How to prune abelia

Written by d.c. winston
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How to prune abelia
Abelia chinensis in bloom. (Kurt Stueber, www.biolib.de/)

Abelia is a semi-evergreen perennial flowering shrub related to the honeysuckle. Like its cousin honeysuckle, abelia blooms gives off a lovely sweet perfume. Abelia has small glossy leaves, whitish-pink flowers blooming from summer to the first frost. In absolutely ideal conditions abelia can grow to 3 m (10 feet) in height with an even wider spread up to 3.6 m (12 feet). Abelia prefers full sun exposure but is accepting of partial shade. Abelia blooms on the current year's growth; thus, it can be pruned any time during the year.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Sharp clean loppers or shears
  • Ladder (if needed)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Inspect your abelia carefully, searching for any canes that may be damaged or diseased. Cut those out with your loppers or shears and pull out of the body of the shrub as you go. Throw away any cuttings that may be diseased. Don't put them in the compost pile, as a precaution against spreading disease.

  2. 2

    Thin the interior of the abelia, removing any branches that cross or abrade one another, and allowing more sunlight to penetrate into the body of the shrub as well as fresh air.

  3. 3

    Shear across the top of the abelia to the desired height and shape, be it rounded, flat-top or step shaped.

  4. 4

    Work around the perimeter of the shrub, holding your shears nearly parallel to the plane of the shrub and working around or along the plant to ensure an even and consistent pruning, which will result in a more tidy, professional and finished look.

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