Twist Of Orange AbeliaAbelia x grandiflora 'gretoo'
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Abelia x grandiflora 'gretoo'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Twist of Orange™ Abelia grows into a rounded evergreen shrub with a dense form and upright, slightly arching branches. The leaves are variegated green with cream margins, but this is overlaid with ever-changing colors of red and orange, turning burgundy in fall. Growing between 4 and 5 feet tall and wide, this plant is perfect for bringing color to your borders for month after month, with almost no effort. White flowers develop from summer all the way through fall. It can be grown as an accent anywhere in the garden, or as a border along a path or fence, trimmed or untrimmed.
Full sun will bring out the brightest colors from the Twist of Orange™ Abelia, but it grows almost as well in partial shade. It grows easily in almost any well-drained soil, except for extremely dry conditions. A little watering and some shrub fertilizer will make it grow vigorously and well, even in urban conditions. Pests, diseases and deer all leave it alone. It can be trimmed in spring without reducing the flowering, or trimmed regularly to become a neat hedge.
Most of the garden evergreens for warmer areas are green. Dark green, light green, mid-green, but still, green. It’s time to liven up the color scheme of your garden, not just with short-lived flowers, but with colors that last all year. Yes, you could plant something with gold or purple leaves, but then that’s it – gold or purple. How much better would it be, especially in a small space, if you had something that kept changing from month to month, so that it never got boring or same old, same old, but instead gave you many interesting colors. The Twist of Orange™ Abelia sounds simple enough, but its complex color patterns and changes mean it hardly ever looks the same from week to week – instead it is constantly changing. The basic leaf coloring is an attractive green with a soft yellow irregular border, but on new leaves that base is overlaid with many shades of orange and red, while the new stems are red too. The exact tones depend on the weather, the time of year, and how old the leaves are, creating a lovely every-changing color pattern that will captivate you each time you look at it.
The Twist of Orange Abelia is a densely-branched evergreen shrub, growing to 4 or 5 feet tall and wide. It has arching stems that create an attractive irregular outline, and a little trimming will keep it tight and compact, if you want that. The leaves are carried in pairs all along the stems, and they are about 1½ inches long, with a slightly leathery texture and a smooth, glossy surface. They are oval, tapering to a pointed tip, and always look clean, fresh and attractive. Each leaf is rich green with a broad, irregular edge along both sides that is pale yellow to creamy white. New stems are deep red, and the leaves are tinted red too, so that the yellow area becomes red or pink, and the green area becomes orange. Since these colors gradually fade as the leaves mature, no two leaves on the plant are identical, making a wonderful picture of shade after shade of red, orange, yellow and green, blending together. By late summer most of the leaves will be green and yellow, but then, as the cooler weather of fall arrives, they turn bright burgundy red, with lighter red edges, and hold that coloring all through winter, until the new leaves come again.
From mid-summer into fall flowers are carried in clusters all over the plant. These are fragrant, shaped like a funnel, and white, with a white outer structure like a cup holding the flower, called a calyx. These remain after the flowers fall, keeping up the flowering effect for weeks and weeks.
Need a splash of color in your beds to brighten things up? Simply plant the Twist of Orange Abelia and the problem is solved. It makes a great backdrop to just about any other flowers and plants, especially golds, yellows, oranges, blues and silver. Plant it in the middle of larger beds, or at the back of smaller ones, or use it as highlights among green-leaf plants around your home. Plant a row along a driveway or path, scattered among other plants, or close enough together to become a continuous edging. Planted 2 feet apart they will soon fill in as a solid border, or in a large group for mass planting. This easy-care shrub is great planted anywhere around your garden as an accent, and it will be an instant success.
The Twist of Orange Abelia is completely hardy and evergreen in zone 7 and all the warmer zones. In zone 6 it will be semi-evergreen, losing leaves during winter and sometimes having branches die back. Simply trim away any dead parts in spring, once you see new growth coming, and it will soon be back. In colder areas the maximum height will be around 3 feet.
Both full sun and partial shade suit this plant perfectly. The leaf colors will be strongest in full sun, but a few hours of shade each day is hardly noticeable. The soil should be well-drained, but perfectly ordinary, just not too, too dry. Once established this plant is drought tolerant, but some moisture will give the most lush and full growth. It tolerates urban conditions and poorer soils well.
Very little maintenance is needed, once the Twist of Orange Abelia is established. A light trim in spring will keep it neat, but don’t trim much after that, because you will reduce the flowering. Older plants can have some of their oldest branches taken out low down, again in spring, to make room for new growth and rejuvenate the plant. If you don’t mind losing the flowers you can trim regularly into a neat and colorful hedge. Pests and diseases almost never appear, and deer usually leave it alone.
Abelia x grandiflora is a classic garden shrub, dating back to 1886, when it was created by crossing together two Chinese species, Abelia chinensis and Abelia uniflora. This was done in Italy, at the Rovelli nurseries in Pallanza, on Lake Maggiore. Since then there have been numerous new forms found and selected, but the one called ‘gretoo’ is outstanding. We sadly have no idea where this plant originated, but it was being overlooked until the Greenleaf Nursery Company made it available as part of their Garden Debut® trusted plant selection, using the trademark name, Twist of Orange™.
Nothing brightens your garden better than the Twist of Orange Abelia, so order now, while our limited stock is still available, because they will be gone very soon. You won’t regret adding such a colorful and easy-care plant to your garden.