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Kolkwitzia - Growing Guide
Growing Kolkwitzia amabilis
Commonly known as the ‘Beauty Bush’
This is a tall growing, extremely floriferous and reliable Chinese shrub. Its flowers resemble those of abelias to which it is related.
K. amabilis grows as a bush eventually to about 12ft high and, if you have room for it, it will eventually achieve a similar spread. The leaves are broadly ovate and abelia-like and the flowers appear in clusters 2-3in across in May and June. They are pale to deep pink and the clusters can quite literally weigh down the twigs and stems almost to the ground.
It is an outstandingly good plant for the shrub border or for growing on a bank where you can admire its flowers from below. It is fine in full sun but is perfectly happy with some shade where it may well not flower quite so heavily.
Pleasingly it will grow on chalk but is perfectly happy with any soil.
The plant produces vigorous suckering young shoots from the base as it gets established. These need caning or supporting to prevent them being snapped off in wind or heavy rain. In more mature clumps it may well be sensible to prune out some of the older stems from time to time to make room for the new suckers which will be even more laden with flowers.
Sometimes suckers can be dug from the base of the plant with roots attached. Otherwise softish cuttings are easy to root with bottom heat.
We offer K. amabilis ‘Pink Cloud’ which we think is the finest form. Strangely it is still not as popular within the nursery trade as its performance in the garden here merits. If you find it getting too big for your border just give it a vigorous ‘haircut’ to keep it in order!