Mardi Gras AbeliaAbelia x 'Mardi Gras' (PP #15,203)
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Abelia x 'Mardi Gras' (PP #15,203)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
It is all about the color when it comes to Mardi Gras Abelia. If you desire a hardy, low-growing shrub that offers more than your standard variegated leaf colors, then look no further than Mardi Gras. It offers a blast of colors year-round brightening up even the dullest areas of the garden and you even get the added bonus of fragrant flowers, so what’s not to love? This is a great shrub for smaller spaces as it only grows 2 to 3 feet tall at maturity and with a width of 4 to 5 feet, making it a great filler plant.
When most people think of variegated foliage they instantly think of green and white, but this is not the case with Mardi Gras Abelia. In springtime, the colorful foliage bursts onto the scene with leaves tinged in pink, white and green. In fall, the color keeps going as the leaf tips become tinged in a golden bronze. In addition, and unlike many variegated plants, Mardi Gras keeps its distinct variegation all year long.
Just when you think things couldn’t get more colorful, in late spring to early summer, small, funnel-shaped and fragrant shell pink flowers fill the shrub. The blooms form on the end of branches and are long lasting, as the shrub keeps blooming through fall. Although Mardi Gras Abelia grows well in full sun to partial shade, you will get the most blooms by planting it in a sunnier location in the landscape. It has a moderate rate of growth, with a rounded habit.
Mardi Gras Abelia has an evergreen to semi-deciduous habit depending on where you live within its hardiness range. Those living in warmer, frost-free climates can expect this low-growing shrub to perform as an evergreen. However, if you live in the coolest portion of its range, expect it to perform as a semi-deciduous shrub. If your area does experience cold winters, you will want to grow your Mardi Gras in a protected location and place a layer of mulch around its base to help keep the root system warm and protected. You might even get some branch dieback due to the cold temperatures. However, do not fret; because once spring’s warm temperatures arrive, the shrub grows new foliage.
When it comes to its habit of flowering, Mardi Gras Abelia blooms on new wood, so it needs a good trimming in early spring. You can trim it down to about 6 inches from the ground to promote new growth. If you did lose some branches due to winter’s cold, wait until spring to prune them off. Many times a branch that may look dead is alive and will sprout new foliage in spring. Always clean your pruning tool’s blades before doing any trimming and this is as easy as wiping the blades off with rubbing alcohol. You don’t want to transfer any disease or pest problems to the shrub.
Although relatively tolerant to drought once established, during its first season of growth and especially after planting, give the plant deep-water applications weekly. If your conditions are hot and dry, you may have to water several times weekly as the plant like moist soil that isn’t soggy.
To keep it performing well, feed with an all-purpose blend in springtime. Mardi Gras Abelia’s hardiness, ease of care and low-maintenance requirements makes it a good choice for those who don’t want to pamper a plant to keep it thriving. Grown in proper conditions, Mardi Gras will flourish for years and reward you with its eye-catching appeal anywhere you decide to use it in your landscape.
With its striking and colorful foliage and fragrant blooms, Mardi Gras Abelia is the perfect selection to bring color wherever it is used and it fulfills a variety of needs in the landscape. With its resistance to deer damage and the benefit of attracting butterflies, it makes a good choice to add to a pollinator or wildlife garden. It also performs well grown in containers or above ground planter boxes. If growing it in containers, just make sure the container has bottom drainage to prevent problems with root rot due to the soil remaining too soggy.
Mardi Gras Abelia’s low-growing habit makes it a good and colorful choice to use to line borders or walkways through the garden. It also makes a stunning display when planted in mass plantings and pumps up the color when mixed with plants with primarily green foliage. You can also use it as a shorter informal or formal hedge. In addition, add some color to your porch or entranceway with containers or planting it as a foundation plant. However, you want to use it, its uses are almost endless.
Mardi Gras Abelia is a hybrid cultivar of Abelia x grandiflora. It is protected by a U.S. patent, which means for the life of the patent, asexual reproduction is prohibited by law. Our container grown Mardi Gras Abelias are carefully grown and taken care of in a nursery environment, meaning you get hardy plants performing at their best. Given proper care and growing conditions, once they arrive at your home, assures you are getting a healthy plant that will grace your garden for years to come.