Glossy Abelia Abelia grandiflora is a hybrid between A. chinensis and A. uniflora is a members of the Honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae.
Abelia grandiflora is a medium multi-stemmed shrub reaching a height of 6-10ft and spreading 6ft. The leaves are reddish green and remain that color throughout the summer and fall. The plant is evergreen in USDA zones 6b and southward and deciduous in colder climates, though here the shrubs will retain some leaves into the winter, turning a darker red. In spring the shrub sports terminal clusters of pinkish white blooms made up of small delicately scented tubular flowers, making it a popular stop for butterflies. Blooms are followed by tiny berries, tan in color - not very showy, but food for wildlife. Abelias make excellent borders or hedges and work very well as container shrubs and the attractive bark make for winter interest.
Abelias do best in a well drained loamy soil with a scattering of leaf mold or peat, though they are very successful in nearly any garden soil. They can withstand a slightly acidic or alkaline soil with ease and they are slightly drought tolerant They prefer a full sun location and will become leggy and will not bloom well in dense shade, though they can take partial shade. The shrubs require very little clipping, though they may benefit from a spring thinning to help light reach the interior branches.
Propagation is performed by taking cuttings or layering. Cuttings should be taken in the spring of half ripened wood. Take 3 inch cuttings of half ripe wood and place them in sand or sandy soil. Keep the soil moist and cover them with plastic or glass to keep a moist atmosphere. Maintain a 70F temperature until rooting (about 4-5 weeks). When well rooted, the cuttings are then potted in containers or planted in a nursery bed or outdoors, if all danger of frost has passed.
To layer, take a lower branch of an existing shrub and pull it down to the ground. Cover the branch with soil and weight it dow so that it will not pop up. In a few weeks, the branch should root, then the new cutting can be cut below the root formation to separate it from the mother plant.
Hardy to -20F (-15C) Height: 10ft Spread: 6ft