Rose or "Rose Creek" abelia is an abelia shrub cultivar prized for its low-growing form, bright red stem color, and prolific fragrant flowers that bloom from spring until frost. North Carolina Cooperative Extension recommends using "Rose Creek" abelia as a low-growing hedge, as a container plant or in foundation plantings. "Rose Creek" grows 2 to 3 feet tall, with a spread of 3 to 4 feet. Abelias are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 6 to 9.
Choose a sun or partial shade site for your rose abelia. Abelias do well in moist, well-draining, nutrient-rich soils, but tolerate a variety of soil types. Organic compost is beneficial for improving poor soils.
Dig a hole about 3 times the width of the root ball and only as deep as the plant grew in its original container.
Water the rose abelia before setting it in the hole. After removing the plant from its original container, gently loosen the roots and carefully place the shrub in its new location.
Refill the hole with the removed soil and refrain from adding fertilizer at this time because it may burn the shrub's roots. Gently tamp the soil around the root ball and continue filling the hole until the root ball is covered by ½ to 1 inch of soil.
Form a temporary basin around the newly planted rose abelia shrub by mounding soil 2 to 3 inches high around the planting hole to aid in water retention. Water the shrub again after planting and add a 3-inch layer of mulch around the shrub (avoiding the stem) to help eliminate weeds and conserve soil moisture.
Irrigate your rose abelia as necessary, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. After they are well-established, abelias are drought tolerant, but not drought-proof.
Prune rose abelias with clean, sharp loppers or shears before spring growth appears and again after blooming, recommends the University of Kentucky extension. Abelias tend to become "leggy" with age and require regular pruning to keep them looking their best.
Fertilize abelia shrubs in spring or fall with a general commercial fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, according to package instructions. Fertilize in spring before new growth appears or fertilize in fall, a month after a hard frost. Spread the recommended amount on top of the soil or mulch, evenly around the root zone of the shrub and water the area lightly to move the fertilizer into the soil.