Abelia floribunda

Abelia species and cultivars are an often overlooked group of plants for the garden. Why? Because during the peak plant buying period of mid to late spring, Abelias display little else other than a pot full of wiry foliage. But there are many good reasons to consider this genus, perhaps most importantly is the timing of its flowering period. In many gardens, the majority of ornamental plants would have finished flowering by the end of the spring. However, Abelias are just gearing up to bloom, and in spectacular style!

Native to eastern Asia and southern North America, the genus is comprised of evergreen-semi-evergreen species from warm climates, and deciduous species from colder climates. However the most widely grown example from this genus is actually the hybrid Abelia x grandiflora. The parents of which are the Chinese natives Abelia chinensis with A. uniflora.

There are approximately 30 species within the genus, all of which are easily grown. They are all relatively hardy although some of the evergreen species are best kept to the milder regions of the United Kingdom. That being said, all abelias are best afforded a sheltered position preferably with the protection of a south-facing wall. In fact they are often successfully grown as wall shrubs. For cooler, temperate climates, Abelia chinensis has proven to be the hardiest of all the species. Abelia floribunda, arguably the most ornamental off all the abelias, is unfortunately frost tender.

Plant in September and October or March and April. Abelias will grow well in any ordinary well-drained, moist garden soil. They will flower best in full sun although deciduous species will tolerate partial shade.

Water newly planted specimens regularly throughout the growing period during their first year.

No regular pruning is required with abelias although they can be trimmed to shape after flowering. Old and thin growth of evergreen species should also be removed after flowering, For deciduous species this should be done in February.

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