Kolkwitzia Bark

Unpruned Kolkwitzia stems
Kolkwitzia bark, pruned

One feature of shrubs often overlooked is their attractive bark, particularly in winter and someting to exhibit if the flowering season of the shrub is short.

Pruning can be adapted to show this feature to best effect.

Renovating a neglected Kolkwitzia

A neglected Kolkwitzia - the Beauty Bush
Kolkwitzia - after renovation

Kolkwitzia, the Beauty Bush is an early summer flowering shrub, bearing masses of small pale pink, foxglove type flowers on arching stems of attractive pale, silvery peeling bark.

If left to its own devices, or (as often happens) just clipped over, it will develop into a thicket of tangled unsightly twigs, though a decent flower show should continue.

To get the best from the shrub, which includes exhibiting its attractive bark characteristics annual pruning helps. This would routinely be carried out after flowering but here, in late winter, you can carry out renovation (dead-wooding, thinning etc.) without removing too much flowering wood.

In time replacement shoots from the base, or a higher permanent framework, can be encouraged.