Robacker, Carol D.
Apple PerfectionTM: A New Uniform, Low-Growing Abelia for the Landscape
Apple PerfectionTM is a new abelia cultivar developed in a breeding program at the University of Georgia. Foliage is a very glossy bright green. Flowering is heavy and begins in May and continues throughout the summer. Unusual for abelia, this cultivar has a mounding, uniform shape that requires little pruning to be attractive.
Landscape plants are an economically important commodity. According to the 2018 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report, the farm gate value for container nursery and field nursery was over $270 million. Furthermore, landscape plants have an important functional and aesthetic impact on the environment, especially in urban areas. Green landscaping is designed for low water and maintenance requirements and reduced pesticide use. Plants that tolerate drought and heat should be used in urban areas that experience frequent droughts and water use restrictions. Landscape plants also play an important role in supporting pollinators, so plants with flowers that attract pollinators are needed. Nurseries and landscape designers are seeking cultivars that will perform well and remain attractive with low maintenance in the challenging growing conditions of urban settings.
Abelia x grandiflora, commonly called glossy abelia, is a semi-deciduous non-invasive shrub. This species is an easy-to-grow sun- and heat-loving landscape plant that tolerates drought, attracts many pollinators and is resistant to disease, insect pests and deer. In response to industry need for drought tolerant, low-maintenance, compact and attractive plants, UGA Horticulture plant breeders developed the new cultivar Apple PerfectionTM. This outstanding plant has bright green, very glossy foliage and blooms heavily from May throughout the summer with flowers that attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Unusual for most abelia cultivars, this plant has a very compact, uniform mounding growth habit, and is smaller than many of the commercial cultivars. Pruning needs are minimal, reducing maintenance costs in the landscape. It can be grown as a foundation plant, in borders, as a specimen plant or in a container. It propagates readily from cuttings and is easy to establish in the landscape.
Apple PerfectionTM is a heavy-blooming abelia with a compact and uniform growth habit. This plant is suitable for use in challenging landscapes, as it is tolerant of drought and heat and undesirable to deer. It attracts many species of bees and butterflies. Apple PerfectionTM will be sold in nurseries in 2020. New cultivars such as Apple PerfectionTM increase the selection of landscape plants that are adaptable to the needs of modern urban environments.
- Year: 2020
- Geographic Scope: National
- County: Spalding
- Location: Georgia Station, Griffin
- Agriculture & Natural Resources