Beautiful and Easy to Grow
Common Name: Glossy Abelia
Botanical Name: Abelia x grandiflora
Form: upright, arching branches, multi-stemmed, twiggy
Plant Type: broadleaf evergreen, semi-evergreen in colder zones
Mature Size: 3-5 ft high and wide
Growth: moderate to fast
Origin: Italy, hybrid cross between A. uniflora and A. chinensis
Hardiness Zone: 5 to 9, Top growth will die down in Zone 5 but will often regrow from the roots.
Foliage: simple, 1 inch leaves, half as wide, dentate leaf margins, deep green that turn bronze in fall
Flowers: clusters of tubular pinkish white, bell-shaped, ¾”fragrant flowers, attracts butterflies late spring to late fall
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil: moist, well-drained, acidic to neutral
Uses: hedge, accent, border, foundation, specimen, planters, erosion control on slopes
Propagation: softwood cuttings
Pruning: after flowering
Problems: uncommon: root rot, mildews, fungal leaf spot
Cultivars: Dwarf Purple. leaves turn purple in autumn and are retained throughout winter, pink blooms, dense low growth to 3 ft. ‘Edward Goucher’, flowers a deeper pink and leaves less shiny than the Glossy abelia, Grows 5ft x 5ft. Flowers from June to frost.
Comments: Well-behaved, fall flowering shrubs are rare and very desirable, but this pretty shrub is often overlooked. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because abelias aren’t flashy nor bold, and they don’t have huge showy flowers, but don’t let that dissuade you from planting this versatile, well-behaved an attractive shrub.
Although their flowers aren’t huge and flashy, they do have a plethora of them. They are tubular, star-shaped, 3/4" long, fragrant and are borne in clusters at the end of stems. Their flowering period lasts for months, starting from June or July and into November, peaking in autumn.
Glossy abelias have many uses in the garden. They have copious amounts of twiggy stems covered in glossy, 1.25 inches long, oval leaves with pointed tips. New leaves have a pinkish hue and in autumn, they turn a purplish bronze.
In areas from USDA Zones 5 to 6, glossy abelias are not evergreen. Even though they might lose their leaves in fall, it doesn’t mean they are dead. It’s just the plant’s way of surviving the winter. When winters are harsh, abelias may die right back to their roots, but they will regrow – so don’t give up on them.
Abelias are perfect to use as hedging, screens and topiaries due to their dense twiggy growth, small foliage and flowers that don’t stop because they form on new growth. They are desirable foundation plants as they don’t get too big or unruly. Their deep green glossy leaves are perfect to use as background plants and their fragrant flowers are welcome anywhere in the garden.