Kelways Guide to Escallonias
Escallonias are easy to grow, adaptable plants that thrive well in a sunny position in fertile, well-drained soil and sheltered from cold winds. Most are evergreen, meaning they maintain some form of interest throughout the year, helping to add some structure to the garden during the winter months. They are generally frost hardy, so may require some protection in colder areas particularly where the colder weather may be more prolonged. They are also ideal for coastal areas, where they are often grown as a windbreak, sometimes as a less formal, flowering hedge.
When planting we recommend adding a sprinkling of bone meal or microrrhizal fungi to the planting hole to help encourage healthy root growth. A slow release, granular fertiliser can be used in spring.
Escallonias require very little maintenance. If you do wish to prune them to maintain their shape or size, it is best to do this after they have finished flowering. Usually September would be a good time. If you have a large shrub which you want to reduce, you can remove a third of the old wood once the plant has flowered. Avoid pruning during spring as this will drastucally reduce the amount of flowers it produces.
Some of our favourite varieties
A compact, evergreen shrub with small, glossy, dark green leaves bearing masses of small, challice-shaped pink and white flowers from summer into autumn. Escallonia 'Apple Blossom' has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
An evergreen shrub with bright golden foliage aging to dark green with yellow margins. From midsummer into autumn it produces masses of bright pink tubular flowers.
A vigorous, evergreen shrub with glossy, dark green foliage bearing compact racemes of deep crimson red flowers from midsummer into autumn. Escallonia rubra 'Crimson Spire' has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
A medium-sized evergreen shrub with glossy, dark green leaves which are larger than those found on most Escallonias. From midsummer it produces panicles of pure white flowers. Escallonia 'Iveyi' has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.