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Kolkwitzia Amabilis Beauty Bush
Kolkwitzia Amabilis, otherwise known as Beauty Bush, is a lovely spring-flowering shrub which can be used as a hedging plant or as part of a mixed border to great success. Native to Central China, this arching deciduous shrub produces clusters of pink flowers with yellow throats in late spring and early summer. The dark-green leaves turn yellow in the autumn, and after they drop the peeling bark on the stems adds some winter interest to the landscape. Its dense, twiggy growth creates an effective screen.
Hardy even in severe winters throughout most of the UK, Kolkwitzia amabilis will grow to a height of 1.5-2.5 metres with a spread of 2.5-4 metres over a period of 5 to 10 years.
Beauty Bush responds well to severe prunings. You can cut a third of the stems back to the root after the shrub is finished flowering in early summer, which will ensure a good show of flowers the next year. If it is severely overgrown, you can cut the entire shrub to the ground in late winter. Since Kolkwitzia Amabilis flowers on old wood, you will go without blooms for a year, but the roots will put out strong new shoots which will quickly reach a good height and ensure a good show the following spring.
You can plant Kolkwitzia Amabilis in any location, sheltered or exposed, in full sun or partial shade. It will tolerate any well-drained soil type and ph. It is usually pest and disease-free. Plant 2-3 metres apart.
Beauty Bush makes an excellent hedging plant, with its dense growth providing privacy in your garden. Its spring flowers will provide a lovely show, while the reliable summer foliage creates a pleasant backdrop for more showy summer plants. Its arching fountain form is best suited to an informal cottage garden.
On a larger property beauty Bush can be used in a mass planting on a hillside or in an area where a ground cover is desired. One of its advantages is that it is not attractive to deer. When choosing a spot to plant Kolkwitzia amabilis, bear in mind that it does have a tendency to spread by suckers. It is probably best surrounded by a lawn where the suckers can be kept mowed down, or in a location where its spreading habit will not be a problem.
Kolkwitzia amabilis is an excellent choice as a hedging or screening shrub in an informal setting or as a landscaping plant, with its beautiful spring flowers and arching fountain shape adding to the beauty of your garden!
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