The Kaleidoscope Abelia, more commonly referred to as the Glossy Abelia, is a fuss-free member of the Caprifoliaceae or Honeysuckle family. Well, mostly fuss-free.
The main problems with the Kaleidoscope Abelia plant include aphid infestation, the plant developing thick foliage but no flowers, and looking brown-toned at the tips. Solutions include getting rid of the aphids and applying the right fertilizer.
Although this plant doesn’t suffer many problems, such as serious pests or diseases, here are 6 Kaleidoscope Abelia issues and their solutions.
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1. Your Kaleidoscope Abelia Is Infested With Aphids
One huge pro of the Kaleidoscope Abelia is that it is highly resistant to pests and animals like deer. However, the occasional aphid infestation can cause potential harm to the plant.
Aphids are small insects that are green or black in color. They infest plants in large numbers and reproduce very quickly. These insects can cause damage to the plant by sucking out sap and water. For the Kaleidoscope Abelia specifically, they can cause spotting of the foliage.
To spot aphids, take a look at the new growth and sprouts since they are the most vulnerable to infestation.
How To Fix
The solution to getting rid of aphids is very simple. If you catch them early and only spot a few on your plant, hose down the plant with a generous amount of water. This should detach the insects and make them leave the plant.
In case you missed spotting the aphids until the whole plant is infested with them, your best option is to go for a non-toxic, insecticidal soap. While wearing hand gloves and a mask to avoid inhalation, spray the whole plant thoroughly with insecticidal soap.
This will suffocate the aphids. If your plant is heavily infested, you may need to repeat this process as required.
A great organic insecticidal soap that is ready to use and can be used both indoors and outdoors is the Espoma Insecticidal Soap (link to Amazon). This soap helps control not only aphids but other pests, such as whiteflies as well.
Another way to get rid of aphids is to use neem oil. A spray like this organic Harris Neem Oil Spray (link to Amazon) will smother the Aphids. Use this by generously spraying down the Kaleidoscope Abelia.
2. Your Abelia Has Thick Foliage But No Flowers
The Kaleidoscope Abelia is known to be beginner-friendly due to the fact that it requires very little help to bloom and thrive. However, if you find yourself in the blooming season with a plant that’s heavy in foliage but no flowers, take a look at your fertilizer.
Oftentimes gardeners will use a fertilizer with too much nitrogen. Unfortunately, nitrogen-heavy fertilizers are great for promoting foliage growth but not flower production.
How To Fix
The solution to this problem is very simple. Switch over to a fertilizer with a higher ratio of phosphorus to nitrogen and potassium.
Phosphorus is scientifically known to help plants produce seeds, flowers, and fruit. On the other hand, nitrogen helps plants capture more sunlight through photosynthesis and promotes healthy green foliage growth.
On its part, potassium promotes strong stems and quick plant growth (source).
See our guide on When Kaleidoscope Abelia Blooms.
3. Your Kaleidoscope Abelia Is Flopping Over
You will find that this problem of the Kaleidoscope Abelia flopping over typically only occurs in springtime months. The “flopping” can be attributed to weaker stems.
During springtime, the plant sprouts and grows stems quickly, but these stems are often not very strong. This causes the plant to look like it’s flopping over.
How To Fix
To fix this temporary problem, you can opt to support the plant with plant support sticks. I recommend buying these Green Bamboo Sticks (link to Amazon) that come in value packs with different lengths to cater to your gardening needs. These sticks can help make the plant look more upright and add strength to the weaker sprouts.
The second option is to allow the plant to grow naturally and strengthen with time.
As mentioned before, this issue primarily arises during springtime due to growth spurts and will self-regulate as time passes. In the meantime, you can do some light pruning to help shape the plant to look more put together.
See How Far Back Can You Cut Kaleidoscope Abelia?
4. Your Kaleidoscope Abelia Is Drying Out
If you look at your Kaleidoscope Abelia and notice it looking dry rather than flush, you may be underwatering your plant. Although Abelia is known for being quite drought-tolerant, extreme underwatering or neglect can lead to a dying plant.
Hot To Fix
When you notice the plant is underwatered, perhaps due to drought or you not being around to provide proper care, check the top three inches (7.62 cm) of soil. If the soil around the plant feels dry, then water the plant.
When watering, make sure you do not overwater or waterlog the soil. Add enough water to make the top three or five inches of soil (7.62 or 12.7cm) nice and moist, and then continue watering with around an inch (2.5cm) of water weekly.
5. Your Abelia Is Wilting and Giving Off a Rotting Smell
Similar to underwatering, overwatering can severely damage the Kaleidoscope Abelia. If you notice a rotting smell and or the plant wilting, it’s safe to assume you have overwatered your plant.
To confirm overwatering, de-root part of the plant. If the roots look like they are actively rotting, this confirms the speculation. The Kaleidoscope Abelia does best in moist soil rather than water-drenched soil.
How To Fix
The solution to dying roots due to overwatering is simply trimming away those roots. You do not want the dead roots to continue to kill off healthy roots. Hence, trimming is essential.
If the plant is in a debilitating state due to extensive rotting, replant it in fresh soil and only water the plant when the top three inches (7.62 cm) of soil is dry. And remember to only water to moisten, not to waterlog.
Now that you have a good idea about what could affect your Kaleidoscope Abelia – and the solutions to the same -, you can go ahead to try out your green thumbs. Happy gardening!
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