Curly abelia at home
Among the flowering indoor plants, almost all shrubs have become true legends. But if gardenia or rhododendrons, camellias and roses are universal favorites that do not lose their popularity, then many people still perceive abelia as exotics. These are magnificent plants with a pronounced oriental character, conquering the density and curl of the crown, abundance and elegance of flowering. The relentless flowering from the second half of summer to mid-autumn can not leave anyone indifferent. For the beauty of the Abelia, one can even forgive their very difficult character.
Eastern Grace Abelia
Among indoor plants there are not many plants with oriental charm. Despite the fact that representatives of the genus Abelia (Abelia) grow not only in southeast Asia, but also in Mexico, it is this plant that is associated primarily with China and Japan. The status of one of the most spectacular flowering cultures of Abelia was not accidental. Indeed, in this plant, the most attractive feature is precisely flowering.
Amazing representatives of honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae), abelia - plants are subtropical and distinctly oriental. Their character of culture with Japanese or Chinese style and the same effect on the interior is expressed so clearly that even rhododendrons can outshine.
Abelia (Abelia) - deciduous and evergreen shrubs that are found in nature mainly in the subtropical climate of China. These plants are equally known as garden, and as indoor. The maximum height of cultured abelia is limited to 2 meters, but more often the plants do not grow even up to 1.5 m. But this does not reduce their massiveness: the abelian bushes seem not just large, but overwhelmingly voluminous. They hide the surrounding space, look like lush and dense, and in small rooms are perceived very inappropriately. Therefore, this plant is used for spacious and large rooms - where it is possible to provide enough free space.
The pubescent shoots and egg-shaped leaves of abelia up to 3 cm long with a sharp tip pleasantly surprise with a discreet glossy sheen and dark color, which is replaced by bright green on the back of the leaf plates. The pubescent bases of their veins are in harmony with the shoots of abelia, and the opposite arrangement and short petioles are another easily recognizable features of this shrub, giving the crown an ornamental and intricate design.
Fragrant inflorescences-brushes in Abelia bloom only in the upper part of the shoots, but inflorescences are both apical and axillary. Small, seemingly porcelain oblong bell-shaped flowers with five sepals and a bell-shaped nimbus with five petals sit on short pedicels. The edges of the petals are bent asymmetrically, they are always slightly lighter than the color of the tube. The length of the flowers does not exceed 2 cm, but the change of color from white to increasingly bright pink seems surprising. The flowering period of abelia lasts from July to October
In room culture, the most commonly found is the large-flowered Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora). This is a spectacular semi-evergreen plant with a maximum two-meter height, ovoid leaves of a dark, muted color. The branches are very thin and long, gracefully drooping, change the “young” pink color to a darker purple. The flowers of Abelia are large-flowered, white and very fragrant, in axillary tassels, seem lacy and show off with five petals fused. Flowering of this species often falls on the cold season, in favorable conditions, lasts from October to June. In addition to the base plant, there are also some varieties with pink, snow-white, bright fuchsia, purple colors, and even variegated varieties that look amazingly mosaic.
Three other indoor species are much less common:
- Chinese Abelia (Abelia chinensis) is a semi-evergreen, abundantly flowering species with a particularly elegant crown of drooping shoots, dark oval leaves and white flower bells, on which red touches timidly appear.
- Abelia triflora (Abelia triflora) is a deciduous species that is often “kicked out” into trees, with lanceolate dark leaves and elegant fawn pink flowers with a sophisticated tube.
- Abelia small-leaved (Abelia parvifolia) is an interesting species with delicate lilac flowers having a hairy edge and oval small leaves.
Abelia care at home
Abelia, like many beautiful flowering shrubs, are capricious plants. It is not easy to grow them even for experienced gardeners, but with zeal you can succeed and admire the beauties for many years. The main difficulties are caused by the need to maintain abelia in a cool wintering, and the selection of other conditions requires careful analysis for compliance with their plant characteristics.
This shrub is quite moody. Abelia prefer a scattered but bright location. It is better to protect them from direct sunlight, but even the slightest shading negatively affects the attractiveness of the bushes.
The eastern and western window sills are considered the best place for abelia, but in the transitional seasons and in winter this beauty is best placed on the southern windows.
Abelia is considered a plant that feels great in greenhouses. It grows well and blooms especially profusely in coolness, but it also adapts well to room conditions. True, with room indicators - from 18 degrees and above - Abelia will reconcile only in the spring and summer. But in winter, the plant will have to find a cooler place. During dormancy, even evergreen and semi-evergreen abelia prefer a temperature of no lower than 10, but no higher than 15 degrees Celsius.
When changing the conditions of abelia, you need to act very carefully, lowering and raising the temperature gradually. Any sudden changes in temperature, even at 5 degrees, can cause the dropping of leaves. This beauty will have to be protected from drafts, and from active air flows, and from air conditioners with heating systems. For abelia, all parameters relating to temperature and air need to be stabilized as much as possible.
Watering and humidity
Abelia is not too demanding on the regime of irrigation, can come to terms with fluctuations in soil moisture, but extremes should not be allowed. The intensity of irrigation for this plant directly depends on the stage of its development and air temperature. In summer, abelia is watered abundantly and often, in winter - more rarely and with a small amount of water. For a plant, it is better to maintain a stable average soil moisture, allowing the substrate in pots to dry between these procedures from above.
Despite the general moodiness, Abelia is always pleasantly surprising in one thing - it does not need high humidity, conventional spraying can even be quite dangerous due to the tendency to spread rot. It is better to keep Abelia in dry rooms than to overdo it with moisture. The only time when the plant does not give up spraying is summer, and even then such measures are needed only on the hottest days. Spraying abelia, you need to be careful not to soak the leaves too much. In the cold season, even if it is not possible to provide abelia coolness, spraying is never carried out, and any moisturizing procedures will not be able to compensate for the incorrect temperature regime.
Top dressing for this beauty is carried out only in spring and summer. The standard frequency is quite suitable for this plant: just 1 feeding with a frequency of 2 times per month is enough.
For abelia, you need to choose fertilizers for flowering plants. If you have your own garden and a supply of high-quality fertilizers, then you can use organic fertilizers (for example, mullein) for abelia, which is applied once a month throughout the entire active development period. But it is still “more reliable” to use complex or mineral mixtures.
Without a special formation and stimulation of flowering, it will not be possible to achieve a colorful show from oriental abelia. Trimming is a must. For evergreen abelia, it is traditionally carried out as soon as flowering ends, but for deciduous - in February or March. But for indoor semi-evergreen abeliums, the best strategy is pruning at the end of winter, before active growth begins.
On abelia, pruning is carried out quite strongly, removing not only dry, damaged or weak twigs, but also shortening the remaining ones by one third or half of the length, or at will to give a certain shape. You should not be afraid of such a strong pruning: abelia grows rapidly and usually doubles the crown volume by the end of summer.
If you want to use the drooping shoots of a plant and grow abelia as an ampel culture, then pruning can be reduced to remove damaged shoots and let the plant stretch as it sees fit.
Transplant and substrate
For abelia, a universal balanced substrate is best suited. It is better to choose soil mixtures from among special substrates for flowering crops. When the soil is mixed independently, then sand, peat, turf and humus soil are combined in equal parts. The optimal soil reaction is 5.5-6.0 pH.
A transplant of this shrub is carried out as necessary, and not annually, allowing the roots to fully master the substrate. Abelia can be transplanted during spring, carefully handling it while maintaining the main earthen coma.
After transplanting abelia, you need to give time to adapt. Watering is carried out carefully, monitoring the condition of the substrate. And top dressing resume only after two or even three months.
Abelia diseases and pests
Abelia, with good care, exhibits an enviable resistance, but with errors with watering, plants are often affected by rot. Of the pests, the aphid causes the most problems for aphids, but spider mites and thrips are also dangerous. Fighting problems is better with a combination of correction of care and treatment with insecticides or biological products (for example, tobacco infusion is very effective).
This plant is easiest to get from green cuttings, which are cut from the tops of the shoots, leaving 5 leaves on the cuttings. Cut abelia cuttings only in spring (you can use the remaining branches after trimming). Rooting is carried out in sand or a sand-peat substrate at a temperature of about 25 degrees. Immediately after rooting, plants are planted in individual containers.
Can be propagated by abelia and seeds. Sowing is carried out in January in loose universal soil. Under glass or film in bright light and room temperatures, seedlings appear and develop rapidly. They are dived into pots after the appearance of the third real leaf. With good care, seedlings can bloom as early as the year of sowing.
Abelia actively forms basal shoots. During transplantation, young plants can be separated from the main bush, and strong bushes can be obtained from each sprout, and separation can be carried out annually.