50916With indiscriminate pruning, glossy abelia, Abelia X grandiflora, will never develop its natural form, with elegantly long and thin stems that arch gracefully outward. Sadly, almost all get shorn into tight shrubbery or hedges that rarely bloom. If only old stems get selectively pruned out as they get replaced by fresh new stems, mature shrubs can get eight feet tall and twelve feet wide.

Against their bronzy green foliage, the tiny pale pink flowers that bloom all summer have a rustic appeal. In abundance, they can be slightly fragrant. The tiny leaves are not much more than an inch long. Vigorous young canes that shoot nearly straight out from the roots slowly bend from the weight of their bloom and foliage as they mature.

Partial shade is not a problem for glossy abelia, but will inhibit bloom somewhat. Young plants want to be watered regularly. Old plants are not nearly so demanding, and can survive with notably less water. If alternating canes is too much work to restore old and neglected plants, all stems can be cut back to the ground at the end of winter. New growth develops quickly.

4 thoughts on “Glossy Abelia

  1. I just had 4 added to my front beds. I am enjoying the bees and hummingbirds that visit them. So, I think you are saying to just let them grow naturally and avoid cutting the long canes. I have been looking at the canes and wondering what to do. I think I now have my answer.

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  2. Hi Tony, We grew Abelia down in Victoria as a privacy hedge. It butted close to the pavement so I had to keep the street facing side pretty neat to avoid hassling passersby but the garden facing side was left to grow as you described. It was a nice backdrop to the shrubs we had planted there.

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