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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Kolkwitzia amabilis, Woody plant propagation

How do I propagate Kolkwitzia amabilis?


There are a couple of methods of propagating Kolkwitzia amabilis. Fine Gardening says to take greenwood cuttings in late spring or early summer, or remove suckers in spring.

The American Horticultural Society's Plant Propagation, edited by Alan Toogood (DK Publishing, 1999) says to take softwood and greenwood cuttings in late spring or early summer. Kolkwitzia amabilis is known to root easily from cuttings, and the new plants should flower in three years. The cuttings should be "two internodes or about 3 inches long; avoid thick, pithy water shoots and look out for tips distorted by aphids. Root semi-ripe cuttings in a tray or directly in pots. Rooting takes 4-6 weeks."

Date 2018-06-14
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Dipelta floribunda, Plant identification, Kolkwitzia amabilis

I'm ready to call it quits...ia! How can I tell the difference between Weigela, Dipelta, and Kolkwitzia?


All three of these opposite-leaved shrubs are in the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliceae. However, some taxonomists split Kolkwitzia and Dipelta (along with Abelia and Linnaea) into Linnaeaceae, while Weigela joins Diervilla in Diervillaceae.

Although spring is the time when most plant lovers notice these flowering shrubs, it is easier to tell them apart when they develop dry fruit. Dipelta floribunda and Kolkwitzia amabilis produce achenes (dry, single-seeded fruits that do not split open), whereas Weigela florida fruits are capsules (clustered together like a tiny bunch of bananas, and developing from green or red to brown as they mature). Dipelta bracts are ornamental, papery, and colorful before they dry to brown. Kolkwitzia bracts are weird-looking, like bristly chicken feet.

If you are eager to know what you are looking at while the shrub is still in flower, it is easy to rule out Dipelta and Kolkwitzia if the flowers are red or yellow, in which case, it's Weigela. Bear in mind that Kolkwitzia and Weigela are common in home gardens, while Dipelta is much less so. Dipelta and Kolkwitzia have pale pink to whitish flowers with markings on the petals; Weigela lacks such markings. Weigela petals also differ from the other two genera in that they are all about the same size (radially symmetrical, or actinomorphic), while in Dipelta and Kolkwitzia, the lower petals are larger than the upper two (that is, bilaterally symmetrical, or zygomorphic). The bristly characteristics of Kolkwitzia that are so notable in the dried fruit are also visible in the white bristles at the flower’s base. The Dipelta flower's base is concealed between a pair of circular bracts. To summarize: Bracts? Dipelta. Bristles? Kolkwitzia.


Date 2018-06-07
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May 31 2018 13:14:08