Kaleidoscope abelia is known for its smaller form. Like other abelia shrubs, you need to cut and prune the kaleidoscope abelia, but how far can you cut it back?
When pruning a kaleidoscope abelia, cutting a third of the plant back is the proper way. If there is damage or dead stems, you’ll need to cut back more. Don’t worry, though. The plant will grow back fine.
In this article, I will discuss the proper way to prune the kaleidoscope abelia and some other essential care tips and pests to look out for. Let’s jump right in!
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How to Prune Kaleidoscope Abelia
A kaleidoscope abelia is on the smaller side compared to other types of abelias. It can reach heights of 2 to 2.5 inches (5.08 to 6.35 cm) and a width of 3 to 4 inches (7.62 to 10.16 cm) (source). Beautiful white flowers on this plant bloom in the spring and last through the fall.
When pruning a kaleidoscope abelia, you should do it in late winter or early spring to achieve the best results.
Dead stems must be removed at the bottom, or they will not be able to produce any new stems. Pruning should not be done during the summer or fall because this is when the abelia will bloom.
If a stem is only slightly damaged, you’ll only need to cut off the damaged part to leave the good part of the stem to remain. Doing this will ensure the healthy part of the stem remains healthy and continues to grow.
For necessary pruning to maintain the kaleidoscope abelia, find the three stems that are the longest and thickest, and cut them at the base, close to the ground (source). This may seem extreme, but it is needed to ensure proper pruning and the plant’s health.
Simply trim the stems to the desired length after that. It is required to remove around a third of the plant during pruning.
This is proper pruning, and your kaleidoscope abelia will be just fine. In fact, when kaleidoscope abelias are badly damaged, all stems can be cut to the bottom, and they will still grow back just as beautiful as before.
Some stems may become heavy and struggle to sit upright. If this is the case, you can cut stems like these back when necessary.
Caring for Kaleidoscope Abelia
There are many types of abelia, and most have the exact care needs. The kaleidoscope abelia is exceptionally tolerant of many conditions. It can survive in various extreme cold temperatures, although it thrives in warmer temperatures.
Even though it can live under just about any conditions, the kaleidoscope abelia does prefer a consistent watering schedule and will flourish when planted in acidic soil. However, it will still be okay if your soil isn’t acidic.
A kaleidoscope abelia prefers more sun than shade, but again it will survive even if this is not the case. You can keep your kaleidoscope abelia in a pot with proper care or plant it directly in your yard. Either way, it can thrive.
Pests and Diseases
Kaleidoscope abelia are pretty good at not being a target for diseases or pests. So, this usually isn’t something you’ll have to worry about. However, the only thing that manages to infect kaleidoscope abelias is aphids.
These little pests are known to infect new stem and leaf growth. They’ll leave behind a sticky substance that will coat your poor kaleidoscope. You’ll want to hose off your plant as best as possible to eliminate them and any traces left behind.
The next step is to use insecticidal soap, which will usually get the job done in getting rid of these pesky things. However, you might have to use it several times because it’s hard to get every single one the first go around.
If taken care of in time, your kaleidoscope abelia should be able to recover from the infestation and go back to its usual self.
An insecticidal soap product is the best way to fight the aphids. One such as the Trifecta Crop Control Natural Pesticide (link to Amazon). This spray is affordable and gets the job done.
Kaleidoscope abelias are hardy plants; even animals like deer who may snack on them have difficulty killing them off.
How to Keep Kaleidoscope Abelia in a Pot
As mentioned earlier, a kaleidoscope abelia can be grown in a flower pot. Even though these plants are very adaptable, it’s best to use their preferred soil and sunlight conditions when growing them in a pot.
Proper soil drainage is one thing to watch while growing this plant in a pot. It’s easy for there to be excess water in flower pots that don’t have good drainage. Kaleidoscope abelia doesn’t like water-logged soil.
However, in higher temperatures, a proper drainage pot can be a disadvantage at times because it allows the soil to dry faster. So if you’re not checking your abelia daily during this time, it could dry out too much.
When it becomes winter, you should not take your abelia inside as they don’t do well indoors. It will survive the cold conditions just fine. It’s recommended to ensure it’s in a sturdy flower pot and under some type of porch roof or overhanging for protection.
When pruning a kaleidoscope abelia, you’ll need to cut away about a third of the entire plant. This may seem severe, but it is necessary, and your kaleidoscope abelia will grow back just fine.
A kaleidoscope abelia is highly tolerant of various conditions, and aphids are the only pests you need to worry about. If you are looking for a resilient, easy-to-care-for shrub, then this is the plant for you.
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