Kaleidoscope abelias are a cultivar of Abelia x grandiflora. Desirable for its fragrant flowers and showy appearance, this plant is hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 6. Kaleidoscope features bright red stems that contrast nicely against leaves variegated in green, yellow and cream. In the spring and early summer, the shrub blooms with a profusion of white, trumpet-shaped flowers.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Watering tool
- Pruning shears
Plant the Kaleidoscope abelia shrub in full sunlight. While it will also grow in partial shade, the colours of the variegated leaves are brightest when exposed to sunlight. In addition, the foliage grows more densely in full sunlight According to Oregon State University, the leaves do not scorch even when exposed to hot afternoon sun.
Provide rich, well-draining soil for the shrub. Albelias grow best in neutral or slightly acidic soil. Do not plant the shrub in a depression or anywhere else standing water will collect. Its shallow roots will rot if the soil is overly wet.
Water enough so that the soil is barely moist but not overly wet. Kaleidoscope abelia tolerates drought, so don't worry if you can't keep the soil continually moist. Still, abelias flower best if the soil is moist and cool.
Prune to control for size or to remove broken or dead branches. The plant can tolerate vigorous pruning, according to the University of Connecticut. Still, pruning for size might not be necessary. Kaleidoscope is a relatively small abelia, with a maximum height of less than 3 feet and width of about 3 1/2 feet.
Tips and warnings
- Abelia attracts butterflies, so plant it where you can enjoy watching butterflies and other nectar-loving insects and birds. Insect pests and diseases are rare on this hardy shrub, according to the University of Arkansas.
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