These mainly evergreen shrubs are valued for their colourful flowers from summer into autumn, providing a pretty backdrop to late-flowering perennials and annuals. In mild areas, they make attractive informal hedging. They are tolerant of salty air, so do well in coastal gardens.
Upright to spreading, escallonias form dense domes of small, glossy, leathery leaves. They bear many clusters of small trumpet-like or circular flowers, in white, pink or crimson.
Escallonias will grow in any fertile soil that drains easily in full sun. In very cold areas, they do best with the protection of a warm wall.
They dislike permanently wet or very dry soil and will not flower in shade. Wet conditions in summer can leave them vulnerable to escallonia leaf spot disease. Exposure to strong, frost-laden winds in winter can damage plants or even kill them outright.
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Hedges can be kept in shape by clipping lightly after flowering (spring pruning should be restricted to removal of frost-damaged stems only, otherwise flowering may be reduced). Escallonia are a good source of pollen and nectar for pollinators - honey bees and bumblebees seem especially attracted to the flowers.
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