Kaleidoscope Abelia Shrub (3 gl)
Abelia Kaleidoscope is also one of the longest flowering abelias with delicately fragrant white blooms that will perfume your garden from spring through autumn. In the spring, the foliage emerges a cheerful green and yellow, turns to a rich gold in summer and has an incredible show of fiery reds and crimsons in the fall and winter.
Species: X Grandiflora
Plant Height: 30 in.
Spread: 42 in.
Plant Form: Mounded
Summer Foliage Color: Green
Minimum Sunlight: Partial Shade
Maximum Sunlight: Full Sun
Dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. Depending on the quality of your existing soil you may need to add a locally sourced compost or topsoil to the back-fill soil.
We do not recommend using straight topsoil or compost as a back-fill soil for Kaleidoscope Abelia because more times than not these products will retain entirely to much moisture and will cause the root system to rot. Adding compost or topsoil will help the young roots to spread through the loose, nutrient rich soil, much easier.
The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant too deep. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is a great starter fertilizer that provides plants with mycorrhizae fungus. It creates a barrier between the roots of the plant and fungus and pathogens that can cause root rot. We love this product and use it on all plants we install in our own gardens.
How do I water my Kaleidoscope Abelia Shrub?
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Kaleidoscope Abelia a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks. Gator bag Jr. can be used to help aid in this process and also provide plants with a good soaking due to the slow release of the water into the root-zone of the plant. Soaker Hoses can also be used to water when planting a long hedge.
How do I mulch Kaleidoscope Abelia?
We highly recommend that you mulch your Kaleidoscope Abelia with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the Kaleidoscope Abelia.
How do I fertilize Kaleidoscope Abelia?
Abelia is one of the easiest to grow and one of the most underused ornamentals available today. In order for Abelia to give their maximum performance, certain fertilization requirements must be met. Despite their fast growth patterns. Abelia are considered to be light feeders . Apply an early spring fertilizer with a product such as Espoma Tree-tone or Plant-tone at the recommended rate this will give the plant a boost of nitrogen that will be needed for healthy abundant foliage. Follow this up with a early summer application. Use always recommended rates. Slow-release fertilizer can help prevent rapid sucker growth that is vulnerable to diseases and insects. If your plants are well established, and you are not concerned about more growth, choose a fertilizer that has a smaller first number, and a larger second and third number. For example, a 4-8-8 fertilizer with minor elements included would be a good choice for a well established plant. If your Abelia are younger plants, and you want them to concentrate their energies on growing for a few years, you may wish to choose a fertilizer that has a higher first number such as 12-4-8 or 10-10-10. Be sure that these fertilizers have minor elements as well . Generally, an application sometime during the first part of March, followed by a second application during the first part of May, and a final third application during the first part of July should be sufficient for you spireas fertilization needs. If you do not have acid soil, soil tests may be necessary followed by ph adjustments. Abelia such as Kaleidoscope Abelia generally do well in acidic soils with ph readings from 5.5 to 6.8. If the ph of your soil is not correct, it may affect the ability of your Abelia to absorb the fertilizer that is applied. When you have selected your fertilizer and are ready to apply it, be sure to rake your mulch back to the drip line of each plant. Although it is tempting to spend less time by not raking the mulch back during fertilization, the results will be less than desirable, if the fertilizer is applied on top of the mulch. Proper fertilization of your spireas, like Kaleidoscope Abelia will lead to healthier and more disease resistant plants, as well as provide you with many more enjoyable blooms.
How do I prune Kaleidoscope Abelia?
The most important reason for pruning Kaleidoscope Abelia is to improve the overall health of the plant. Many times, spireas that have not been pruned in a few years will develop dead or degenerative twigs. Removing the dead and dying limbs will minimize the possibility of diseases such as “dieback” and will also allow the plant to re-concentrate its energies. In many instances, spireas that have been neglected for a number of years will become infested with insects such as scale. Severely pruning such infested Abelia will not only re-invigorate the plant, but will also reduce insect problems and minimize corrective treatments necessary to eliminate such problems. Pruning should always be associated with re-invigorating a plant by allowing it to focus its energies on producing more vigorous branches, foliage, and flowers. Specific plant objectives require specific pruning techniques. If a Kaleidoscope Abelia is being trained as an hedge, it would need to be pruned differently than if it were being grown as a specimen form. Severe pruning should be done just after the plant has finished blooming. In some instances where the required pruning would be drastic, the pruning may be done towards the end of summer even if the plant has not finished blooming. Severe pruning of spireas is generally thought to involve the removal of one third to one half of the existing plant. If severe, pruning is necessary, it must be realized that the plant will shift its focus in the short-run from setting flower buds to growing vigorously, and it is very likely that the Kaleidoscope Abelia will have few if any bloom buds during the season following the major pruning. During the second season following the severe pruning, the spirea should resume normal bud setting, and the plant should have healthier blooms because of the increased vigor in the plant. It is important to always use sharp tools when pruning plants. Knives, hand cutters, saws, and shears should be sharpened if necessary before pruning any plants. A sharp cut will heal quicker than a jagged cut, which will also minimize the likelihood of disease investing a cut during pruning. It is generally recommended to not use power equipment such as gas hedgers to prune Abelia. Many gardeners apply a pruning sealant or paint to all cut surfaces after pruning, but that practice is generally not necessary. Pruning large abelia may be minor or major. Its general purpose is to maintain or restore vigor to the plant. Large spireas that have been severely pruned have the advantage of a large root system that has excessive capacity, and its roots are capable of supplying all of its energies to a smaller number of branches and foliage. Pruning large abelia that are well established will enable the plant to have continued vigor, and lead to many more years of supplying beauty to the landscape.