How to Grow Kolkwitzia – Beautybush

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Kolkwitzia is a deciduous shrub known as beautybush. It bears clusters of pink bell-shaped flowers in mid-to-late spring.

Kolkwitzia is a member of the honeysuckle family. It has an arching habit similar to forsythia. It can grow to 10 feet tall and just as wide or wider but is a relatively slow grower. It requires plenty of room when placed in a shrub border.

Kolkwitzia can grow ragged but is easily renewed if pruned back after bloom time.

Kolkwitzia amabilis
Beautybush, Kolkwitzia amabilis

Get to know Kolkwitzia

  • Plant type: Deciduous shrub
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 4 to 8
  • Hardiness: Loses leaves in winter
  • Height and width: 6 to 10 feet (1.8-3m) tall and just as wide or slightly wider.
  • Foliage: Gray-green leaves to 3 inches long sometimes turn reddish in autumn; brown, flaky bark gradually peels from stems during winter.
  • Flowers: Clusters of small, yellow-throated pin flowers; flowers are followed by pinkish-brown, bristly fruit
  • Bloom time: Mid- to late spring
  • Uses: Shrub border; Kolkwitzia can become rangy and ragged so it is best grouped with other shrubs
  • Common name: Beauty bush
  • Botanical name: Kolkwitzia
  • Family name: Caprifoliaceae
  • Origin: China

Where to plant Kolkwitzia

  • Plant Kolkwitzia in full sun.
  • Kokwitzia grows well in average garden soil, loamy well-drained soil is best.

When to plant Kolkwitzia

  • Set container-grown plants in the garden in spring or fall.
  • Root Kolkwitzia suckers in spring.
Pink flowers of Kolkwitzia amabilis, common name Beautybush

Planting and spacing Kolkwitzia

  • Space Kolkwitzia 3 to 5 feet (.9-1.5m) apart.

How to water and feed Kolkwitzia

  • Keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Fertilize Kolkwitzia with an all-purpose, organic fertilizer in spring.

Kolkwitzia care

  • Flowers are borne on wood formed the previous year; thin out the oldest stems after blossoms fade.
  • Prune lightly in early spring; plants can be renewed by cutting stems to the ground after bloom.

Kolkwitzia pests and diseases

  • Kolkwitzia is usually disease and pest free.
 Kolkwitzia amabilis
Kolkwitzia amabilis

Kolkwitzia propagation

  • Take semi-ripe cutting in early to mid-summer.
  • Kolkwitzia freely produced from rooted suckers; root suckers in spring for best results.

Kolkwitzia varieties to grow

  • Kolkwitzia amabilis, beautybush: Deciduous shrub with erect and arching habit can grow 6 to 10 feet tall and spread wider if given space; dull green leaves may turn slightly yellow or red in fall; flowers are flaring oink bells with yellow throats.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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