention and admiration. With its stunning and delicately scented flowers, vibrant foliage, and easy-care requirements, this shrub is a must-have for any garden enthusiast looking to add a touch of beauty and charm to their outdoor space.


Small Mountain Witch Alder plants will be available for purchase at the Groton Garden Club Plant Sale on May 11th, from 9 am to Noon at the Legion Common.

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Thank you for this interesting article about a shrub I knew nothing about. Now I need to find a place to plant this beauty!!

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