In autumn, butterflies and hummingbirds need to consume a lot of calories in preparation for egg-laying, migration, or dormancy, so it's important that your butterfly garden include fall-blooming food sources. Ruby Anniversary abelia fits that role perfectly. In late summer, it bursts forth with hundreds of white, bell-shaped flowers, each emitting a sweet, jasmine-like perfume, that bring in hungry hummers and butterflies by the score. It really is a sight to behold as they swoop and dodge each other to get to the nectar, and the show lasts for 4+ weeks while the plant continues to bloom. Even after the flowers fall, the plant continues to look great, as each leaves behind a flower-shaped ruby bract that persists through the rest of the autumn.
Ruby Anniversary abelia is also special because it's hardier than other summer/fall blooming abelias, allowing gardeners even in zone 5 to finally enjoy the amazing display. This unique flowering shrub from Proven Winners definitely deserves to be better known and far more widely grown!
Size: 4-6'/1.2-1.8m tall and wide
Light: full sun (6+ hrs/day), Part sun (4-6 hrs/day)
Hardiness: USDA zone 5-9 (Find your hardiness zone)
Pollinator value: attracts hummingbirds; attracts adult butterflies of many species.
Notable features: fragrant, deer resistant, long blooming, fall blooming, good for hedges.
Maintenance: Ruby Anniversary abelia does not need regular pruning, but can be pruned or trimmed in spring if desired. Shallow roots benefit from a good 2-3" layer of shredded bark mulch all year-round.
Pot size: one quart
Plant name: Abelia chinensis 'Keiser' pp#21,632