Linnaea × Grandiflora (syn. Abelia × grandiflora) is a lovely shrubby plant that can fill any garden with a wonderful splash of leaves and flowers. This ornamental is a hybrid prized for its hardy, easy-going nature and its spectacular overall appearance.
And that is not all – there are several Linnaea × grandiflora cultivars that deserve all the attention we can give them, as they mesmerize us with hypnotic variegated leaves and cute blossoms in various colours.
In cultivation, the Linnaea × Grandiflora hybrid goes by a single common name, that being Glossy Abelia. Although this plant does not belong to the Abelia genus anymore, many gardeners worldwide still know it as an Abelia plant.
There are chances to even find this beauty in nurseries or markets labelled as Abelia × Grandiflora. Therefore, you might want to also look for it by its old scientific name if you want to add it to your plant collection.
Are you excited to find out more about Linnaea × Grandiflora a.k.a. Glossy Abelia? Keep reading our guide to learn everything about growing, caring, and propagating this unique ornamental!
About Glossy Abelia
- Glossy Abelia is a member of the Linnaea genus and the Caprifoliaceae family of plants. Both its genus and family are commonly known as the Honeysuckle family.
- You might be familiar with the super common specific epithet “Grandiflora” as it is the Latin for “abundant flowers”, referring to the general habit of Glossy Abelia to bloom profusely, producing clusters of many small, adorable flowers.
- Besides the stunning hybrid, some of the most exquisite Linnaea × Grandiflora cultivars include ‘Kaleidoscope’, ‘Mardi Gras’, ‘Radiance’, ‘Hopleys’, and ‘Conti’.
- With its pale pink flowers and variegated, yellow-green foliage, the Linnaea × Grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ cultivar has gained the distinguished Award of Garden Merit.
- Glossy Abelia is an ideal addition to different landscape decorations. This hybrid can be a fabulous specimen plant. Likewise, it makes for a great ornamental plant in small groupings, informal hedges, beds, wall-side borders, shrub borders, city gardens, informal gardens, patios, or cottage gardens.
- Although the Glossy Abelia is more popular for its outdoor display, you can also enjoy it indoors in your favourite container. However, you will have to prune it regularly to maintain it at a certain size, as it can grow pretty large with time.
- For the most eye-appealing view out there, it is best to plant your Glossy Abelia among plant companions that have similar requirements. This would mean that you should look for super tolerant species that can also grow in extreme conditions.
- Because it is a versatile plant, you can grow Glossy Abelia with a wide range of ornamental grasses, shrubs, bamboo, and flowering perennials. The most suitable and irresistible companions for Glossy Abelia include Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Tall Verbena, Purple Heather, Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’, Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’, Mediterranean Spurge, Chinese Silver Grass, and Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’, Spirea, Liriope, Agapanthus, and Dianthus.
- As mentioned above, there are many different varieties of Glossy Abelia, and if you opt for a taller variety, you can use its glossy foliage as a background for a mixed perennial border to emphasize your border flowers. Glossy Abelias will also look great in a mixed shrubbery, and smaller types can be grown successfully in front of bamboos, small specimen trees, and mixed ornamental grasses.
- The “Kaleidoscope” variety is a great choice for edging. This dwarf ornamental will retain its cute rounded shape making it a perfect addition to a mix of short-growing ornamental grasses, such as Pennisetum alopecuroides, commonly known as fountain grass. The important thing to remember is to plant your Abelia in a place where it will get the right amount of sunlight.
Glossy Abelia Features: An Overview
- Glossy Abelia is a semi-evergreen or deciduous hybrid shrub. This is a multistemmed plant that features spreading, rounded, or beautifully arching branches.
- Glossy Abelia can usually reach from 3 to 6 feet (90-180 cm) in both height and diameter. Yet, other cultivars are somewhat smaller in size, growing only as tall as 24 to 30 inches (60-75 cm) and about 4 feet (120 cm) in width.
- Its foliage typically varies from one cultivar to another. While some specimens come along with small, glossy, oval, and dark green leaves, others have marvellous variegated leaves containing shades of green, yellow, red, cream, purple, or orange.
- Glossy Abelia can bloom continuously during a long period which may extend from late spring through autumn. The tiny, slightly fragrant, bell-shaped flowers show up in clusters.
- The bloom colour palette of all Linnaea × Grandiflora cultivars is pretty generous. Their blossoms can exhibit different tints of white, pink, cream, yellow, and lilac.
- After its flowering period, Glossy Abelia may bear fruits exactly where the blooms were. As a result of pollination, the fruits are small achenes. Unlike most other plants, the fruit cannot serve as a propagation material through its seeds.
- While some sources say that Glossy Abelia is not toxic to either humans or animals, others specify that eating it might cause an upset stomach. So, the good news is this ornamental is not very dangerous, but for safety purposes, it would be wise to keep your Glossy Abelia in a spot that is out of reach for your curious children, cats, and dogs.
- These ornamentals are not very attractive to animals and deer won’t be tempted to munch on them unless other food sources are lacking due to extreme weather.
Growing Glossy Abelia
Glossy Abelia can be one of the most enjoyable and gorgeous plants to have in your garden. With proper care, this hybrid can show surprise you with its vigorous growth as it will bloom more profusely than any other flowering shrub in your garden.
The most impressive blooming will usually occur in autumn, when the cute Abelia flowers will form a symbiotic picture with its foliage which, depending on the variety, will change to red, bronze, or purple. This, combined with the little to no effort that this ornamental requires will make growing this shrub a worthwhile experience. And, as you will see in the following paragraphs, the growth demands of the Glossy Abelia are not those of a picky plant at all!
In terms of lighting conditions, the Glossy Abelia will have the time of its life in almost any location you can find for it. This plant can handle anything from full sun and partial shade and will not turn into a hard-to-please companion in either of these extreme types of light exposure. However, you should know that Glossy Abelia will exhibit the greatest blooming if you plant it where it can get plenty of bright and direct light.
One of the most irresistible features of Glossy Abelia is its ability to grow nicely in a wide variety of temperatures. This tough buddy is frost-hardy and heat-tolerant in the USDA zones 5 to 9. It can withstand cold temperatures that drop as low as -20 °F (-29 °C), but it will benefit from a good old layer of mulch around its roots. This will help it go through the winter months easier, no matter the temperatures and general weather.
Fortunately, there are not a lot of issues when it comes to pest infestations or diseases. Glossy Abelia might be attacked by aphids from time to time, which tend to find most garden ornamentals quite attractive and will feed on their sap.
If this happens, you can get rid of them by knocking them off with a spray of water. You should do this in the morning to ensure the shrub has enough time to dry off, avoiding any other future problems like fungus. For more serious cases of aphid infestations, we suggest you use horticultural oil on those days that are more on the cooler side to prevent the foliage from becoming too affected.
- Standard delphinium so cherished by gardeners the world over. Long beautiful colored spikes surrounded by lovely green foliage.
- An excellent backdrop in any wild garden, and also ideal as a cut-flower for bouquets or pressing.
- 18-24". Mixed Colors. Easy to Grow. Sow on Bare Soil.
- Non GMO and Neonicotinoid Seed
- Marde Ross & Company has been a Licensed California Nursery Since 1985,
- Teddy Bear - Fluffy Sunflower Seeds
- Giant Sunflower Plant up to 7' Tall - Bee Attractor
- Plant 1/2" Deep
- Non GMO and Neonicotinoid Seed
- Marde Ross & Company has been a Licensed California Nursery since 1985.
- Full sun to part shade
- Mature size 2-2.5′ h x 3-3.5′ w
- Variegated foliage with small white flowers
- Water twice per week until established, then water once per week
Last update on 2023-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Planting Glossy Abelia
Glossy Abelia will grow at its best in an acidic substrate that also offers very sharp drainage. As long as you can grow this plant in well-draining soil, it will withstand any soil type, whether it is sandy, loamy, or even chalk. And for the extra results, you can also opt for soil that is rich in organic matter to spoil your Glossy Abelia from the start.
When you plant your Glossy Abelia for the very first time, it would be nice to add some compost into its growing medium. This will give your plant lots of nutrients in the future and will also support proper soil drainage.
Glossy Abelia is not a heavy feeder, but it will still appreciate a few applications of fertilizer once in a while. Feed your shrubby friend with a balanced, 10-10-10, slow-release fertilizer twice every year. The first feeding should take place after the last sign of frost has passed in spring. After this, you can fertilize your Glossy Abelia again sometime in mid-summer.
Since most Glossy Abelia cultivars grow pretty big, you will need to prune these ornamentals occasionally to maintain their tidy overall look. The perfect time to do it is usually from fall to spring, whenever you feel like it. Keep in mind that flowers emerge from branches that have grown in the current year, so pruning does not affect blooming very much.
As previously mentioned, Glossy Abelia can be successfully planted in containers and if you don’t have a garden, you can certainly try growing them indoors. Glossy Abelias make great potted plants thanks to their versatility and the fact that they are evergreen shrubs that are attractive almost year-round.
When planted in containers, Glossy Abelias will maintain their attractive shape, but most varieties will require spacious pots to accommodate the arching shape of their branches. Another important thing to remember is the fact that the soil of potted plants tends to dry out faster than garden soil, so you might have to water these ornamentals more frequently. With this in mind, you should also avoid keeping your plants in soggy soil.
Watering Glossy Abelia
In general, Glossy Abelia has moderate moisture needs. Even if this plant seems to demand water regularly, it does not really make a fuss when it experiences extended periods of drought. Once established, Glossy Abelia becomes somewhat tolerant of dry soil, making it absolutely great for you if you are a beginner.
During its active growing period, this plant can perform well with about one inch (2.5 cm) of water each week. In regions with low humidity or/and high heat, however, your Glossy Abelia will require a bit more water than usual. In winter, you should water it only to keep its soil slightly damp.
The golden rule is always to check that first inch (2.5 cm) of soil to see if it feels dry to the touch. When it does, this is the sign for you to spoil your shrub with a drink. If you live in a climate that gifts you with regular rainfalls, you can even forget about watering your Glossy Abelia for good.
Propagating Glossy Abelia
Glossy Abelia is a sterile hybrid plant that does not produce seeds. Thus, you cannot start new plants from seed. But you shouldn’t be discouraged by this as hybrid seeds rarely grow true to the parent plant, so this might save you lots of time and effort.
Luckily, you can easily make more Glossy Abelia plants using stem cuttings. Make sure you take the cuttings from mid-summer to early autumn. The best stems you can use are usually those you can find on the plant’s upper part, as they are younger and show results faster. Moreover, take the cuttings early in the morning because this is when they contain more moisture and will help them handle propagation conditions much better.
Once you find healthy stems on your Glossy Abelia, you can cut about 4-5 inches (10-12.5 cm) off them with a nice sterilized pair of scissors or garden pruners. Opt for those stems that do not come along with flower buds. After you have the cuttings, you must remove any leaves you can find on the lower end of each before planting them.
If you cannot use the Glossy Abelia cuttings right away, you can store them with minimal effort in a cold area like a refrigerator or cooler. When the time for propagation has come, you will need to first treat the cut ends of each Glossy Abelia cutting with a rooting hormone. This will promote faster root development and will also increase your success rate.
In terms of the propagation medium, you can use sand, a mixture of sand and perlite, or a mixture of perlite and peat moss. Fill a container with the chosen substrate for each cutting you have. After all of this, you can place the pots in a warm, shady location until the cuttings show signs of root growth. And if you mist the cuttings once every two days or so, you may have many cute rooted cuttings after about 6 weeks.
Glossy Abelia cuttings will need humidity to produce strong, healthy roots. While you can place them in a greenhouse if you have one, you can also cover the containers with clear plastic bags and expect to have the same effect. Make sure the plastic bags do not touch your cuttings by placing a stick in the soil which can keep the plastic bags at a distance. This will help you provide the Glossy Abelia cuttings with excellent moisture and air circulation.
Once the roots of your Glossy Abelia cuttings have developed, you can transplant them into containers that are slightly larger to let them grow more. When spring arrives, this is the right time to move your young plants in the garden by planting them directly into the ground. Of course, you can put aside some of them for your plant-loving relatives or friends and share this unique experience of having a Glossy Abelia around together!
Words cannot describe how amazing the Glossy Abelia can be for any type of gardener, especially when it has this ridiculously low-demanding and easy-to-propagate style. And since it comes with so many diverse cultivars to choose from, varying in size, shape, flower colours, and foliage appearance, it is pretty unlikely not to find one that will complement your garden perfectly. Glossy Abelias are rarely bothered by pests and diseases, and you won’t have to worry about them at all. The hardest part, as always, will surely be to stop only at one cultivar!
Are you growing Linnaea × Grandiflora a.k.a. Glossy Abelia in your garden or home? Let us know in the comments!