The right time to cut the Kolkwitzie - with instructions


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The right time to cut the Kolkwitzie - with instructions: time

Kolkwitzie (Kolkwitzia amabilis) is a semi-shrub native to China. The honeysuckle plant is found more and more often in German gardens and many garden friends ask themselves the question, how and when the appropriate cut must be made. Due to the robust nature of the pearly shrub, the cut is important only in later years.

When should you cut the mother-of-pearl bush?

The right time to cut a Kolkwitzie orients itself by the age, the location and the previous care expenditure of the plant. The shrub is called in English "beauty bush", which means "beauty shrub" and refers above all to the natural attractiveness of the plant. It does not need much care and above all no shape cut, as the shrub grows very regularly and does not overpower. Add to this the slow growth of just 20 to 30 centimeters per year.
In the course of its growth, the Kolkwitzie will reach a height and width of three to four meters and thereby grow evenly, without a shape cut would be necessary. A shape cut could even disturb the plant's growth and destroy the desired shape of the shrub. Thereafter, this can only be restored over a rest period of several years, which is a long wait for every gardener.
There are three different types of cut for the mother-of-pearl shrub, which are used at different times and for different purposes. These are:
  • pruning
  • Auslichtungsschnitt
  • rejuvenation pruning

Kolkwitzie - Kolkwitzia - Mother of Pearl Tree - Linnaea amabilis

Please note: the winter hardy species of the shrub is beneficial over other shrubs that have to hibernate outside. Nevertheless, it should be avoided to make one of these cuts before the onset of winter. The branches could suffer from the fresh cut and would freeze to death. This is especially important in young Kolkwitzien in the first three to four years and specimens that grow in pots. These should generally never overwinter outside. Older specimens, however, can survive a rejuvenation cut of the oldest branches even in the fall, and drive out faster in the spring thereafter. Nevertheless, this should be done wisely, especially in colder regions, which have to endure a harsh winter.

Pruning directly after flowering in summer

As with roses and other shrubs, it is advisable to make a cut directly after flowering in the Kolkwitzie. This pruning is done in summer to avoid an early cold snap. The shrub will bloom properly from the beginning of May until the middle of June and after that it should be trimmed slightly to come back with a lot of force in the following year. This is especially important in older plants, as they would otherwise get problems with the expulsion. As with many other shrubs, pruning is important to protect the shoots from being squashed. Above all, the fullness of the flowers, for which the Kolkwitzie is known, benefits at the age of the pruning.

Auslichtungsschnitt the Kolkwitzie every year again

If you want to cut the shrub correctly, you should make a clearing cut every two to three years. In this, more plant material is removed, especially in the area of ​​the lower branches, thus restoring the natural shape of the shrubbery. Over the years, an old Kolkwitzie can drive out quite strong and the Auslichtung is not executed for several years, suffers the vitality of the plant underneath. The Auslichtungsschnitt takes place at the same time as the pruning after flowering.

Apply a rejuvenation incision in an emergency

If the clearing of the plant is neglected, the shrub weakens with the years, which is especially visible on the bare branches. The rejuvenation cut is used instead of the pruning or in April and should only be used in an emergency, when the old plant is no longer healthy. The ornamental shrub needs several years after a rejuvenation cut to renew all the flowers that have been lost due to neglect.

The pruning explained step by step

1. Prepare a secateurs. Depending on the age of the plant, a different pair of scissors is needed. An all-purpose scissors are often enough in the first few years, but with age a stronger variant is needed, as the branches are getting thicker and harder.

2. Consider the Kolkwitzie exactly and which branches have worn flowers. In this shape of the cut only the branches are cut, which were provided with flowers. In a healthy shrub, these are ideally the upper shoots, which are also the youngest.

3. Cut about one third of the length of the shoots. So it is possible for the plant to effectively form new shoots in the spring.This effect is particularly strong if you take great care with it and do not forget any of the shoots.

4. After the cut the old plant material is removed and the shrub is left to itself. Container plants need to be freed from residues and then fertilized.

5. If you live in colder regions, you should prepare the Kolkwitzie for the winter, if you have scheduled the cut later. This is important for specimens in tubs. You either use a winter quarters or dress the pot in mats made of coconut, which protect the root ball from freezing. If the mother-of-pearl shrub is found in the garden, it should not be fertilized after pruning, except on very poor soil. The shrub supplies itself to survive the winter and if the location was chosen correctly, the ornamental shrub unfolds in magnificent form again next year.

The illumination of the mother-of-pearl shrub declared

Kolkwitzie - Kolkwitzia - Mother of Pearl Tree - Linnaea amabilis


1. For the clearing, the perfect time is also every two to three years after flowering, and basically follow the same procedure of pruning.

2. In the illumination section, however, focus especially on the oldest shoots that can be found in the Kolkwitzie. These are usually blunter and less

green as the new shoots. In addition, they hang in close proximity to the ground and are therefore easier to recognize.

3. Now cut back the oldest shoots, which can also be woody, by a full third in length. Depending on your age, you can cut just over one-third of the plant. Go to your eye.

4. Remove shoots that are inward.

5. Cut off shoots that cross each other. Pay particular attention to leaving one of the shoots, so that not too much is cut off and the growth suffers.

6. After clearing, follow the same winter preparations to enable the healthy growth of Kolkwitzie in the new year.

Save old plants with rejuvenation - step by step

1. The rejuvenation cut should be done very thoroughly and usually requires a tough pruning shears that can cut thick and woody branches. So have them ready to begin the cut.

2. The shrub is greatly cut in this cut and edited all around. Cut the individual branches down to the floor. Note: none of the branches or shoots should be longer than the other.

3. After cutting, the old parts of the plant must be thoroughly disposed of to avoid infection or infestation by pests and fungi.

4. It is crucial when this cut is made. The reason for this is the winter preparation, which is essential for the rejuvenation cut and runs just like the other cuts.

What should be considered during the editing?

Kolkwitzie - Kolkwitzia - Mother of Pearl Tree - Linnaea amabilis

The following points on the aesthetics of the Kolkwitzie are important in the cut to preserve the natural beauty that is so characteristic of the ornamental shrub:
  • Cut slowly and thoroughly
  • Watch the shape after each cut
  • Correct the shape according to the growth
  • Cut evenly along the shape
Because the mother-of-pearl shrub has a unique growth that resembles a tunnel, waterfall or veil at the end, you should not dare to make daring cuts. The Kolkwitzie can not be trimmed to a special shape, as the branches hang down over time and develop the characteristic growth. Therefore, it is important to follow the shrub and follow the growth. Never cut too much into the natural shape, otherwise it may happen that the mother-of-pearl shrub looks as if her haircut went awry.
Be sure to note the following during cutting:
  • Leaves roll in
  • Leaves turn sickly in the summer
  • Leaves fall off
  • Leaves turn brown in spring
These signs may either indicate that the shrub has picked up too many soil thawing salts used in winter to combat snow. If this is the case, thoroughly water the shrub to rid the soil of the debris. When is the best time for this? Right after you discover the condition. If watering does not help, you need to go right through and change location or refresh the ground.
Brown leaves in spring are a sign of late frost. Be sure to watch the weather if you want to experience a summer bloom. Despite its frost resistance, frost damage can occur, especially if you have used a rejuvenation cut in the previous year.

What happens to the withered flowers of Kolkwitzie?

Since the ornamental shrub should be cut immediately after flowering, simply remove withered flowers at the same time as the individual shoots. After the cut, remove the green and flowers if they have not completely fallen off the shrub itself.A hint: the Kolkwitzie prepares itself basically for the winter and ideally requires no preparation. But sometimes there are still flowers on the branches, which must be removed precisely for this reason. The shrub is very robust, but old and dead plant parts are a welcome feast for pests and fungi.

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