Kaleidoscope Abelia

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  • USDA Hardiness Zones 6-9
  • Height 2-2.5 Feet Tall
  • Spread 3-3.5 Feet Wide

Medium green leaves, have bright yellow variegation combined with red stems, it is the addition you’ve been looking for! The Kaleidoscope Abelia is a great plant if you are looking for year around color. This easy to care for is compact, which makes it even more versatile. It makes a great addition to landscapes that are looking for color.

The foliage on the Kaleidoscope Abelia is interesting as it is sophisticated. Its medium green leaves have sunny yellow variegation. Add the foliage to its red stems and you have a kaleidoscope of color all year long. The Kaleidoscope Abelia attracts pollinators, with its petite blooms that appear in the summer and last until the beginning of fall. This Abelia grows to be twenty-four to thirty inches tall and thirty-six to forty-two inches tall. Plant the Kaleidoscope Abelia for its dramatic foliage and year around color. Other uses include hedge planting, mass planting, ground cover, and border planting. It thrives on hillsides and can be used as a filler in containers.

Kaleidoscope Abelia Care

This Abelia should be planted in full to part sun. It needs a minimum of four hours of sun per day. Water needs are average and should be watered more often in times of drought or extreme heat. Soil should be well drained and enriched. Soil Ph should be acidic. If planted in colder climates, mulch in the winter. Pruning to shape can be done in the winter or early spring to shape. Controlled release fertilizer should be applied in the winter or early spring.

Kaleidoscope Abelia Spacing

Spacing for the Kaleidoscope Abelia, should be planted at minimum four feet, center on center. This spacing applies to uses such as border, mass, hedge, ground cover, or near other plants.

Kaleidoscope Abelia Plant Facts

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-9
Flower Color(s): White
Bloom Period: Spring to Fall
Foliage Color(s): Variegated
Light Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun
Height: 2-2.5 Feet
Spread: 3-3.5 Feet
Habit: Compact
Watering: Medium
Features: Disease/Pest Resistance, Drought Tolerant, Deer Resistant, Winter/Fall Foliage Color
Scientific Name: Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope' PP16988
Common Name: Kaleidoscope Abelia
Brand: Southern Living Plants

Container Sizes

Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.

4.5 Pot

4.5" Pot
 Also Know As:
   4.5" Container

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months
 Plant Size:
   ~ 3"-6"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.5"H x 3.75"W
   1.42 quarts

Quart Pot

Quart Pot
 Also Know As:

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months - 1 year
 Plant Size:
   ~ 4"-8"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.75"H x 4.5"W
   1.50 quarts

2.5 Quart

2.5 Quart
 Also Know As:
   2.5 Quart Pot

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1.5 - 2 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 8"-12"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 6.5"H x 6.5"W
   2.20-2.30 quarts

#1 Pot

#1 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #1 Container
    1 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 1.5 - 2 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 10"-14"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 7"H x 7.75"W
   2.26-3.73 quarts

#2 Pot

#2 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #2 Container
    2 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 1.5 - 3 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-18"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 9.5"H x 9.5"W
   1.19-1.76 gallons

#3 Pot

#3 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #3 Container
    3 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2 - 4 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-30"
 Pot Size:
   ~9.5"H x 11"W
   2.32-2.76 gallons

For more detailed information, please click here.

Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.

Patent Information

Abelia plant named ‘Kaleidoscope’


A new cultivar of Abelia named ‘Kaleidoscope’ that is characterized by dense compact habit, fragrant white flowers, and variegated foliage that exhibits seasonal color changes from green and golden-yellow, to orange and fiery-red. In combination these traits set ‘Kaleidoscope’ apart from all other existing varieties of Abelia known to the inventor.


Botanical designation: Abelia×grandiflora.

Variety denomination: ‘Kaleidoscope’.


The present invention relates to a new and distinct cultivar of Abelia grown as an ornamental plant for use in the landscape. The new cultivar is known botanically as Abelia×grandiflora and will be referred to hereinafter by the cultivar name ‘Kaleidoscope’.

‘Kaleidoscope’ was discovered by the inventor in 1997 as a single variegated branch sport on an individual Abelia×grandiflora ‘Little Richard’ (unpatented). The inventor, who manages plant propagation on a nursery in Marshville, N.C., selected ‘Kaleidoscope’ from an individual plant of Abelia ‘Little Richard’ within a crop of ‘Little Richard’. The parent plant is Abelia×grandiflora ‘Little Richard’.‘Kaleidoscope’ is distinguishable from ‘Little Richard’ by dense compact habit, smaller size, and variegated foliage. Abelia ‘Little Richard’ exhibits a larger growth habit and solid-green leaves.

‘Kaleidoscope’ is an ornamental shrub of dense compact habit and variegated foliage. From spring through summer, and into fall and winter, the foliage colors on an individual plant change from green and golden-yellow to orange and fiery-red. Fragrant white flowers appear in mid summer and persist into fall adding a striking contrast against the reddish-purple stems. Light levels influence foliage color and full sun enhances vibrancy of the colors.

Other than the non-variegated parent plant, Abelia ‘Little Richard’, the three closest comparison plants known to the Inventor are the variegated Abelia cultivars Abelia×grandiflora ‘Sunrise’ (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 9,698) and Abelia×grandiflora ‘Conti’ (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 8,472) and Abelia×grandiflora×chinensis ‘Mardi Gras’ (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 15,203).

The leaves of ‘Sunrise’, ‘Conti’, and ‘Marti Gras’, are predominantly green (that is, green coloration occupies approximately 70% to 85% of entire leaf surface), with relatively uniform and slender white or cream-yellow margins occupying approximately 30% to 15% the entire leaf surface.

The leaves of ‘Kaleidoscope’ consists of smaller green blotches which occupy approximately 50% of the entire leaf surface, surrounded by yellow (spring and summer) or orange and red margins which occupy approximately 50% of the leaf surface area.

‘Kaleidoscope’ is most readily distinguished from its parent, ‘Little Richard’ and from the variegated cultivars ‘Sunrise’, ‘Conti’ and ‘Mardi Gras’ by its striking and vibrant fall and winter foliage color that is a mix of golden-yellow, orange and fiery-red.

‘Kaleidoscope’ (and its parent ‘Little Richard’) may also be distinguished from other cultivars of Abelia×grandiflora by plant habit and plant density. ‘Kaleidoscope’ and ‘Little Richard’ appear to be more determinate, requiring minimal pinching or pruning to retain their close dense mounding habit which obscures the stems. ‘Sunrise’, ‘Conti’ and ‘Mardi Gras’ each exhibit stronger apical dominance which results in extended shoot growth and more visibility of their stems.

‘Kaleidoscope’ was first asexually propagated in 1997 by the inventor in North Carolina. Asexual propagation was accomplished using softwood cuttings. Since that time, under careful observation, the distinguishing characteristics of ‘Kaleidoscope’ have been determined stable and uniform, and are reproduced true to type in successive generations.


The following represent the distinguishing characteristics of the new Abelia×grandiflora cultivar ‘Kaleidoscope’. In combination these traits set ‘Kaleidoscope’ apart from all other existing varieties of Abelia known to the inventor. ‘Kaleidoscope’ has not been tested under all possible conditions and phenotypic differences may be observed with variations in environmental, climatic, and cultural conditions, however, without any variance in genotype.

  1. Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ exhibits variegated foliage.
  2. The foliage of Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ displays seasonal color changes, from green and golden-yellow, to orange and fiery-red.
  3. The foliage color of Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ is influenced by light levels and full sun enhances vibrancy of the colors.
  4. Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ exhibits reddish-purple stems.
  5. Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ is 76 cm. in height and 121 cm. in width at maturity.
  6. Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ exhibits fragrant white flowers that bloom from mid summer into fall
  7. Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ exhibits dense compact habit.
  8. Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ is suitable for use as a low accent plant, mass plantings in the landscape, and as a container plant.
  9. Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ performs well in acidic, well-drained, moist soils.
  10. Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ is hardy to USDA Zone 5 as an herbaceous perennial and stem hardy to USDA Zone 6.

The accompanying color drawings illustrate the overall appearance of the new Abelia cultivar ‘Kaleidoscope’ showing the colors as true as it is reasonably possible to obtain in colored reproductions of this type. Colors in the drawings may differ from the color values cited in the detailed botanical description, which accurately describe the actual colors of the new variety ‘Kaleidoscope’.

The drawing labeled FIG. 1 shows five two-year old plants of ‘Kaleidoscope’ planted in the landscape in North Carolina and exhibiting the typical dense, compact mounding habit of ‘Kaleidoscope’.

The drawing labeled FIG. 2 is a close-up view of the variegated foliage in its yellow and green spring growth.

The drawing labeled FIG. 3 is a close-up view of the variegated foliage in its summer growth which exhibits golden-yellow, green and reddish tones.

The drawing labeled FIG. 4 illustrates a whole plant of ‘Kaleidoscope’ in its fall growth and exhibiting the mix of golden-yellow, orange and fiery-red fall foliage.

The drawing labeled FIG. 5 is a close-up view of ‘Kaleidoscope’ illustrating the flowers that bloom from mid summer into fall.

The drawings have been made from photographs taken by conventional techniques and although foliage colors may appear different from actual colors due to light reflectance, they are as accurate as possible by conventional photography.


The following is a detailed description of the Abelia×grandiflora cultivar named ‘Kaleidoscope’. Data was collected in Arroyo Grande, Calif. from plants grown in 2-liter containers out-of-doors in full sun. The plants are approximately 18-months-old. Color determinations are in accordance with the 2002 Edition of the Colour Chart of The Royal Horticultural Society, London, England, except where general color terms of ordinary dictionary significance are used. ‘Kaleidoscope’ has not been tested under all possible conditions and phenotypic differences may be observed with variations in environmental, climatic, and cultural conditions, however, without any variance in genotype. The growing requirements are similar to the species.

  • Botanical classification: Abelia×grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’.
  • Genus: Abelia.
  • Species: ×grandiflora.
  • Denomination: ‘Kaleidoscope’.
  • Commercial classification: Ornamental shrub.
  • Common name: Glossy abelia.
  • Uses: Low accent plant and mass plantings in the landscape, and as a container plant.
  • Container size: Suggested container size is 1.5 to 2 liters for producing a one or two year old plant.
  • Cultural requirements: Plant in acidic and well-drained moist soil. Full sun enhances vibrancy of foliage color, but plants will grow in partial shade.
  • Parent: ‘Kaleidoscope’ was discovered as a single variegated branch sport on an individual Abelia grandiflora ‘Little Richard’ in a crop of ‘Little Richard’.

Source: USPTO

2 Reviews - Kaleidoscope Abelia Show Reviews

  • 5

    Posted by Adrienne Mirabella on May 29, 2022

    My plants arrived in great shape and are growing tremendously in the first few weeks. Great company to work with.

  • 5
    master gardener

    Posted by Madeline H. on Mar 26, 2019

    My master gardener friend recommended that I buy 3 of these plants for my yard. It looks great and is flourishing. Pays to have smart friends!