Type of Plant: A large growing shrub for sun or part-shade that’s hardy in zones 5 to 9.
Why I love this: ‘Arnold Promise’ is a vigorous, easy care shrub that flowers while the snow is still on the ground. The plant naturally grows into a graceful vase-like shape. In mild winters ‘Arnold Promise’ comes into bloom sometime between late-January and early March, depending on it’s location. In sheltered areas it flowers earlier, and in exposed locations a bit later. In cold winters, expect a later bloom.
A Word to the Wise: Arnold Promise is usually grafted onto the roots of Hamamelis virginiana so be on the lookout for suckers or very tall, straight shoots that come from below the graft. Cut those off asap or they will overwhelm the plant.
Be sure to place this witch hazel where it can grow large, as well. They grow 12 to 15 feet tall, and although you can prune them a bit every year, fighting their size with annual shearing will turn them into a green meatball instead of the lovely plant they truly are.
Interested in other witch hazels? Check out this article from the Chicago Botanic Garden. It talks about the plants that grow in the CBG, and includes a diagram from Christopher Lane’s book on the plant that shows the various forms that witch hazel varieties can produce.