How to Grow Corylopsis — Winter Hazel

Winter hazel, Corylopsis spicata
Winter hazel, Corylopsis spicata

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

  • 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

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

When to Plant Corylopsis

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

Planting and Spacing Corylopsis

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

How to Water and Feed Corylopsis

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


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

Corylopsis Pests and Diseases

  • Corylopsis is usually not bothered by pests or disease.

Corylopsis Propagation

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

Corylopsis 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.

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