Glossy Abelia (Abelia X Grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ MISS LEMON)

Plant: Table of Contents

Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ MISS LEMON)

Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ MISS LEMON) is a popular and versatile ornamental shrub that is prized for its attractive glossy foliage and abundant flowers. This cultivar is a hybrid of Abelia grandiflora, commonly known as glossy abelia, and it features a compact growth habit and striking variegated foliage. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the culture, uses, care requirements, and interesting facts about this beautiful plant.

What is Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ MISS LEMON)?

Glossy abelia is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that belongs to the family Caprifoliaceae. It is a hybrid plant, resulting from a cross between A. x grandiflora and A. chinensis. The ‘Hopleys’ cultivar, also known as ‘Miss Lemon,’ is prized for its yellow and green variegated foliage, compact growth habit, and fragrant, showy flowers. It typically reaches a height and spread of 3 to 5 feet, making it an excellent choice for borders, hedges, or container planting.

The plant is named after John Hopley, an English nurseryman who introduced this variety. ‘Miss Lemon’ refers to the yellow and green foliage, reminiscent of the color of lemon zest. This cultivar is celebrated for its year-round interest, as it offers colorful foliage, fragrant blooms, and attractive berries, making it a valuable addition to any garden or landscape.

Key Takeaways – Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ MISS LEMON)

Before delving into the specifics of culture, care, and propagation, let’s summarize the key takeaways regarding glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’:

  • Botanical Name: Abelia x grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ (Miss Lemon)
  • Common Name: Glossy Abelia ‘Hopleys’
  • Cultivar Name: Miss Lemon
  • Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen shrub
  • Mature Size: 3-5 feet tall and wide
  • Foliage: Variegated, glossy yellow and green
  • Flowers: Fragrant, white to pale pink, in clusters
  • Growth Habit: Compact, mounded
  • Uses: Borders, hedges, containers, mass plantings
  • Hardiness: Zones 6-9
  • Maintenance: Low to moderate

This overview provides a snapshot of the characteristics and uses of glossy abelia ‘Hopleys,’ setting the stage for a detailed exploration of its cultivation and care.



Proper watering is essential for the health and vigor of glossy abelia. When establishing newly planted specimens, it’s crucial to ensure that the root ball is consistently moist but not waterlogged. Once the plant is established, it exhibits good drought tolerance, though regular watering during dry spells is beneficial for optimal growth and flowering. Deep, infrequent watering is preferred over frequent shallow irrigation to encourage deep root development and overall plant resilience.


Glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ thrives in full sun to partial shade. While it can tolerate some shade, it typically exhibits the best foliage coloration and abundant flowering when grown in full sun. In hotter regions, providing afternoon shade can help protect the plant from the intense midday sun and reduce heat stress.


This cultivar is adaptable to different soil types, as long as the soil is well-draining. A loamy, fertile soil with a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH range is ideal for glossy abelia. Incorporating organic matter into the soil during planting can improve its structure and fertility, promoting healthy root development and overall growth.


Applying a balanced, slow-release fertilizer formulated for shrubs in spring can provide the necessary nutrients for vigorous growth and prolific flowering. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding application rates and timing, as excessive fertilization can lead to lush, leggy growth at the expense of overall plant health.


Pruning glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ is generally minimal, as it naturally maintains a compact, mounded shape. Deadheading spent flowers can promote continuous blooming and prevent the plant from self-sowing. Additionally, light pruning in late winter or early spring can help rejuvenate the plant, remove any damaged or crossing branches, and maintain its desired shape.


Glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ can be propagated through several methods, including softwood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings, and hardwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings, taken from new growth in late spring to early summer, tend to root quickly and successfully. Semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings, selected from more mature growth later in the growing season, can also be used for propagation, though they may require longer to establish roots.



Glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ is a versatile plant that lends itself to various landscaping applications. Its compact size and attractive foliage make it well-suited for use as a border plant, where it can provide year-round interest and define garden beds. When planted in mass, it can create a striking visual impact, particularly when the fragrant flowers are in bloom. Additionally, its compact growth habit makes it an excellent choice for container planting, whether in individual pots or mixed plantings.


The fragrant flowers of glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, adding a dynamic ecological element to the garden. The subsequent formation of small, ornamental berries provides a food source for birds, further enhancing the plant’s value in supporting local wildlife.


The sweet, delicate fragrance of the flowers adds to the allure of glossy abelia, making it a delightful addition to outdoor spaces where its scent can be appreciated. Placing the plant near patios, walkways, or seating areas allows the fragrance to be enjoyed up close, enhancing the sensory experience of the garden.

Common Diseases

Disease Diagnosis

Glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ is generally resistant to most pests and diseases, particularly when grown in optimal conditions. However, it is important to monitor the plant for any signs of stress, including leaf discoloration, wilting, or unusual spots or lesions. Common diseases that can affect abelias include powdery mildew, leaf spot, and root rot. Proper cultural practices, such as maintaining good air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and providing proper drainage, can help mitigate the risk of these diseases.

Common Pests

Pest Control

Glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ is relatively pest-resistant, with few notable pest issues. However, occasional infestations by aphids, scale insects, or spider mites can occur, particularly in stressed or weakened plants. Regular inspection and early intervention can prevent pests from causing significant damage. In some cases, natural predators and beneficial insects can help keep pest populations in check, reducing the need for chemical treatments.

Botanist’s Tips

To ensure the successful cultivation of glossy abelia ‘Hopleys,’ consider the following expert recommendations:

  • Select a planting site with well-draining soil and adequate sunlight for optimal growth and flowering.
  • Avoid excessive fertilization, which can lead to overly lush growth and diminish overall plant health and resilience.
  • Monitor the plant for signs of stress or disease, and promptly address any issues to prevent them from spreading to neighboring plants.
  • Encourage natural predators and beneficial insects in the garden to help maintain a balanced ecosystem and minimize pest pressure on the plant.

Fun Facts

  • The ‘Miss Lemon’ cultivar is named for its striking variegated foliage, which features shades of yellow and green reminiscent of a lemon’s coloration.
  • Glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ is a hybrid plant, resulting from intentional breeding and selection to achieve specific ornamental traits and characteristics.
  • The fragrant flowers of the plant not only provide visual appeal but also attract pollinators, contributing to the ecological diversity of the garden.

Links to External Resources

For further information on glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ and related topics, consider exploring the following resources:

  1. The American Horticultural Society
  2. The Royal Horticultural Society
  3. University Extension Resources
  4. Plant Database from Missouri Botanical Garden

In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the captivating features, cultural requirements, and versatile uses of the glossy abelia ‘Hopleys’ (Abelia x grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ MISS LEMON). Whether used as a border plant, container specimen, or wildlife attractor, this cultivar offers enduring beauty and functionality in the landscape. By incorporating expert tips and best practices, plant enthusiasts can cultivate and enjoy the many charms of this delightful shrub, adding vibrancy and allure to their outdoor spaces.

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.