Growing Abelia Plants In Your Yard
Abelia, great designer plants,are known not only for stunning autumn colors but also for its dramatic color throughout the year. Abelia is a genus, or group, of between 15 and 30 true species and hybrid varieties that belong to the honeysuckle family. Abelia species are perennial shrubs, meaning the plants lives for more than two years. The flowers are available in a variety of colors, including pink and white. The blooms usually measure between 1/2 inch (1 cm) and 2 inches (5 cm) in length, are shaped like a bell and form on the end of stems and above the upper leaves in clusters of up to eight blooms. Most abelia varieties have a strong, pleasant fragrance. Long, elegant arching branches characterize most abelia varieties, with densely packed opposite leaves or clusters of three leaves along the branch length. Leaf length varies according to the variety, and most measure between 1/2 inch (1 cm) and 3 inches (8 cm). Leaves are usually oval in shape with a deep, glossy green color. Some varieties are deciduous, common to cooler climates, and drop their leaves at the end of the growing season.
Abelia varieties prefer well-drained, fertile soil in full sun but sheltered from strong winds. Leaf mulch, peat or manure from grazing animals can be added throughout the year to improve performance and flower production. If grown from seed, most abelia plants do not flower until the third year of growth. Pruning should be undertaken during the winter or early spring. The more stems are removed at ground level during pruning, the more open and arching the growth will be the following growing season.