Twist Of Vanilla AbeliaAbelia x grandiflora 'Wevo1' (PP #26,126)
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Abelia x grandiflora 'Wevo1' (PP #26,126)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Twist of Vanilla™ Abelia is a neat, compact mounding plant growing no more than 3 feet tall and wide. It has glossy evergreen leaves that are edged with a slender line of white, creating a cool and sophisticated look that everyone loves. The variegation lasts through winter with little or no pink developing. Pure white flowers from mid-summer all through fall accentuate the ice-cream coolness of this plant, which glows out across your garden, even at dusk and in partial shade.
Both full sun and partial shade are perfect for the Twist of Vanilla™ Abelia which looks great in afternoon or evening shade, standing out when other plants fade into the shadows. It grows well in any well-drained soil, and it is drought resistant once established, although some water will keep it lush and growing well. It can be trimmed, or simply left to grow naturally – either way it is easy to care for, free of pests and diseases, and normally left alone by deer.
The classic combination of green leaves with white edges is an unfailing success in the garden. These plants always look bright and cheerful, and they fit in anywhere, always looking cool, calm, sophisticated and appealing. Unfortunately, many of them are large bushes, needing endless trimming if you want to keep them small. That’s why we knew right away we had a winner when we saw the Twist of Vanilla™ Abelia. Its neat green leaves have a slender edging of white, creating a bright, glowing plant that is perfect in beds, or trimmed into a border. The white flowers that come in summer and fall add to its cool look, and when other plants are disappearing into the evening dusk, white ones come to life, and glow out at exactly the time you are outdoors relaxing after a busy day.
The Twist of Vanilla Abelia grows into a dense, compact, evergreen shrub reaching no more than 3 feet tall. It is more upright than many other abelia bushes, and it is not much wider than 2 feet. The neat leaves are just under 1½ inches long, oval, glossy and smooth. They taper to a pointed tip, and the edges are slightly irregular, with small indentations. All around the leaf is a fine white line, slightly irregular, but neat, giving definition and brightness to every leaf. On new leaves this edge is creamy yellow, but it quickly changes to a clean vanilla-white as the leaves mature. This color is held throughout the season, perhaps with some development of pink tones during the depths of winter, but generally stable and constant year-round.
The tubular flowers develop in clusters of about 15 blooms, each one opening for about 5 days. They are pure white and have a flaring mouth, and relatively large, with each one being an inch long and almost an inch across. They add a graceful elegance – and a pleasant sweet fragrance – to this charming plant. Blooming is more or less continuous from early or mid-summer all the way through fall. Butterflies, including exotics like the sphinx moth, love to feed on the flowers, and they have been known to attract hummingbirds too.
The classic sophistication of white plants cannot be beaten, and for partial shade they are a godsend, since they remain bright, and don’t disappear in the shadows. Grow this plant among other small shrubs in mixed borders, or mass plant it to fill spaces in your beds. We recommend a spacing of 18 inches for continuous planting in beds or when planting a row for edging. Its smaller size makes this a perfect edging plant for larger beds, where they meet lawns, paths, terraces or driveways.
Plant it around the base of trees on your lawn for easy brightness. It is also a valuable plant for planter boxes and pots, where it gives you year-round neutral color as a backdrop to annual flowers of any color at all.
This easy-care shrub stays fresh and evergreen all year round in zone 7 and warmer areas. In zone 6 it may lose some leaves in winter, and perhaps some branches will die. A quick trim in spring will set it up for another perfect season, although it will probably only reach about 2 feet in zone 6.
The Twist of Vanilla Abelia grows equally well in full sun and in partial shade – in fact some shade will make that edging even brighter white. It will also grow well in areas that are in shadow, but that have clear sky overhead. It grows in almost any well-drained soil, including poorer urban soils and difficult locations. It will grow best with some water and a little spring fertilizer, but it has no special needs at all.
Once the Twist of Vanilla Abelia has established itself in your garden it can be left alone, without the need for regular maintenance. It can be trimmed from spring to fall, but summer trimming will reduce flowering, and a single trim in spring will keep it neat and compact unless you want a very formal look. Older plants can be rejuvenated by removing some of the oldest branches close to the ground in early spring. New shoots will quickly fill it in again. It normally has no pests or diseases and deer usually leave it alone.
Abelia x grandiflora has been grown in warmer gardens ever since it was created in 1886. Breeders at the Rovelli nurseries in Pallanza, on Lake Maggiore, in northern Italy, crossed two wild species of abelia from China, Abelia chinensis and Abelia uniflora. The result was a vigorous hybrid plant that has given rise to many variations since its creation. Many of them have colourful foliage, and the variety named ‘Wevo 1’ was found as a different-looking stem on another variegated abelia called Sunshine Daydream (‘Abelops’). That plant has broad yellow leaf variegation, but in June of 2008 Landert de Vos noticed a branch that was different – with a narrow white variegation, growing on a plant of Sunshine Daydream that he was raising at his nursery in Reeuwijk, in Boskoop, the Netherlands. He patented his new plant in 2015 with the name ‘Wevo 1’, and it is being produced under that patent by the Greenleaf Nursery Company here in America. They are making it available as Twist of Vanilla™, a trademark variety in their Garden Debut® collection.
The sophistication of white plants is well-known, and widely loved. They feature in all the best magazines and websites, and they are always top sellers. The Twist of Vanilla Abelia won’t be around at our farm for long, so order now while our top-quality stock is still available.