Abelia – a fragrant and mid summer to fall blooming shrub

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I just have to talk about the Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora). A shrub zoned for 6-9 and found in front of office buildings, along roadways, and in many landscapes in the south. This beautiful shrub can grow 10′ or more and can be mass planted or trimmed as a hedge. I have seen this hedge along a roadway in Richmond VA that is probably 8′ tall in the median where it is regularly trimmed. It is so beautiful this time of year with its pink flowers covering the bright green leaves that it makes me forget it is fall. 20141010_104037

For me, seeing shrubs and flowers that bloom in October makes me happy because I am not a fall kind of gal.

One of the cultivars that is sold readily here in zone 7 is Kaleidoscope which has variegated leaves and fragrant pink flowers. This beautifully variegated shrub is compact growing about 4′ tall and wide. I find this plant in front of our local Hardee’s where today I happily snapped these pics (while hubby inside eating his biscuits and gravy probably wishing I would come back in). It likes well drained acidic soil so it is suited for life under oak trees with higher canopies so sun reaches it. This shrub will grow fast if it likes an area and seems to like part to full sun.

I love the bright green in the leaves

I love the bright green in the leaves

Word of caution for those in zone 6, I would protect this shrub from winds. It is a semi-evergreen here in zone 7b but if the winter gets too cold it will have die back (but will bounce back). There are several varieties that can be found in local garden centers. I advise that you read the tag on how large these will grow and add about a foot or so. With any shrub in zone 7b, the tag is a guess so just to make sure to have room.silver anniversary abeliaSilver Anniversary Abelia is variegated with creamy white edges; however mine suffered during the month of 9 degree lows. This shrub was nothing but a couple twigs this spring and has taken all summer to come back. I hope next year that it makes a striking comeback and return with its variegated foliage that I loved.

Silver Anniversary -no longer variegated after harsh 2013-14 winter

Silver Anniversary -no longer variegated after harsh 2013-14 winter

This shrub is easy to grow and requires no pruning because of its nice mounded shape. You can prune it after blooming to ensure it stays the shape you want (which I do not do). The Abelia can tolerate drier conditions which makes it a great addition to the landscape. It is a nice shrub to add with evergreen shrubs such as compact holly or boxwood and can give you many summer and falls with pretty pink blooms!20141010_104025

What a great plant to add for the bees!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2014/2015 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @ The Garden Frog Boutique

To read more check out these 2 sites:

http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/947/kaleidoscope-abelia/

http://www.finegardening.com/glossy-abelia-abelia-%C2%A0%C3%97-grandiflora

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