Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Beauty Bush
Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Dream Catcher'

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kolkwitzia (kol-KWIT-zee-uh) (Info)
Species: amabilis (a-MAH-bih-liss) (Info)
Cultivar: Dream Catcher
Additional cultivar information: (aka Maradco)

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

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8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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7 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Dec 8, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is a superb foliage plant that grows shorter than the species, with growth more horizontal. I've never seen one over 5' tall.

I haven't seen it bloom, and I'm not sure I care.

The cultivar name is 'Maradco'. "Dream Catcher" is a proprietary trade name.

Dirr says this species is hardy to Z4.

Positive atcps On Jan 12, 2014, atcps from WOODLAWN, TN wrote:

I've had this plant for about 5 years now. At first I had it planted in a dry garden under a cedar and two oaks. Two years ago I moved it out from there as it did not thrive, and put it into a somewhat moister garden on a slight hill in part shade where it gets a few hours of direct sun. The shrub has grown wonderfully these past two years. It did however scorch in the sun. It is about to be moved again to a farm where I'll put it in open shade upon the advice of others in this forum. Such a pretty plant. Mine does get the chartreuse foliage and it stays pretty nice. No blooms yet but perhaps this year since last year was such a good year.

Positive rteets On Aug 6, 2013, rteets from Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have had my Dream Catcher about 5 years now. I will say that just this year it has come into its glory. I had the same experience as many posters before me. It looked like a more sprawling plant without the color I'd hoped and the blooms were pretty much non-existent. This year all that changed. I kept pruning out the branches that were close to the ground and it developed a magnificent vase shape. I took out a tree which gave it more sun and the color improved immensely. Finally, it bloomed! It is stunning. By accident I have some allium "Sensation" planted around it and they bloom at the same time and mimic each others colors. Beautiful. Basically I'd say be patient with this one. It's worth the wait.

Positive cynthisix On Aug 22, 2011, cynthisix from Forest Park, IL wrote:

I planted this bush in the summer of 2010. As I'm a terrible gardener, I did not do much to help it along (no fertilizer, hardly watered beyond rain (zone 6)). It seemed fine until the spring of 2011 when it looked dead. I didn't lose hope though, I cut back the dead branches, fertilized, watered, and mulched my dead little stump and it came back! Now it's about 12" wide and 12" tall with bright yellow foliage. These seem to be tough little guys, just perfect for me. It gets full morning sun and afternoon partial shade. I'm looking forward to watching it grow and maybe even flower one day.

Positive hipgranny63 On Jul 20, 2011, hipgranny63 from Edmonds, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is my. first year with this plant and so far, I'm a little worried that it will spread out too far and not up! I have it against a fence and it's about three feet in diameter, about six inches high and just spread out, on the ground, not at all what I had expected from the tag description. I am thinking of putting it in a container to give it some height. I did see it with a trellis support in the nursery, so maybe I'll try that.

Two years later (spring 2013), I can now say my Beauty Bush is doing very well! It's now about 5 feet tall and wide. I did provide a trellis and climbing structure to help it be more upright as it grew. I have to prune it to keep it in bounds as I don't have a lot of space in my small garden, but it's now flowering for the first time. It fills in the spot against my fence very nicely.

Positive JonthanJ On Jun 9, 2010, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

I got one in a two gallon pot in 2008 and two more in 2009. Today, I bought three more because one of the ones I planted last year is performing splendidly in open shade. The foliage color is wonderful. The deer have been something of a problem. Yes, ongoing growth from older branches is rather horizontal, but as the shrub establishes itself, vigorous new growth comes straight up from the ground. As long as the plant has what it needs, new growth will be very vigorous and colorful.

Neutral Jay3fer On May 4, 2010, Jay3fer from Toronto
Canada wrote:

I like this plant very much for what it is, but it has disappointed me in a few ways for what it is not.
Granted, I started with a VERY small one, and it has continued to grow nicely; we are now into its third year in the garden. However, I mostly bought it because I was intrigued by the gorgeous foliage colours... which I haven't really seen so far. It just seems to leaf out all chartreuse and stay that way.
Don't care much about the flowers, but I haven't seen any of those either. I guess I have to be patient and perhaps all of that will come.
I should also mention that this is a VERY floppy plant. I had to support it with miniature fence sections (a peony ring or small tomato cage would have worked, too) or it would have just flopped out its branches all over the ground. It is astonishingly supple; still far more like a perennial in look and feel than a shrub. When I bought it, I was hoping for something a bit more rigid and self-supporting.
Again, I have come to enjoy what this plant is and the bright focal point it is becoming in a tough dry-shade area. But you should have a clear idea of its habits before buying to avoid disappointment.

Positive Patt52 On Sep 20, 2009, Patt52 from Rydal, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I purchased two Beauty Bush 'Dream Catcher' this summer. They were small plants so I potted them up in large containers on our patio out back. This area gets hot afternoon sun, so I was afraid at first it would be too much sun. But after a few months of watching, it has proven to be one of the most beautiful plants I have ever seen. The bright golden foliage just sparkles in the sun. So I believe it's a sun loving plant. I'm going to plant them in my garden this fall, because they are growing so fast. Can't wait till this spring to see them in bloom!

Positive NoLawns On May 31, 2009, NoLawns from Warrenville, IL wrote:

Purchased "Dream Catcher this year... In my opinion the foliage is even more vibrant than in the photos... I am in 5A and have the plant in full sun... At only 1' 6" tall I am seeing the pinkish white flowers... The plant is a standout in the garden. And with Kolkwitzia being decently hardy, and extremely reliable... I Give this plant a 10/10.

Neutral Dodsky On Sep 10, 2008, Dodsky from Smiths Grove, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I purchased a small plant online last fall (2007) and overwintered it after repotting it into a trade gallon pot. It made it through the winter fine (I'm in zone 6b) sunk in the ground and mulched, so I planted it in what I hope will be its permanent location- a protected corner on the NW side of my house as an understory plant . It gets indirect bright light until noon, then bright filtered light until around 3 pm, and moderate filtered light for the rest of the day. Watering is even and adequate, soil is clay based but with lots of organic matter to loosen it up.

Dream Catcher isn't as vibrantly colored as I'd hoped, but my plant is still young and it does show some signs of increased foliar color as it gets older. The foliage is more of a pale green, not the vibrant chartruese or red-tinged color shown in most photos. I'm also of the mind that it may not be getting enough direct sun as an understory plant, so I may make some changes in the flowerbed that will give this plant more light.

It seems to be a relatively hardy plant, and once established I believe it will be a fairly fast grower.

Neutral bmorte On Jun 16, 2008, bmorte from McKinney, TX wrote:

I planted 'Dream Catcher' as an understory plant (according to purchasing instructions) and it is coming along alright for its second year. It is my understanding that it takes 2 to 3 years to become established. It has beautiful multi-colored folliage, but it is still quite small and has not yet bloomed. I will wait one more year and then consider that it might need more sun. Beth


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Denver, Colorado
Forest Park, Illinois
Waukegan, Illinois
Logansport, Indiana
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (2 reports)
Lindsborg, Kansas
Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Topsfield, Massachusetts
Bloomingburg, New York
Trenton, Nova Scotia
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Woodlawn, Tennessee
Mc Kinney, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Edmonds, Washington

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