Hamamelis x Intermedia ‘Diane’
This unusual hybrid Witch Hazel is a cross between Hamamelis japonica and Hamamelis mollis: most of the hybrids bear yellow- or orange-hued flowers, but Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ is thought to be the best red-flowered cultivar available. The hybrids lack the strong fragrance which is so characteristic of the H. mollis parent, but the scent is still pleasant. The spidery, crumpled blooms appear on naked, leafless branches in the depths of Winter, and the plant blooms on through the worst of the weather. An additional quality of this cultivar is the striking colour of the foliage in Autumn: the large, glossy leaves turn to rich gold and red as Autumn progresses. This plant will grow well in a large container, otherwise plant Hamamelis in a terrace bed or keep it pot-grown for three flowering seasons at the most, and replant in the garden thereafter.
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ is fully frost-hardy, but has a limited tolerance of harsh weather if the roots are restricted in a small container.
Grow containerized plants in light shade: plants inmay be planted in a sunny spot, but avoid placing this shrub in a hot, sunny, South-facing border. Position out of cold winds.
Keep the roots of this plant moist at all times: water thoroughly, then again once the surface of thebegins to dry.
This hardy plant needs no additional humidity: if the leaves shrivel, move it out of full sunlight.
Plants in pots should be top-dressed in Spring; no additional liquid feed will be required.
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ should be grown in a good-quality, free-draining, loam-based compost: if possible, select a compost with no added lime. Repot or replant the shrub after a couple of years.
Cut back excessive growth after flowering – has ended in late Spring: otherwise, combine this with the harvest of branches of blossom for use as cut flowers by judicious pruning when the shrub is in flower.
Witch Hazel suffers from no specific pest or disease problems, but poor Autumn colour may occur if the plant is grown in very limey compost or soil.