|How to grow witch hazel from seed|
The Witch hazel, Hamamelis species and cultivar, is a popular deciduous garden plant noted for its unusual winter blooms. Most species are associated with North America, however there are two further lesser-known species, one in Japan the other in China.
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The 'Witch' in witch-hazel is a derivative of the Old English word 'wice' which means pliant or bendable. The hazel' part is simply due to the foliage looking similar to that of the native European hazel - Corylus species.
Witch hazel seeds are easy to collect during the early autumn. Be aware that the seed pods do have a habit of explosively shooting out their seeds so it is easier to collect unopened capsules and bring them into a warm, dry place inside a fine mesh bag. Once the seeds are released they are best sown immediately.
Freshly collected seeds will have a high germination rate and can be expected to emerge after about 18 months to two years. Packaged seeds will not only have a lower germination rate but will also take longer to germinate.
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As the seedlings emerged they can be removed for the cold frame and positioned in a sheltered out of direct sunlight. They can then be hardened off for a couple of weeks before placing in full sun and potted on as necessary