Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Pink Cloud'
Common Name: beautybush
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Best flowering is in full sun. Diminished flowering, often accompanied with a more arching-spreading habit, occurs in part shade. Prune out dead wood as needed. Shrub stems tend to become dense and overgrown after several years, in which case thinning stems or cutting back all stems to the ground may be advisable. Hard prunings to the ground may be performed in late winter or immediately after flowering. Plants bloom on old wood, so hard pruning in late winter will result in loss of bloom for the season, but plant stems will grow taller during the season. Plants grown from seed show variable flower color.

Noteworthy Characteristics

As a member of the honeysuckle family, beautybush is closely related to Weigela and Diervilla. It is primarily grown for its outstanding spring flowers. It is a suckering, deciduous shrub that typically grows 6-10’ tall with an arching, vase-shaped habit. Bell-shaped pink flowers with yellow throats appear in clusters (corymbs to 3” wide) in a profuse mid-spring bloom (late April to early May in St. Louis). ‘Pink Cloud’ was selected in 1946 at the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Wisley south of London in Surry. It is a more floriferous form featuring clear pink blooms that are slightly larger than those of the species. Flowers are followed by capsule-like fruits that usually persist on the plants. Broad-ovate dark green leaves (to 3” long) turn an undistinguished yellow in fall. Exfoliating bark on mature stems provides some winter interest. Genus name honors Richard Kolkwitz, 20th century German botany professor.

Problems

No significant insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

May be massed or grown as a screen or hedge on larger properties. Marginally ornamental for use as a specimen in lawns, shrub borders or foundations.