Abelia is a shrub belonging to the Linneaceae family. About twenty species belong to the genus abelia. Almost all of these species originate from China, the others from Mexico and Japan. Abelia is an evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub.
The abelia usually has a roundish bearing and many specimens, once they reach mature age, reach over one meter in height.
The stems are quite long but not very branched and once they grow over time they will tend to arch. The color of the stem is reddish.
The leaves of the Abelia are oval, with a notched margin of very small size, very resistant and take on a dark green color tending to shiny. On the other hand, the newly born leaves, on the other hand, are bronze in color. This color will be assumed by the whole plant as autumn approaches. Abelia has abundant and long-lasting flowering under normal conditions, which is why it is highly valued as a garden plant. The flowering period begins in June and ends in August. The flowers of Abelia have tubular flowers in some cases, in others bell-shaped at the height of the lateral shoots. From its flowers develops a woody fruit that contains a single seed.
Abelia prefers direct exposure to the sun's rays. But it manages to adapt very well to partial shade. Usually the Abelia prefers warm temperate climates but can also live in colder territories without falling below five degrees below zero. During the winter it is imperative to protect the plant from freezing winds. It would be advisable to plant this shrub in sheltered locations. If this operation is not possible, mulch with straw and leaves must be carried out in order to protect the base of the plants.
Watering must be modulated according to the age of the individual. In fact, every age needs a different water intake. Young plants need a greater amount of watering, it is advisable to carry them out frequently. If, on the other hand, the specimen is an adult it can withstand drought periods of medium duration without causing major damage. During the period from March to October, watering can be significantly reduced, maximum once a week. With the arrival of winter, further reduce watering. As an evergreen plant, the vegetative period lasts for the whole year so never stop watering completely. Pay attention to the dangerous stagnations of water.
The abelie they have no soil problems. They manage to live in dignity without having large resources. Of course, a luxuriant life, that is, an abundant flowering and a more flourishing development, will only occur with a soil rich in organic matter and properly drained.
In planting a abelia remember to prepare a large hole, placing on the bottom some coarse-grained sand, good balanced soil and well-mixed organic fertilizer, in order to favor rapid rooting.
The multiplication occurs almost exclusively by cuttings and by offshoots. The cuttings must be taken from the plant in June. Their length must not be less than ten centimeters. To do this it will be necessary to use very sharp and sterilized. So once you have taken at least four cuttings you will need to root them in pots filled with a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts. The soil thus composed must always be kept moist.
These jars must subsequently be placed in a place with a temperature of about eighteen degrees.
The other method for carrying out the multiplication of the abelia is the method of propagation.
The propagation method is carried out by bending and splinting the longest and most flexible branches in the direction of the earth. Once the spot on the plant that has been brought into contact with the ground has rooted it will be ready to live as an independent individual.
The new plant must therefore be separated from the mother. Plants born from both multiplication methods must be planted after two years of growing in pots. The plant must be carried out during the autumn period.
The abelia is a shrub that is often attacked by numerous dangers from both the plant and animal world.
The worst fungal species for this shrub is definitely root rot. Root rot affects the roots up to the collar of the plant. The roots tend to turn yellow and lose their normal hairiness. A clear symptom of this disease is withering and premature yellowing of the leaves. Root rot is due to excessive soil moisture.
Use systemic fungicide to combat this type of attack.
The animal species that threaten this plant are certainly aphids. Aphids have a double negative action. On the one hand the leaves and almost all the organs of the plant are affected on the other hand honeydew is produced which could attract fungi. Use broad spectrum pesticides.
After analyzing in detail what the needs of the Abelia are, such as the cultivation methods, the characteristics of the plant, the flowering period and the watering it needs, let's now go on to discover some little secrets about the plant.
The discovery of this genus of plant belonging to the Caprifoliaceae family and born from the crossing or hybridization of Abelia chinensis with Abelia uniflora, dates back to 1800. In this period, in fact, a doctor went to China to analyze and study the flora of the territory discovered the plant and even gave it its name. Indeed the term abelia it derives precisely from Clarke Abel, the name of the doctor who discovered it.
As for the pruning of the abelia, this plant does not need to be pruned frequently. Its natural development is in fact compact and vigorous and therefore it is a plant that maintains a correct and pleasant shape from an ornamental point of view in a quite natural way.
However, if we like to have neat and more than regular shaped plants in the garden, we can prune the abelia and try to give it an exceptional shape. To have homogeneous growth and maintain a globular shape, the plant will need to be pruned in mid-autumn.
Cutting, in addition to improving the appearance and shape, also contributes to giving greater vigor to the plant by stimulating its growth and regrowth.
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Although it is a relatively simple plant to grow, with the right precautions you can get excellent results.
Let's find out what are the best techniques to best treat Abelia.
A little afraid of the cold, especially in regions with strong temperature variations below zero or abundant and frequent snowfalls. In this case, during the winter season, it is a good idea to do one mulch basal with mixed leaves a peat to protect the root system from freezing.
He loves sunny or half-shaded places, as long as they are sheltered from the winds.
It grows well in all types of well-drained and very fertile soil. The optimal substrate, which guarantees a more abundant and prolonged flowering, is a mixture of common soil, organic material and coarse sand.
Young plants and those grown in pots need regular watering. The adult plants that have been planted for some time must be watered at least once a week in the period from March to October.
In winter: suspend watering for plants in the ground, and reduce them to a minimum for those grown in pots.
From the beginning of May it is a good idea to fertilize the abelias every 20 days using a fertilizer rich in nitrogen and potassium, diluted in water according to the doses shown on the package.
To be carried out to eliminate dry or damaged branches and to give shape to the shrub. If, over the years, the Abelia becomes too woody, it is also possible to carry out a more drastic pruning.
The abelia is one rustic plant which is unlikely to be attacked by diseases and parasites, if exposed to the sun and in well-ventilated places.
However, the shrub can be attacked by aphids, also known as lice of the plants, enemies of almost all ornamental plants. These can be counteracted with the use of specific products or with natural methods, such as infusions of water and macerated garlic, to be sprayed on the leaves.
Would you like to have your abelia in the garden or advice for its care and maintenance? Contact me through mine site.