Kolkwitzia_amabilis beautybushThis large bushy deciduous shrub, native to rocky outcrops of mountains in central China, produces an abundance of showy flowers in late spring on long, arching branches. The bell-shaped flowers are pink with yellow throats and are produced in clusters. The dark green leaves are three inches long, simple, opposite, and egg-shaped with pointed tips. The shrub tends to get leggy as it ages but can be rejuvenated by cutting it back to the ground. The charm of the plant lies in its beautiful floral display so it is best at the rear of a shrub border in a large garden where it has room to grow and flower but can gracefully fade into the background when out of bloom. Beautybush transplants easily and tolerates some shade.

Type: Deciduous flowering shrub

Outstanding Feature: Flowers in spring

Form: Upright, arching; fountain-shaped

Growth Rate: Fast

Kolkwitzia amabilis Beautybush flBloom: Clusters of pink flowers with yellow throats in late spring

Size: 6-10’ H x 10-15’ W

Light: Full sun to part shade

Soil: Fertile, well-drained; pH adaptable

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Care: Prune out older stems every year after flowering; resist the temptation to just “give it a haircut” as the arching nature of the bush is very attractive. Cut to the ground to renew when it becomes leggy.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Cuttings from young wood in late spring or early summer; remove and grow suckers.

Outstanding Selections: “Pink Cloud” (deeper pink and larger flowers than species).

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By Karen