Hamamelis: description, varieties, cultivation and care conditions
What is witch hazel
The most common spring witch hazel bushes are found on the American continent and in eastern Asia. Here they have long and successfully grown in gardens and parks. You can see it in some places of the Caucasus.
The people name hamamelis as a magic nut, witch nut, witch hazel. All these nicknames were given to the bush in connection with the external resemblance to a nut (hazel) and very flowering periods that were very unusual for plants.
Witch hazel looks like this:
- The crown of the bush is very spreading. In height, it can reach 5-6 m, in width 5-5.5 m.
- Petals are long (up to 10 mm), yellow. Some varieties of witch hazel have a different color.
- Cups of flowers are dark red.
Adult witch hazel
- The general view of the witch hazel flower in the photo is very similar to a fringe gathered in a bunch.
- The leaves are oval, wide, rough to the touch. They are very similar to walnut leaf blades.
- The fruits of the bush are boxes with interesting "horns." Their maturation occurs within six months or more.
Attention! Witch hazel stands out by one interesting property - the petals of its flowers curl in cold weather.
Spring witch hazel blooms 5-7 years after planting. The buds on it can be seen in late April, when the leaves on the bush have not yet blossomed. After 5 months (in September-October), small green fruits appear.
Witch hazel grows very slowly (10-20 cm per year). With prolonged exposure to severe frosts in bushes growing in the open ground, shoots can be damaged.
Hamamelis: types and varietal features
There are 4 main types of ornamental shrubs:
Witch hazel. It blooms in October, winter-hardy, yellow flowers in an orange frame. The natural habitat is the eastern regions of North America.
Hamamelis spring. In the middle zone, it pleases with flowering in April, in a warmer climate - in late February. Homeland growth - southern US states. Moderately winter-hardy. In the botanical gardens, they cultivate Sandra with purple leaves, Purpurea with burgundy inflorescences, Autumn Embers with rather faded flowers.
Hamamelis is soft. This shrub is less winter-hardy, therefore, it requires mandatory shelter for the winter. The natural habitat of the plant is the western and central parts of China. Hamamelis blooms soft in early spring with lemon-yellow inflorescences. Among the varieties of plants are distinguished: Wisley Supreme, Goldcrest, colorful Imperialis Jermyns Gold.
Hamamelis is Japanese. Attractive view of the bright inflorescences of saffron hue on a ruby base. Through the efforts of breeders, interspecific hybrids of a luxurious shrub have been bred. They are characterized by increased winter hardiness, giving gardeners hope for the possibility of cultivation in a temperate climate.
Among hybrids, varieties are distinguished:
- with lemon flowers: Arnold Promis, Angelly (a very small shrub), Aurora (with long curved petals), Ripe Corn, bright Barmstedt Gold;
- with flowers of a shade of a sunset: Orange Beauty, Aphrodite, Harry (small bush), Frederic;
- with flowers of a burgundy palette: Diane, saturated Rubin, Livia (the darkest color turning into wine).
Useful properties of witch hazel
For medical and cosmetic purposes, an extract is obtained from the bark of the leaves of witch hazel. It is part of various medications and care products. It has the following useful properties:
- Anti-inflammatory and wound healing effect - sufficiently pronounced that witch hazel is used not only for skin care, but also for the treatment of skin diseases: eczema, urticaria, dermatitis, purulent acne, irritations, including chemical burns;
- Astringent action normalizes the work of the sebaceous glands, narrows the pores. Witch hazel extract regulates the pH of kazhi, restoring water and fat balance;
- The same quality leads to another useful property - to remove swelling. In the composition of healing creams, witch hazel eliminates bruises under the eyes, morning puffiness. In medicine, plant extract stimulates lymphatic drainage, especially from tissues around large vessels. Preparations with witch hazel prevent the development of varicose veins;
- Compositions based on it have a local disinfecting effect. Ointments treat wounds, acne, scratches in order to prevent infection and suppuration;
- Winter flower has an antioxidant effect.
Witch hazel extremely rarely causes an allergic reaction. Means are safe with him.
Ways to use witch hazel
For medical and cosmetic purposes, plants receive extract from bark and leaves, from witch hazel flowers.
However, in such a concentrated form it is not used. The extract is part of a variety of therapeutic agents:
- Ointment, gel or cream - refers to the medical form. 1 g of ointment contains 100 mg of extract. The basis of the cream is petroleum jelly. The application is diverse: dermatitis, insect bites, rosacea, diaper rash, burns, wounds;
- Suppositories - in a suppository of 57 mg. The base is hard fat. This form is used to treat hemorrhoids, as well as to stop intrauterine or hemorrhoidal bleeding;
- The extract, or rather, tincture - contains up to 4% of the concentrated extract. Includes essential oils of arnica, ivy, hops. Tincture is used in the form of compresses and rubbing. Helps with dermatitis, emphysema, bruises, hematomas. The drug is prescribed for migraines: oil is applied to the temples and the back of the head;
- Napkins or patches are impregnated with infusion of witch hazel in the composition of the oil extract of clover, cloves, linden. Apply as an application. Napkins are applied to the affected areas of the skin, as well as to the anus with hemorrhoids;
- Granules - matrix tincture on sucrose. It is prescribed for varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, inflammation of the ovaries and hemorrhoids.
At home, decoctions and infusions are prepared from bark and leaves. The concentration of nutrients in them is lower, but their healing properties are also significant.
In any form, witch hazel is used only externally.
How to use witch hazel in cosmetology
For these purposes, the plant extract is released in gelatin capsules, in the form of a dry extract and as part of a wide variety of products: lotions, shampoos, creams, emulsions, and more. A series of cosmetic preparations containing extract and oil are produced.
Apply creams, ointments and lotions in accordance with the task at hand and taking into account the concentration. So, for the treatment of purulent acne, an ointment with a high content of extract is required, and a cream with a small concentration of the active substance is suitable for narrowing the pores.
Use creams, shampoos and gels for the following purposes:
- Reducing skin pores, removing excess oil. Normalization of the sebaceous glands - tannins contained in witch hazel provide these properties;
- Reduced puffiness - the cream helps to get rid of not only bruises and bags under the eyes, but also from more serious swelling on the legs, even with varicose veins;
- Hamamelis essential oils stimulate epidermal renewal and promote collagen production. The effect of anti-aging creams is based on this;
- Normalization of water and fat balance - drugs restore normal skin acidity and regulate sebum production. This is relevant for owners of oily and normal skin with a lack of moisture;
- Lotions and ointments for the treatment of purulent acne, eczema, psoriasis are of intermediate importance between caring and medicinal products;
- As part of shampoos, oil allows you to get rid of seborrhea, both dry and wet.
Witch hazel products are designed to care for mature skin. At a young age, only formulations are used to treat acne and seborrhea.
Application in traditional medicine
Traditional medicine offers many recipes based on decoctions and infusions of witch hazel. They are also used as pharmaceuticals: for the treatment of skin diseases, varicose veins, hemorrhoids.
To get rid of dermatitis and neurodermatitis, 5 ml of witch hazel oil extract and 100 ml of olive oil are combined. The composition is applied to the affected skin and can withstand up to 6-8 hours.
With stomatitis and periodontal disease, 2 tablespoons of crushed bark is poured into 1 liter of water and boiled over low heat for 15 minutes. The liquid is filtered and rinsed with its mouth 5-6 times a day.
To get rid of rosacea, 2 tablespoons of witch hazel pour 1/2 liter of water and simmer in a water bath for 7-10 minutes. The broth is cooled, filtered, moistened with cotton swabs or napkins in it and wiped the skin. You can use the broth as a compress.
The same composition is used to treat hemorrhoidal cones. The broth is moistened with a napkin and laid on cones for the night.
The following remedy helps with varicose veins: a tablespoon of witch hazel bark is poured with a glass of boiling water, boiled for 20 minutes and left in a thermos for 1 hour. The broth is cooled, filtered and moistened with a napkin.
The application is kept in areas with varicose thickening for at least 1 hour. The compress is repeated in the morning and evening.
Among folk recipes, there are compounds intended for oral use. Such recommendations should be treated with a high degree of skepticism. In addition to tannins, witch hazel preparations do not contain compounds that are useful when taken orally.
First steps after purchase
It is recommended to purchase one-year-old seedlings with a closed root system. The older the plant, the more painful it tolerates transportation and takes root worse.
The dimensions of the landing pit should be twice as large as an earthen coma, it is also necessary to take care of the drainage layer and to fertilize the depleted soil. Before planting, the caked roots should be straightened. When deepening, it is important to leave the root neck just above the soil level.
The planted plant is watered abundantly. It is advisable to cover the near-stem circle with a 5–7-cm layer of mulch - overripe foliage or peat.
Care for witch hazel and exot propagation
Witch hazel can not be called a whimsical plant, however, in order for the culture to feel good, some care rules should be observed.
- Watering is necessary when the soil around is dry. During dry periods, the shrub is very depleted, so it is advisable to irrigate the entire crown in the morning and evening.
- Periodically, it is required to loosen the earth at the roots of witch hazel.
- Shrub pruning is necessary in case of severe thickening of the crown. Branches growing in the wrong direction are advised to cut into a ring already in two-year-old seedlings. In the spring, sanitary pruning should be arranged, while removing frozen shoots.
- Up to 5 years, the plant should provide shelter for the winter. To do this, cover the earth around the trunk with hay or a thick layer of compost. A similar procedure will protect the roots from freezing.
Due to the slow growth, the first buds can form on the plant after 5, or even 10 years. Only then can the bush truly demonstrate its beauty.
Cultivation and reproduction
When planting witch hazel choose an open place, or shaded by the crowns of large trees. Requires light, preferably fertile soil with good moisture and drainage. In the dry summer period, it needs irrigation. Hamamelis does not need special pruning.
Hamamelis is propagated with freshly harvested seeds; cold stratification is needed. Seeds are sown in October - November in boxes that are well covered with sawdust or spruce branches. Boxes with seeds are kept in winter at a temperature of + 2 + 5 ° С in a cold greenhouse, or they are buried in snow. Shoots appear in the spring, but only a year after sowing. In a small amount, planting material can be obtained by propagating by horizontal and air layering, the rooting of which occurs only in the second year. Hamamelis varieties can be grafted onto seedlings of this species.
The best place for growing witch hazel is well-lit areas or light partial shade. The plant does not tolerate planting in the hot sun, where the soil dries in summer. During the hot summer, it is advisable to protect the roots from overheating.
The soil should be selected fertile, drained, at the same time non-drying. Soil should evenly absorb moisture, optimally distributing it between the roots. Acceptable option for witch hazel - loamy soil enriched with humus.
Periodically, the bush should be fed with complex fertilizer. Accurate formative pruning of witch hazel is necessary only in the first years of growth.
Witch hazel can be grown as a tapeworm or as part of a group. It is very important to give each plant enough free space. It is also required to choose a site that is protected from the winds.
These representatives of the flora do not get along too well with their neighbors. They cannot resist plants with a more powerful root system. The best companions for the Hamamelis are bulbous.
Reproduction of the plant is a rather complicated process. Seeds need annual stratification. Germination takes as much time. Germination is about 10%, and seedlings bloom only for 7 years.
It is also possible to cut green cuttings in spring. The segments after treatment with the root stimulant are placed in a substrate with the addition of perlite. Cover with polyethylene, placed in a well-lit place and provide bottom heating. Periodically ventilate and gently moisturize. After 2–2.5 months, carefully transplanted into a container with compost. After a year, landing in open ground is permissible.
How to propagate witch hazel
The decorative shrub is propagated by seeds and cuttings. Hybrid forms do not lose their properties only when using the second option.
Cuttings occur as follows:
- In mid-summer, cuttings are harvested. For this, shoot tops with 3-4 internodes are suitable.
- For several hours, the material is immersed in a root formation stimulator.
- At an angle of 45 °, the cuttings are inserted into a loose and nutritious substrate.
- Humidify from a spray bottle.
- Covered with film and arranged in a warm, but not hot, shaded place.
- After 4-6 weeks, roots appear.
Witch hazel seeds are harvested in September-November and immediately begin to sow. Crates with crops are arranged for a cool wintering in a room where the temperature does not drop below + 2 ° C.
Seed germination can be expected only in the second year in early spring. Shoots are very tender and require special care. For a year, seedlings rise by 20 cm, no more.
Witch hazel can be called a valuable plant. It is used in medicine and cosmetology. Having planted this exot on the site, lovers acquire not only a beautiful shrub, but also the opportunity to improve their health and improve their appearance.
Collection and storage
Witch hazel bush is grown in gardens and "pharmacy gardens". The plant is extremely unpretentious: it tolerates heat and cold equally well, does not require moisture, grows well on slightly acidic and neutral soils. It does not tolerate calcareous soil. It is better not to plant bushes in the open sun - witch hazel prefers partial shade.
The shrub is a long-lived, it grows very slowly: it reaches 2 m of height in 9 years. Propagated by cuttings, seedlings, seeds. It is better to plant ready-made seedlings from the nursery, as growing with seeds is a long and complicated process.
The leaves of the plant are harvested in September before falling. Dried in dryers at temperatures up to +50 C. Store raw materials in hermetically sealed glass jars for no more than 1 year.
Bark can be removed all year round. It is dried and stored in paper and canvas bags for 1 year.
Hamamelis bark and leaf extract is one of the most famous components of anti-aging and therapeutic cosmetics. Ointments, creams, suppositories are used to treat skin diseases, heal wounds, bites, purulent scratches, treat hemorrhoids, stop uterine bleeding. Decoctions and tinctures of witch hazel, made at home, are used to treat acne, get rid of rosacea, and prevent varicose veins.
Diseases and Pests
Not subject to.
Secrets of Success
Witch hazel grows well in partial shade and in light areas. In the second case, it is necessary to provide additional protection for the surface root system from direct sunlight.
The plant needs constantly moistened, but not flooded soil. Moderate watering should be carried out regularly. It is recommended to mulch the trunk circle.
Hamamelis is fed in the winter and spring. It is advisable to refuse the use of organic fertilizers. Complex minerals fully meet the needs of the plant.
Trimming is not included in the list of required events. As a rule, only damaged and weakened branches are removed. If the owner’s plans include the formation of a bush, then the procedure is recommended immediately after flowering.
When growing Hamamelis, it should be borne in mind that it grows very slowly. The plant reaches two-meter height no earlier than at 8–9 year of life.
Hamamelis is resistant to pest attacks and is not susceptible to disease. However, excess watering rates or accumulation of fluid in the soil results in rotting of the roots and death of the plant. These representatives of the flora respond to a lack of moisture by twisting and dropping foliage.
Even the most seasoned Hamamelis need to be wrapped at a young age for the winter. Frozen shoots of adult plants are recommended to be cut.