Loretta NJ Z6December 19, 2006

Anyone have luck w/ abelias? I've seen some beautiful plants around -Edward Goucher perhaps? Any I've tried were not worth growing. They die back too much and always look horrible after winter, never growing back to any kind of glory. I think I've tried Dwarf Purple, Confetti or Sunrise and Francis Mason. All were abandoned.

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I have Confetti, Frances Mason, and a couple of others. I find they need no special care.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 6:01PM
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Oddly enough, I have had nothing but success with abelias, and this despite their being frequently abused and ignored!
I have one particular specimen - abelia grandiflora - which
has been moved a total of five different times, across three states. . .it was this particular plant that taught
me how much they benefit from radical pruning, either to
keep them at a particular size or to encourage thicker
growth and more bloom. Partial shade seems to suit them
best in my experience (and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
claims they'll thrive and bloom in heavy shade - I have one that almost approaches that) - on the other, here in
my small town, I have seen HUGE 8-foot specimens on the
front lawns of older homes thriving in full sun. . . Is
it possible that you're giving your abelias a bit too much TLC, where benign neglect and bare soil might be the norm? Same sort of "reverse-care" I had to learn the hard
way for my Autumn Joy sedums !

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 4:20PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

No, definitely not too much TLC. Could be the plants were too small for the ground - they were mail order size.
Abelia grandiflora - I am guessing that is the one I see around, also known as Glossy Abelia? So it has no cultivar name? I can't say I've seen them around the nurseries of late. I know my SIL bought Confetti two years ago. Her plant died back too and looked horrible the second season. She never bothered to pull it out and it did grow back a bit by the following year but it is half green now. The green half looks nicer than the variegated half.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 12:16AM
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Correct: the big, hearty one you're seeing is probably glossy abelia, correctly named Abelia x grandiflora, and
my further research now informs me that they can get 10'
tall and 12' wide (!), though as I suggested earlier they
DO lend themselves handily to pruning. . .also, some of
the cultivars you mentioned, particularly Francis Mason,
are not particularly hardy, or so I have read. A friend
in Zone 7, swears by his Abelia chinensis, but I discovered
it cannot handle our Zone 6. . .besides the large grandiflora, which is semi-evegreen and blooms all season, there is another species, Abelia mosanensis, which blooms
pink (fragrant) in May, is very hardy and deciduous. Four
Seasons Nursery, RareFind Nursery and Fairweather Gardens all carry this plant, and the latter nursey has five additional varieties - don't remember where in the State you're located, but I have seen Abelia in a fair number of nurseries here and in neighboring New York and Pennsylvania - why, even Bluestone carries it, but I'll bet that's where your little tykes may have come from originally, right? I have definitely learned the hard way that spending those extra dollars on a thriving, well-rooted, gallon or more shrub, is well worth the investment.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 7:29PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Actually, they were from Windrose. Thanks for the info and the introduction to A. mosanensis. I am sure abelia is around. I just haven't noticed it of late.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 10:44PM
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Fairweather Gardens catalogue just arrived today: check out
the Abelia 'Canyon Creek' on page 34. . .very nice. . .


    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 11:49AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

That does look interesting. And I have a credit there.
Everyone is getting Fairweather's catalog except me.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 11:51PM
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I have six at the front of my yard, five of which are full, but one which is very poor looking...wondering why that one is so bad. The ones on the south end of the string are very good, north end not quite as good...the poor one is in the middle, under a pistache tree...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 1:45PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Just by what you wrote, drkriley, it seems that maybe the poor one is having root competition with the tree and has more shade.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 12:34AM
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