The glossy abelia, or abelia grandiflora, is a old-fashioned heirloom plant that is easy to care for. Abelia makes a beautiful and scented addition to any garden. It is a showy, semi-evergreen shrub that grows up to 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It has a rounded shape with glossy dark green leaves and is useful as a hedge, screen, or barrier. In the mid-summer to mid-fall it blooms with fragrant bell-shaped white flowers. Abelia grows best in USDA zones 6 through 9.
The glossy abelia prefers full sun and regular watering. In warmer climates, it can tolerate partial sun, although it will bloom better with full sun. In the summer it may need to be watered more than once a week. During its first growing season, make sure the glossy abelia gets plenty of water to encourge good root growth. Fertilize with a general purpose fertilizer in the spring before the first growth appears.
Glossy abelia grows best in sandy loam or clay loam with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. While it tolerates moderate drought, it prefers a moist environment. It is also tolerant of heat, humidity, and deer. It can be grown on a slope.
Young abelia need lots of phosphorus so look for a fertilizer with P on the label. The phosphorus encourages root growth. Once established, fertilize at least once a year with a good balanced fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing late in the growing season or the glossy abelia will force new growth that won't have a chance to harden off before the frosts hit. In the winter, prune out any dead or diseased wood and use shears to shape the plant.
Your glossy abelia, with proper care, is sure to be a prized element of your garden or yard.