How and When to Prune Abelia Shrubs

How To and When To Prune Abelia Shrubs

Abelia Shrub

Abelia flourish with regular timely Pruning, Abelias will give you years of pleasure with plenty of flowers and bright foliage. As with most shrubs, the Abelia group of ornamental flowering evergreen shrubs have rules, if they are not followed the plant will not flourish and may even die.

First golden rule is do not prune the Abelia in its first 3 years, allow it to establish itself. Pruning the Abelia too early will only weaken the plant in its early life, makes sense.

The pruning techniques are the same for the Abelia Group, including Abelia grandiflora types, Abelia floribunda; and other evergreen Abelias. These Techniques are: Routine Pruning, Annual Pruning and Hard Prune.

How to Prune the Abelia Annually

The Annual prune is best preformed in late February or early March in the UK. Just after the last frosts of the year and before the new growth of spring occurs.

Ideally you will need to reduce the mass by 25% to 30%, as shown in the picture. You can do this by hedge trimmers or manually with hedge trimmers. I would use the hedge trimmers to reduce and the shears to shape it into a tidy ball. Additionally you can see the main stems pertruding from the bush, these grow quicker and longer than the rest of the foliage. Once you have shaped it, reach down into the bush and trim down these main stems, probably 6 to 9 inches below the surface. This shall keep the shape for the rest of the season.

Now it is tidy, you can check for any dead stems and branches, usually they will die back to ground level, so trace the dead back and remove at ground level. If it just starting to die back, trace it down to the good wood, make a 45 degree cut just above the next live bud or lateral branch.

This annual prune will set the Abelia up for the season, it encourages new growth and in turn brings out the best foliage ressults.

Finally, its feeding time, Abelia's like a slow release fertilizer, 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer preferably with an additional handful of Fish, Blood and Bone Fertiliser.

My appologies, I do not have any Abelia's in my garden, but I have just hard pruned a blackberry bush, it has a similar structure, I am not in anyway trying to compare, just to give you a visual aid for the finished product.

Routine Pruning of the Abelia Shrubs

Abelia shrubs are an evergreen with very attractive foliage, depending upon the variety will depend upon the colour. The Abelia's flourish twice a season, usually in June and August.

After the flowering period has elasped, Abelia's can be trimmed back and maintained. Best to use a pair of secateurs and remove the dead flowering section. Trace down to a leaf joint just below the old flowering section and snip it off. This will result and encourage immediate growth and enhance the next years flowering stems in abundance. More new stems, result in a more floriferous shrub next year.

This light pruning also allows for fresh new foliage, which is one of the main attractions for the Abelia x grandiflora 'Francis Mason' in particular.

How to Hard Prune the Abelia

The good news is Abelia's can be hard pruned and sometimes it welcomes it, especially if it has not been pruned annually for some time. Abelia's can get rather untidy quickly as they are a fast grower.

There are only three golden rules here:

  • Only hard prune Abelia's once every 3 or 4 years. Too much will weaken them and a sharp frost could kill them.
  • Hard pruning is best preformed in late February or early March in the UK. Just after the last frosts of the year and before the new growth of spring occurs.
  • Prune it down to about 9 inches, do not take it down within an inch of it's life.

To Hard Prune the Abelia's is very similar to the annual pruning method but you can cut alot more off. Using either hedge trimmers or shears trim it down just enough so you can see the base, remove all the cuttings to allow you to have good view of the base. Look for all the dead stems and remove them at the base, or as close as. The remaining stems you can thin them out if you feel it needs it, or leave it as is.

Now you can prune it down to size, I suggest you cut it down to about 9 inches in height, going too far may take it within an inch of its life.

Finally, its feeding time, Abelia's like a slow release fertilizer, 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer preferably with an additional handful of Fish, Blood and Bone Fertiliser.

My appologies, I do not have any Abelia's in my garden, but I have just hard pruned a blackberry bush, it has a similar structure, I am not in anyway trying to compare, just to give you a visual aid for the finished product.

Abelia x grandiflora Francis Mason

Abelia x grandiflora

Abelia-floribunda

Abelia-floribunda

Pruning Abelia Hedges

This light trimming can be carried out with a pair of shears right after flowering has finished. It will leave a slightly 'regular' shaped shrub hedge, but this will soon change as the new shoots emerge. Abelias grown as a hedge are best thought of as 'informal' rather than neat and tidy.

Hard pruning of evergreen Abelia

Abelia Rejuvenation Pruning Guide

Abelia Rejuvenation Pruning

Neglected Abelias can be rejuvenated by quite hard pruning back to a main framework near ground level. This should ideally take place just as new growth starts in late spring. (After main frosts have finished so as not to have too much frost damage on the new emerging shoots.) It will soo start to shoot out, and new branches can be trained or further pruned to get the desired shape.

Hard pruning of some of the stems can also take place every two or three years. For this continuing rejuvenation it is best to cut out around 25-30% of the older branches - back to the desired point - as low as you like.

If you are familiar with hard pruning Buddleia, then that is the way to go with neglected Abelia.




Most Read Pruning Articles are

  • Arbutus - The strawberry tree does not grow strawberries - just fruit that look like strawberries!
  • Aucuba - A misunderstood evergreen shrub that can actually look quite good - even spectacular - with the right pruning.
  • Azalea Mollis types (deciduous) - simply dead head the faded flowers before they set seed. Otherwise see
  • Ceratostigma
  • Chaenomeles
  • Cistus
  • Elaeagnus - Evergreen Types can be cut back quite hard during April/May - or later
  • Erica
  • Eriobotrya japonica - If grown outdoors, then late winter or early spring, carry out minimal pruning for shaping. Best pruned when dormant. If grown indoors as large houseplant, will need restrictive pruning as and when required.
  • Escallonia
  • Eucryphia
  • Euonymus (evergreen) - trim to shape in spring - or cut back hard if required.
  • Euonymus (deciduous)
  • Fatsia
  • Fothergilla
  • Genista
  • Griselinia - Can be cut back quite hard at start of Spring growing season.
  • Lavandula - Lavender
  • Leucothoe - rarely, and if so, just to shape - in early spring


Copyright © Gardenseeker.garden - 2000 - 2021

Contact Us