This tree deserves a place in every backyard. Its glossy foliage reflects light to ensure that on a sunny day the shrub seems to be sprinkled with fairy dust. However, the leaves are only a part of its allure. Fragrant flowers cover those arching canes for at least six months of the year, giving a feast for both bees and hummingbirds, yet mercifully my deer completely dismiss it.
Even as temperatures cool, glossy abelia is a five-star performer, as both flowers and leaves choose burgundy tints, adding colour to the autumn and winter landscape.
Botanical name: Abelia x grandiflora
Common title: Glossy abelia
Where it will rise: Hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit(USDA zones 7 to 9; locate your zone)
Water requirement: Low
Light requirement: Full sun for best flowering or light color
Mature dimension: 6 ft tall and broad, but can easily be pruned smaller
Benefits and tolerances: Deer resistant; drought tolerant; hummingbirds and bees enjoy it
Seasonal attention: Year-round
When to plant: Spring or autumn
Glossy, semievergreen foliage on long, arching, burgundy stemsTubular white flowers that bloom profusely from spring till late autumn and possess a delicate perfumeWonderful in flowery arrangementsIn winter the entire tree carries on a rosy blush, as noticed in another photograph.
How to use it
As an casual hedgeFor filtered screeningAs a specimen shrubAdjacent to a sitting or window area so you can enjoy the hummingbirds and light fragranceAs part of an easy-care mixed borderCombination ideas. Notice from the picture how the delicate pink sepals available to reveal the white flowers. Since the blooms fade and fall, the center of the rest of the sepal is a creamy tan color. Use these three shades.
Underplant the abelia with among those paler coral bells (Heuchera spp), such as Heuchera ‘Creme Brulee’ (shown here), zones 4 to 9. Echo the pink tones by pairing it with a burgundy shrub, such as gold dye barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Goruzam’, zones 4 to 8) or midnight wine weigela (Weigela ‘Midnight Wine’, zones 4 to 8).Add Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) for contrasting texture while replicating the soft white colour of the flowers, or perhaps utilize a silver-foliage plant, such as silver mound wormwood (Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’, zones 4 to 8). Note: Barberries and Mexican feather grass may be invasive in some areas. Check with your regional cooperative extension or county extension office prior to placing them.
Planting notes. Plant abelia in average, well-drained soil. Water well until established, but it will become drought tolerant.
It’s possible to prune the shrub to size as needed, or you’ll be able to get rid of some of the older canes each spring to help maintain an airy form.
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