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How to Grow: Weiglea
Old fashioned weigela
Full sun, part sun
Bloom Period and Seasonal Color
Late spring to early summer in colors of white, pink and red
Mature Height x Spread
2 to 10 feet x 4 to 12 feet
attracts hummingbirds, deer resistant
Weiglea is an old fashioned shrub that has undergone a bit of a Renaissance. While the traditional form of weigela is a large shrub with arching stems, green leaves and pink or red flowers, newer varieties have more compact growth and a variety of flower and leaf colors. This has broadened the use of weigelas in the landscape and peaked interest in this plant. No longer are they the one trick shrub pony that is a nondescript after flowering. With interesting leaf patterns and colors, weigela can be a star in your shrub border or even mixed in with flowers in a foundation planting. Some forms are even small enough to grow in containers as long as the yare protected in winter.
When, Where and How to Plant
Weigela are hardy to zone 5, so may need some winter protection in colder areas. Purchase plants from a local garden center and plant from spring to early fall in well drained, compost amended soil. Space plants 3 to 6 feet apart.
Weigela is adaptable to most soils, but grows best on well-drained soils that stay consistently moist. Keep well watered and mulch with wood chips or bark mulch to keep weeds away and soil moist. Fertilize in spring with a layer of compost and an organic plant food.
Regional Advice and Care
Weigela branches can suffer some winter dieback, especially in windy sites and cold areas. Prune out dead, diseased or damaged branches in spring and prune to shape the shrub after flowering. In cold areas, consider driving four stakes around young shrubs and wrapping burlap around the stakes to protect the plants from winter winds. Older plants are more winter tolerant. Weigela doesn’t have any significant pest problems.
Companion Planting and Design
In a hedgerow, plant tall weigela varieties with other large shrubs, such as lilacs and viburnums, or on the corner of a building so to not block a view. In a mixed shrub border, plant compact varieties with interesting foliage in with perennial flowers or along the foundation. Since weigela branches aren’t attractive when bare, consider mixing this shrub with evergreens, such as mounded cedars, to block some of the branches from view in winter.
‘Bristol Snowflake’ is a tall, vigorous, white flowering variety. ‘Wine and Roses’ and ‘Minuet’ are 3 to 4 foot tall varieties with rose-pink blooms and purple-tinged green leaves. ‘My Monet’ is a 2-foot tall dwarf shrub with pink flowers and white, pink and green leaves. ‘Midnight Wine’ only grows 2 feet tall with dark burgundy colored leaves and pink flowers. These dwarves can be grown in a container. ‘Variegata Dwarf’ grows only 3 feet tall with pink flowers and white edged green leaves. ‘Rubridor’ grow 7 feet tall with yellow-green leaves and rose-colored blooms.
Excerpted from my book, New England Getting Started Garden Guide.