There are two basic methods for pruning evergreen Abelia shrubs - depending upon whether or not regular maintenance has been carried out. The basic routine pruning is little other than a light trip after flowering. The other method is usually adopted for overgrown or untidy Abelias which have not been tended for most of their life span!
The techniques are the same for Abelia grandiflora types, Abelia floribunda; and other evergreen Abelias.
Pruned correctly, Abelias will give years of pleasure with plenty of flowers and bright foliage which is also an added attraction for this group of ornamental flowering evergreen shrubs.
Younger Abelia shrubs are probably best left un-pruned for two or three years - other than trimming back any wayward stems.
Other than being evergreens with quite attractive foliage, Abelias are good flowering shrubs, with generally pink shades of flowers - and white. They also have attractive calyces behind the flowers - another reason to prune for flower power!
The image shows flowers and the calyces, which are prominent and long lasting - especially on the Abelia x grandiflora types.
Immediately after flowering trim back the flowered growth to a leaf joint just below the old flowering section. This will result in immediate growth of next years flowering stems in abundance. More new stems, result in a more floriferous shrub next year.
This light pruning also allows for fresh new foliage, which is one of the main attractions for the Abelia x grandiflora 'Francis Mason' in particular.
This light trimming can be carried out with a pair of shears right after flowering has finished. It will leave a slightly 'regular' shaped shrub hedge, but this will soon change as the new shoots emerge. Abelias grown as a hedge are best thought of as 'informal' rather than neat and tidy.
Neglected Abelias can be rejuvenated by quite hard pruning back to a main framework near ground level. This should ideally take place just as new growth starts in late spring. (After main frosts have finished so as not to have too much frost damage on the new emerging shoots.) It will soo start to shoot out, and new branches can be trained or further pruned to get the desired shape.
Hard pruning of some of the stems can also take place every two or three years. For this continuing rejuvenation it is best to cut out around 25-30% of the older branches - back to the desired point - as low as you like.
If you are familiar with hard pruning Buddleia, then that is the way to go with neglected Abelia.