First discovered by Randy Lindsey (Propagator at Panoramic Farm USA) as a sport on the well known Abelia × grandiflora ‘Little Richard’ . A. 'Kaleidoscope' carries with it all the wonderful attributes of it parent - dense, compact growth habit with a high foliage retention during the dormant winter months. The really stand out attraction of 'Kaleidoscope', however, is the dynamic color it brings to the garden landscape.
New, variegated growth emerges as bright yellow with a light green centre throughout spring gradually turning to golden yellow with deeper green markings into the summer months intensifying in colour rather than bleaching from long, hot summer days.
By autumn this combination turns to a bright orange to fiery red throughout the winter months extending until the early spring. These colours are further highlighted by the brilliant red stems and the abundance of dainty white flowers first appearing in summer.
Exceptionally easy to grow and maintain once established, this versatile shrub will serve many purposes in both commercial and home garden schemes.
Select a sunny location in most soil types that are well draining. Best autumn colours are achieved when planted in full sun although it will grow well in light shade tending to stay more in shades of yellow and green.
Pruning is according to use - for general garden displays, a light tidy-up prune may be given to maintain a neat appearance. If used for hedging - regular light trims will be required to maintain preferred shape and size which may mean some loss of flower display but colour of new foliage growth will compensate for this well.
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system after which you will find A. 'Kaleidoscope' will tolerate dry conditions very well. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.
Occasionally a water shoot may appear (looks like a longer cane than normal and will rise alone, above the existing foliage height) which should be pruned out from base.
Limitless applications are available when using Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' in garden designs. With year round foliage colour and growing equally well in gardens or containers, its just a question of what your needs are.
In small gardens use as a specimen shrub to highlight areas you wish to draw attention to or alternatively grow in tubs for paved, decked or balcony areas.
Ideal mass planted for low maintenance areas to produce a lively ground covering display.
Once established, A. 'Kaleidoscope' is very dry tolerant and hardy if looking to fill difficult growing sites.
Although foliage is still a little 'loose' for clipping into tight shapes, gorgeous effects can still be achieved when using to create a less formal but still decorative hedge to divide garden spaces or to line paved areas, pathways, fence lines etc.
Even without a specific purpose in mind, A. 'Kaleidoscope' will not disappoint when mixed into a general garden display.