Skillins Plant Catalog



422 Bath Road
Brunswick, ME 04011


89 Foreside Road
Falmouth, ME 04105


201 Gray Rd (Route 100)
Cumberland, ME 04021


Large Fothergilla

Fothergilla major

Add To My Wish List

print page
Large Fothergilla (Fothergilla major) at Skillins Greenhouse

Large Fothergilla in bloom

Large Fothergilla in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Large Fothergilla (Fothergilla major) at Skillins Greenhouse

Large Fothergilla flowers

Large Fothergilla flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Large Fothergilla (Fothergilla major) at Skillins Greenhouse

Large Fothergilla in fall

Large Fothergilla in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Witch Alder


A large trouble-free landscape shrub; features showy white "bottle-brush" flowers in spring at the ends of the bare branches, spectacular fall colors and a dense, rounded habit of growth, prefers light acidic soils; a truly all-purpose landscape plant

Ornamental Features

Large Fothergilla features showy spikes of fragrant white flowers rising above the foliage in mid spring before the leaves. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The round leaves turn an outstanding scarlet in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Large Fothergilla is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Large Fothergilla is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Large Fothergilla will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Fall Color 
Ornamental Features