How to Grow Corylopsis – Winter Hazel

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Corylopsis-commonly called winter hazel–is a deciduous shrub that bears bell-shaped fragrant yellow flowers borne on pendent racemes in spring before the young leaves emerge. Corylopsis has a spreading habit; it grows from 5 to 15 feet tall and is commonly wider than it is tall. Leaves are pale to dark green.

Corylopsis is a good choice for a woodland garden or in a shrub or mixed border. Planted against a backdrop of evergreens the late winter, early spring blooms will be well displayed.

Corylopsis grows best in partial shade in humus-rich, well-drained soil. Corylopsis should be planted where it is protected from wind.

Corylopsis is a genus of about 10 species of deciduous shrubs and small trees native to woodlands and scrub in the Himalayas, China, and Japan.

Get to know Corylopsis – Winter Hazel

  • Plant type: Deciduous shrub
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 6-9
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 6
  • Height and width: 5 to 12 feet (1.5-4m) tall and 8 to 12 feet (2.5-4m) wide
  • Foliage: Ovate, toothed, pale to dark green leaves
  • Flowers: Pendent racemes of 6-20 bell-shaped fragrant yellow flowers
  • Bloom time: Early spring
  • Uses: Woodland garden, shrub or mixed border
  • Common name: Winter hazel
  • Botanical name: Corylopsis
  • Family name: Hamamelidaceae
  • Origin: Himalayas, China, Japan
Winter hazel, Corylopsis spicata
Winter hazel, Corylopsis spicata

Where to plant Corylopsis – Winter Hazel

  • Plant Corylopsis in partial shade.
  • Grow Corylopsis in humus-rich, acidic, well-drained soil.

When to plant Corylopsis – Winter Hazel

  • Set container-grown Corylopsis in the garden in late spring or autumn.

Planting and spacing Corylopsis – Winter Hazel

  • Space Corylopsis 8 to 12 feet (2.5-4m) apart depending on the variety.

How to water and feed Corylopsis – Winter Hazel

  • Water Corylopsis to keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Fertilize Corylopsis with an all-purpose fertilizer in late spring.

Corylopsis – Winter Hazel care

  • Protect Corylopsis from the wind.
  • Protect Corylopsis from hot sun and late frosts.

Corylopsis – Winter Hazel pests and iseases

  • Corylopsis is usually not bothered by pests or disease.

Corylopsis – Winter Hazel propagation

  • Propagate Corylopsis by layering or softwood cuttings; layer plants in autumn.
  • Sow seeds in containers in an open frame in autumn.

Corylopsis – Winter Hazel varieties to grow

  • Corylopsis glabrescens, fragrant winter hazel. Grows 10 feet tall and wide, open, spreading habit; plae yellow flwoers with sily bracts hand in 1-inch racemes; oval leaves are yellow-green to gold in fall.
  • C. pauciflora, buttercup winter hazel. Grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide; pale yellow flowers; small silky leaves.
  • C. spicata, spike winter hazel. Grows to t feet tall and 10 feet wide; crooked branches; new leaves are purple to pin, eventually turn blue-green; flowers with pink stamens.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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