Pruning Glossy Abelia can be great fun, because you can prune it into a sculpture, or turn it into a natural red green white fence. It’s an incredibly ornamental shrub. As a matter of fact, I don't really like pruning Glossy Abelia at all, because I love the way he just naturally "explodes" in the garden. Those long strong arms growing out like he’s stretching… with that awesome white pink bloom. Who would want to touch that? Truth is, you mostly don't need to prune Abelia, just remove the dead or sick branches and that should be enough.
Before you prune – For the first three years of his life, I highly recommend not pruning for size and shape at all. And dead branches should be pruned from the lowest point possible.
Why? Because you might miss your growth plan and general idea
of how you wanted your Abelia to look in your garden. If you planned to
use it as barrier or hedge that's one thing, but if you planned for
it to be more ornamental, that’s another thing altogether. What is important to
know is that the two goals require different pruning attitudes and methods.
Hedge style - Well it depend on the size of your hedge, but I assume you want to get a mix of colors and a more ‘wild’ look, rather than straight lines. In order to achieve that, you should only prune the blossoming clusters and soon after they finish blooming or have dried out. Keep pruning them patiently and you'll eventually enjoy a hedge that’s blossoming until late summer.
Ornamental style - Remember my warning not to prune until your Abelia is 3 years old? OK then, the following instructions will ideally apply when new growth begins in late spring. When you see new branches grow, it’s your chance to prune the old ones - hard. It is best to cut some older branches as low as you can, some not at all, and some half way down, the ones cut half way down will quickly produce new stems.
BTW: If you plan to prune hard, do so only every two or three years, not every season.
Where? Your pruning Glossy Abelia routine should only include the long branches that bother you along a path, for example. The old, dead branches, which should be cut as close you can to the ground. And, for additional bloom cut the blossoming clusters as close as possible to the nearest bud.
Providing general guidelines on 'how to prune' any kind of plant is important, but there are plants, and there is YOUR plant. So despite there being loads of information on this site, I also provide specific and personalized support. If something wasn't clear, or you're not sure of your plant's name, simply send me a picture with your question. Use the form below and I'll get back to you. In the mean time, see what others are asking.