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Beauty bush

The beauty bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis) is a shrub with overhanging branches and Perlmuttstrauch Rosea Lubera
a bushy habit. It grows two to three metres high in the garden. In May and June, the pink flowers of Kolkwitzia amabilis open in dense clusters. They excude a sweetish smell at the end of the spring and the flowers are often visited by bees and bumblebees. Thus, the beauty bush, with its flowering splendour in late spring, is a valuable ornamental shrub for shrub borders, for semi-natural gardens with mixed woody hedges, and it can be used as solitary plant in the lawn or as a background for rose beds. Kolkwitzia amabilis tolerates dryness and city air and it can also be planted as a privacy screen on a busy street. It is an easy to care for shrub for every garden.

The Best Varieties

The wild form of the common beauty bush, Kolkwitzia amabilis, grows to a height of two to three metres. It has overhanging branches, which display bright pink flowers in May and June. The flowers have a pearlescent shimmer, hence the name that is sometimes used, mother-of-pearl bush. The variety Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Rosea' has slightly larger and more pink blooming flowers than the ordinary Kolkwitzia amabilis. The variety Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Pink Cloud' remains a little smaller, with the shrub reaching about two metres high and wide in the garden. Their flowers shine and shimmer in late spring in an intense pink colour. Their overhanging shoots are close to the shrub and develop a beautiful growth shape. This beauty bush fits well in a garden combined with roses. In August and September, small capsules with spines form on all Kolkwitzia amabilis, which is why the shrub is also called "hedgehog fruit" in China.

   
 
Beauty Bush

Kolkwitzia amabilis

From £19.40 *

Beauty Bush 'Pink Cloud'

Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Pink Cloud' with fragrant, pink flowers

£21.40 *

Beauty Bush 'Rosea'

Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Rosea' - a rich-flowering shrub

From £19.40 *

   
 
Beauty bush Lubera

The Best Location

The beauty bush originally comes from temperate climatic regions of China, where the plants grow in cool forests, on mountain slopes, but also along roads. It belongs to the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliacea). Thus the plant prefers a location in the garden in full sun, but it can also thrive in partial shade. It grows very well in normal garden soil. This shrub likes a rather warm location with little wind and rain. It tolerates drought very well; too much moisture is not good for it. If the location is too cold in the garden, the flowers may be damaged by late frosts. The beauty bush is very frost hardy and city climate-proof. Dirty air does not bother it, so it can be planted next to a busy road. It also tolerates dryness well and can survive even longer dry periods in the summer unscathed. The growth of this shrub is expansive, so enough distance to walls and to the property boundary should be planned.

Planting

In order for Kolkwitzia amabilis to grow robust and healthy in the garden, it must be planted properly and with a little care. First, a planting hole should be dug that is about twice as large as the root ball of the newly purchased beauty bush. Loosen the soil well. Then remove the shrub from the container. The roots must now be torn open and loosened. Only then should they be planted in the hole, where they are fanned out so that they can grow in all directions. Fill the hole carefully with soil. Finally, water the freshly planted shrub. It should still occasionally be watered during dry weather. As soon as the young plant has taken root, it gets through even a hot summer well.

Care and Pruning

After about four years, a young beauty bush shows its elegant hanging growth in all its splendour. To preserve this beautiful appearance in the long term, it should be regularly rejuvenated starting in the fifth year, which means it needs to be pruned properly. After flowering in late spring, cut some of the older branches from the interior of the shrub to the ground. This cutting prevents the shrub from overgrowing and helps the plant retain its beautiful growth. In addition, the amount of flowers will significantly increas due to this rejuvenation cut. The other shoots should not be shortened. They are supposed to grow overhanging so that the Kolkwitzia can develop its typical growth in the garden.

A too-large Kolkwitzia can be cut back to ground level when necessary. It will then grow back smaller. However, it will not bloom in the next year after this radical cut.

Pests and Diseases

This plant is robust and healthy. It grows about 30 centimetres per year. Normally it is hardly affected by pests or prone to illness. Over the years, the bark becomes scaly and flakes off. This is not a disease, but the normal appearance of the older branches. The leaves are hairy and ovate and about 9 centimetres long. In autumn, they turn orange-red and brown before they fall off.

Propagation

Kolkwotiza amabilis can be easily propagated by cuttings or layering. In the spring, cut short spring shoots that are only about 15 centimetres long and place them 3/4 into the ground. The new plants are then rooted directly in place in the garden. Or, in the late spring after flowering, you can take semi-woody cuttings and root them in pots with potting soil. Layering in the garden is also quite easy. For this purpose, pin down a shoot that is close to the ground with a wire loop and covered it with some soil. Once it has formed roots, it can be cut off and planted separately. What in contrast works badly is the propagation of new plants from seeds.

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