Glossy abelia is a beautiful shrub that offers cute blooming over the summer.
Key Glossy abelia facts
Name – Abelia x grandiflora
Family – Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle family)
Category – Shrubs
Height – 5 to 6½ feet (1.5 to 2 m)
Exposure – full sun and part sun
Soil – ordinary
Foliage – semi-evergreen or evergreen, depending on the area
Flowering – June to September
Its small size makes it ideal for small gardens and for growing in pots for a terrace or deck.
Planting glossy abelia
Glossy abelia is planted indifferently in fall or in spring. However, planting in fall will make regrowth easier.
Choose a spot preferably sheltered and in full sun because glossy abelia prefers sun to bloom.
- When planted in the ground, it requires light, well drained and especially not-too-moist soil.
- Growing glossy abelia in a pot is possible, but you must schedule repotting every 2 or 3 years and prune often to constrain its growth.
- Follow our advice on planting shrubs.
Propagating glossy abelia
Making cuttings is the easiest and fastest method to propagate glossy abelia.
- Glossy abelia cuttings are prepared in summer
- Snip 6-inch (15 cm) cuttings off from new wood growth (not yet totally hardened off).
- Remove lower pairs of leaves, keeping only one or 2 pair(s) of leaves.
- Stick the cuttings in special cutting soil mix.
- Keep the cuttings near light, but not in direct sunlight.
- Keep the substrate a little moist and protect cuttings from freezing in winter.
- Transplant in the following spring.
Pruning and caring for glossy abelia
When and how to prune your Abelia
To prune a glossy abelia well, consider that annual pruning at the end of winter or the beginning of spring encourages growth and blooming of the shrub. Prune before spring growth has started in earnest, because flowers appear on new growth. Pruning new growth from your abelia means less flowers will appear.
The pruning can be severe if needed. Best results are when you shape the shrub to help it keep a dense, opaque bearing and leafage.
- You must prune according to the shape you plan to give it.
- Whenever branches grow on several levels, over-shading will cause lower branches to grow sparse and leafless.
- Pruning abelia to low, ground-hugging shapes is most common and ensures all branches get plenty of sun.
Abelia diseases and pests
Since glossy abelia resists most diseases and parasites very well, normally you won’t need to treat it.
All there is to know about glossy abelia
- The middle of summer is when Abelia is in full bloom.
- Flowers range from pinkish white to pure white depending on the variety you’ve selected.
There are about thirty glossy abelia species and most bear evergreen leaves.
The most commonly available varieties are Abelia chinensis, Abelia floribunda and Abelia grandiflora.
Glossy abelia is mostly planted to prepare low-lying hedges.
Glossy abelia can be used as a hedge shrub for hedges up to 3 feet (1 meter) high, even in garden boxes on a terrace or balcony where its small size will let it stay put in case of wind.
Plant-based mulch is a good idea in winter to protect the roots against freezing, especially potted glossy abelia.
Smart tip about glossy abelia
Watering in summer should be performed in the evening to reduce evaporation and then again, only over the 2 first years or in case of extended dry spell.
Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Glossy abelia bush by Bri Weldon ★ under © CC BY 2.0
Glossy abelia with variegated leaves by Kim & Forest Starr under © CC BY 4.0
White glossy abelia blooms by Manuel Martin Vicente under © CC BY 2.0