Plant of the week – Abelia Grandiflora
Plant of the week 2.29 – 3.4 –~Abelia Grandiflora – This evergreen shrub has medium water requirements and likes full sun to partial shade. Abelias bloom for a long period of time during the summer months. Ongoing pruning with hand clippers is recommended for a neat appearance. Abelia should be pruned naturally, rarely sheared. Abelia is our plant of the week because it is present in many of our landscapes.
This shrub has been hybridized to create colorful varieties, such as ‘Kaliedescope’ and ‘Confetti’, which will remain smaller (generally around 3’ height), thus requiring less pruning – a sustainable bonus! It is also drought tolerant, an important factor in today’s thirsty landscapes.
A note on “drought tolerance”: this is a term used for plants which will survive a period of time with little water. This is a different designation than “low water user”, which refers to the amount of water a plant will regularly need to maintain a healthy appearance. During our most recent drought period in California, 1987 – 1992, landscapes were planted with material that was considered drought tolerant, to survive these waterless years. Now, with our current drought in full swing, we focus more on low water users, realizing that we must have gardens which will require less water overall, not merely survive a few seasons with reduced water. We strive to create beautiful landscapes we can sustain with fewer inputs and less waste.