The Q&A Archives: Glossy Abelia Death???

Question: I purchased a lovely glossy abelia from a reputable nursery last fall and planted it in a part sun/part shade bed. I live in new construction, and the plant seemed to thrive until winter when it proceeded to turn brown and dry everywhere. Is the plant dead? Or, is there something I should be doing to encourage new spring growth (i.e., cut back to ground?)

Answer: This shrub should be root hardy where you are but it may suffer some winterkill especially in the early years until it becomes established and occasionally in extra cold years. You will need to remove winter damaged wood from it each spring and any pruning needed to reshape it can be done in late winter or early spring as well. It should regrow quickly and since it flowers on new growth all summer it should still bloom just fine. It prefers a well drained yet moist (meaning not soggy) acid soil so be sure to keep it well watered until it becomes established. A top dressing of compost and/or complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 each spring plus several inches of organic mulch year round would be beneficial.

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