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Caring for Rose Creek Abelia Bushes

Abelia is a genus of shrubs, native to Asia, in the honeysuckle family. The Rose Creek variety is a dense and compact summer-flowering shrub. Rose Creek offers interest in the summer when it blooms in clusters of small, tubular white to light pink flowers. In the fall the foliage turns purple, adding a new dimension of color to the garden. Rose Creek abelia grows 2 to 3 feet tall with a 3- to 4-foot spread. The Rose Creek abelia is easy to maintain and hardy to USDA zones 6 to 9.

Plant the Rose Creek abelia in full sun. Although the shrub will grow in partial shade, the foliage color will be at its most striking when grown in the sun.

Water the Rose Creek abelia to keep the soil moist until it is established. When mature, the shrub is drought-tolerant and should only be watered when the top 3 inches of soil are dry.

Fertilize the Rose Creek abelia in the early spring, before new growth. Use a 10-10-10 formulation, according to package directions. Always water after fertilizing.

Cut the tips of the Rose Creek abelia’s branches during the growing season to encourage blooming. This is the only pruning required as the shrub tends to hold its form. To tip-prune, use the pruning shears to remove the first 1/2 to 1 inch from the tip of each branch. Discontinue tip-pruning before the first frost.

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Trim Rose Creek Abelia

Begin trimming "Rose Creek" after it reaches its full size, usually in its third year. Prune only when the plant can tolerate removal of several canes without its appearance suffering. Trim your evergreen abelia in late winter or early spring. Fill a bucket with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Bring it with you to the pruning site. Examine the shrub's canes and select the three oldest -- they'll also be the largest around -- for your first cuts. Choose your pruning tool according to the canes' diameters; if they're less than 1/2 inch, cut them back to the soil with pruning shears. Study the shrub for long shoots that interrupt its profile. The goal is to enhance “Rose Creek's” informal, fountainlike form.

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