Tropical Style

How to Plant with Abelia Confetti

“Confetti” variegated glossy abelia (Abelia x grandiflora “Confetti”) reaches 3 feet tall, spreading 4 feet wide to form a mound of green leaves with pink and white tints. Pale pink tubular-shaped flowers appear in the late summer on this cottage garden tree. In U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9, this bush rises as an evergreen unless exposed to freezing temperatures. For companion plants for this abelia variety, start looking for plants which prefer dry to medium water conditions and complete to partial sunlight exposure.

Dark-Colored Shrubs

Dark-colored shrubs provide the brightly coloured abelia a dramatic contrasting backdrop. Plant shorter shrubs either in front of or beside the “Confetti” abelia, but put taller bushes behind the abelia. Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) rises evergreen in zones 9 and 10, reaching 6 to 8 feet tall and spreading 3 to 4 feet wide. In the summertime, intensely aromatic white blooms, which vary to pink as they age, perfume the cottage garden. This sun-loving shrub opens its flowers during the night, only to shut them in the daytime. Daphne spirea (Spiraea japonica “Alpina”) stays only 24 inches tall, spreading 5 feet wide with dark blue-green leaves. This dwarf deciduous tree grows best in full sunlight and produces showy pink flower clusters in the summertime in zones 4 through 9.

Low-Growing Ground Compatibility

Low-growing ground covers work well when planted underneath the “Confetti” abelia. Both “Silver Dragon” lilyturf (Liriope spicata “Silver Dragon”) and “Sun Stripe” agapanthus (Agapanthus africanus “MonKageyama”) prefer partial shade growing states. “Silver Dragon” lilyturf grows as an evergreen in zones 6 through 11 with narrow, dark green blades decorated with white vertical stripes near the edges. This wide variety of lilyturf attains 10 inches high, forming clumps 15 to 18 inches wide with light purple flowers in late summer followed by whitish-green berries. “Sun Stripe” agapanthus produces evergreen strap-like leaves with delicate yellow edges and blue summer blooms. In zones 8 through 11, this agapanthus attains 20 inches high and 24 inches wide.

Perennial Flowers

Many different kinds of perennial flowers grow nicely with “Confetti” abelia, but intense pink blooms bring out the pink at the abelia leaves. Both “First Love” cheddar pink (Dianthus “First Love”) and “Red Fox” spike speedwell (Veronica spicata “Red Fox”) prefer full sunlight growing states, so plant them around the sunny side of their abelia. “First Love” cheddar pink flowers grow best in zones 3 through 9, reaching 12 to 18 inches tall and wide with silvery blue-green, grass-like leaves and open-faced flowers appearing in various tints of pink. This evergreen perennial blooms from spring during the first autumn frost. “Red Fox” spike speedwell stays compact, growing 12 inches tall and wide with deep rose-colored blooms in zones 4 through 8, attracting hummingbirds to the garden.

Shade-Loving Ferns

Shade-loving ferns cover the shady side of this “Confetti” abelia, growing in an area which may be difficult to grow other plants due to the deficiency of light. Holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum “Rochfordianum”) produces stiff, erect, lustrous, dark evergreen fronds, reaching two to three feet tall and 18 inches wide in zones 8 through 10. Rosy Australian maidenhair fern (Adiantum hispidulum) grows best in zones 7 and 8, reaching 24 inches tall and wide, with new growth appearing rose-colored and turning dark green as the fronds mature.

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