The botanical name of the Abelia plant is Abelia and the plant is known for its vibrant foliage and long bloom times, the Abelia genus actually consists of about thirty species of both deciduous and evergreen shrubs. There has been much discussion about the Abelia genus itself, since modern DNA testing has proved that some previously recognized members of the genus were substantially different. A lot of horticultural experts recognize different nomenclature structures, either reducing the size of the Abelia genus or reclassifying these species as members of the Linnea genus.

Furthermore, for shrubs commonly known as Abelia, there are several common identifiers. These shrubs actually produce pointed, oval-shaped leaves that are often yellow or green with pink, orange, bronze, or burgundy details. Some are multi-colored or variegated and even change color as the seasons change. The Abelia flowers are tubular and they are often seen in white, pink, or yellow. Unlike many flowering plants, Abelia shrubs have a long blooming season that extends from spring until fall.

Abelia Plant Info   

The common name: The common name is Abelia.

The botanical name: The botanical name is   Abelia.

The family: Abelia plants belong to Caprifoliaceae family.

The plant type: Shrub

The mature size: Two to ten feet tall, two to eight feet wide.

The sun exposure: Abelia plants prefer full, partial sun.

The soil type: Abelia plant does well in loamy, moist but well-drained soil.

The soil pH: Acidic, Neutral

The blooming time: The blooming time is spring, summer, fall.

The flower color: The flower colors are pink, yellow, white.

USDA Hardiness Zones: Four to eleven.

The native area: Abelia is native to Asia.

Abelia Plant Care

Once the Abelia plant is established, the plants are extremely easy to care for and they require very little maintenance. Still, the plants reward the gardener with an abundance of color and visual interest with their colorful foliage and long period of blooming activity. Their vibrant foliage often changes colors throughout the growing season and their long-lasting flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. The Abelia plants are rarely affected by pests and diseases, though anthracnose, powder mildew, and aphids may cause problems.

It is actually best to plant Abelia in the early spring or early fall when temperatures are mild. Make sure you choose a spot with plenty of sunshine and rich, well-draining soil. Make sure you plant the Abelia in a hole that is twice as wide as the root structure and also allow the very top of the root system to be slightly above the ground.

Light requirement

The Abelia plant can be grown in both full sun and partial shade. However, planting Abelia in an area with full sun will actually encourage more vibrant foliage colors and a healthy bloom. Plants grown in areas with intense summer heat will benefit from some afternoon shade.

Soil requirement

Although the Abelia plants thrive in fertile, well-draining, and moist soil, the plants are tolerant of different soil conditions. Amending the soil with compost before planting is recommended, as the Abelia plants do best in soil that is rich in organic matter. Soil pH levels should be slightly acidic for optimal growth.

Water requirement

The Abelia plants are drought tolerant once established. However, the plants do best when provided with regular watering. Most especially during the hotter summer months, you should plan to water the Abelia once or twice a week to keep them vibrant and healthy. Allow the soil to begin drying before watering again. Watering the Abelia plant deeply and infrequently is better for the plant than watering lightly and regularly.

Temperature and humidity requirement

Abelia plants can actually be grown in a wide range of climates, from USDA hardiness zones four to eleven. The preferred growing zones actually depend on the specific needs of each variety.

Fertilizer requirement

Abelia plants benefit from soil that is very rich in organic matter. You can add compost yearly to provide needed nutrients and to support proper soil drainage. In addition, providing the Abelia plant with a slow-release shrub fertilizer in the early spring will give the Abelia plant the boost they need for another year of growth.  

Types of Abelia Plant

-         The Glossy Abelia (Abelia × grandiflora): The Glossy Abelia is a popular variety that can be grown in a wide range of regions, from cold to warm areas. Its shiny foliage boasts semi-evergreen foliage in the colder regions while providing lasting evergreen foliage in warm regions.

-         The ‘Kaleidoscope’ Abelia: The ‘Kaleidoscope’ Abelia is a popular dwarf variety that is famous for its vibrant foliage that changes color with the seasons. Its variegated foliage appears yellow in spring, and then turns a bright orange-red in the fall. This is complemented by small white flowers when in bloom.

-         The ‘Rose Creek’ Abelia (Abelia x chinensis): The ‘Rose Creek’ Abelia is known for its unique color combinations. It boasts glossy green leaves that turn bronze in the fall and flowers that change from pink to white. These interesting color changes are complemented by deep red branches. 

Pruning Abelia Plant

Occasional pruning will help keep the Abelia plants looking clean and growing strong. It is best to prune the Abelia plants in late winter or early spring to avoid pruning off the new growth or flower buds. Remove any of the damaged or dead branches and then prune the plant to your desired shape. Take no more than about 1/3 of the plant. Certain varieties actually produce long, thin shoots from the trunk or branches that can be removed for a cleaner appearance. Some other varieties bloom on old wood, making it best to prune after flowering.  

Propagating Abelia Plant

Propagating Abelia plant can actually be done through cuttings, both hardwood and softwood. Though hardwood cuttings are often hardier than softwood, they do not root as easily as softwood cuttings. The softwood cuttings are taken in the spring while hardwood cuttings are taken in the fall. Both are cared for in the same way. To grow either option, you will need sharp snips, a good small pot, well-draining, rich soil, and rooting hormone. Then follow these step by step:  

-         Using sharp snips, cut a small branch that is around six inches long. Cut below a node.

-         Remove any lower leaves.

-         Dip the cut end into root hormone, and then gently plant it into well-draining, rich soil.

-         You need to place the pot in a warm, sunny area. Make sure you keep the soil moist.

-         The roots should form in around 1 to 2 months.

How to Grow Abelia Plant From Seed

Actually, Abelia can also be grown from seeds but it is very important to know that the collected seeds will produce plants that differ from the parent plant. Some varieties like the glossy abelia, are sterile and they don’t produce seeds at all. To actually get an identical copy of the parent plant, the cuttings must be taken. If a plant with slightly different blooms, scent, or color doesn’t bother you, growing Abelia plants from seeds is a rewarding process. You will actually need a sunny location, moist, rich soil, and small pots if you wish to start them indoors. To grow Abelia plants indoors, follow these instructions:

-         Just fill small pots with rich, moist, and well-draining soil.

-         Plant a few Abelia seeds in each pot, and gently press them onto the soil.

-         You need to place the pots in a sunny, warm location and then keep the soil damp.

-         The seed germination should occur in a few weeks.

Once the Abelia seedlings are several inches tall, harden them off outdoors until they are ready to be planted in the garden.

To start Abelia seeds outdoors, follow these instructions:

-         Choose a good sunny location in your garden. Scatter the Abelia seeds on rich, moist, and well-draining soil in the spring when the threat of frost is gone. It may be best to amend the soil with compost before planting, depending on your soil.

-         Make sure you keep the soil moist, by watering regularly.

-         The germination of the seeds should occur in a few weeks.

Potting and Repotting Abelia Plant

Some Abelia plants can grow to be quite tall while others stay compact. Small varieties like the dwarf varieties make perfect plants for container gardens. Make sure you choose a pot with proper drainage holes before planting the Abelia plant. It is best to choose a container that will allow the Abelia plant to comfortably grow for a few years before needing to be replanted. To do this you can get a container that is around eight inches or so larger than the root system. Then add plenty of compost-rich soil, keep it moist, and then place the pot in a good sunny location. If the Abelia plant outgrows its container, gently loosen the roots by tipping the plant on its side and tapping all around the container. Slide the root system out of the pot and then plant it in a new pot that provides a few inches of extra space on all sides. Fill it with rich soil and then water thoroughly.   


When grown in their appropriate zones, Abelia plants do not actually require extra care to survive the winter. However, the container-grown Abelia plants in cold-weather climates may need extra protection from the elements and should be moved to a protected area, such as a greenhouse or indoors.

How to Get Abelia Plant to Bloom

Abelia plants are actually known for their very long-lasting tubular flowers that appear in spring and last until fall. These small flowers are a couple of inches long and sport four or five petals each. They are seen in white, pink, or yellow, and they attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies. They have a pleasant fragrance.

Abelias generally bloom without a problem. You can encourage a healthy bloom by making sure the soil drains well and the plant receives plenty of sunshine. Be sure to prune the plant lightly, as over-pruning can hinder flower production.

Common Problems with Abelia Plant

Abelia plants are famous for their ease of care and generally problem-free gardening experience. Still, problems may occasionally appear when growing Abelia plants.

Thick foliage and no flowers: As stated above, Abelia plants often bloom without much coaxing required. However, if you find that an Abelia during bloom time has thick, healthy foliage and no blooms, the issue might relate to your choice of fertilizer. Fertilizer with too much nitrogen encourages foliage growth rather than flower production. Just switch to a fertilizer with a higher ratio of phosphorus to nitrogen and potassium.

Yellowing leaves and sickly appearance: This is actually a sign of too much water, often caused by soggy, ill-draining soil. Root rot may be the culprit. If you suspect there is root rot, you can gently dig up the plant and then cut away any infected roots or branches. Amend the soil with well-draining material, such as sand and compost, and gently replant the Abelia. You can allow the soil to begin to dry out before watering again.

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