Content Detail

Old fashioned weigela fills gardens with bright tubular flowers in early summer often blooming again as the season progresses. Summer foliage is neat, tidy, and relatively disease free. There are many cultivated varieties available in different sizes and flower colors.

  • Family (English) Bush-Honeysuckle
  • Family (botanic) Diervillaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, Red, White
  • Shape or form Arching, Round, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size and form:

Old fashioned weigela has a variable habit, from upright to low and mounded. Sizes range from 6 to 9 feet high and 9 to 12 feet wide to dwarf forms which only reach 2 to 3 feet high.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to northern China, Korea, and Japan.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

It attracts hummingbirds.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, texture, and color:

The medium green leaves are opposite, simple, ovate to elliptical, with a long tip and a short petiole leaf stalk. There isn’t any significant fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

The 1 to 2 inch long, tubular to funnel-shaped flowers are rosy pink outside and paler pink inside. Flowers sporadically appear after initial blooming in May-June.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The dry capsule is inconspicuous.

Plant care:

Grow in full sun for best flowering production, but this plant will tolerate part shade with slightly reduced blooms. Old fashioned weigela prefers moist, well-drained soil and is pH adaptable. With its shallow roots, it will benefit with a layer of mulch and supplemental water in dry periods. Since it flowers on old wood, prune soon after flowering, although annual pruning is not necessary. Older plants can be rejuvenated by pruning to the ground to start over.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

No serious problems, aphids can be washed off with strong spray of water. Powdery mildew can occur in wet springs. It is deer resistant.

Fine Wine® old fashioned weigela (Weigela florida ‘Bramwell’):

A dwarf compact form of Wine & Roses® that grows 2 to 3 feet high and wide. It has pink flowers and dark burgundy foliage.

Ghost® old fashioned weigela (Weigela florida ‘Carlton’):

This cultivar will be 4 to 5 feet high with reddish-pink flowers. The light green foliage turns an iridescent buttercream in summer.

Midnight Wine® old fashioned weigela (Weigela florida ‘Elvera’):

Dwarf, mounded form, growing only 18-24” tall and  24-36” wide. Dark burgundy foliage with rosy-red tubular flowers attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Minuet old fashioned weigela (Weigela florida ‘Minuet’):

This cultivar grows only 2 to 3 feet tall and wide and the growth rate is slower than that of the species. A hardy, compact, dwarf form with dark ruby-red, tubular flowers with lilac-purple lobes and yellow throat. Flowers are slightly fragrant. Leaves are dark green and purple-tinged.

My Monet® old fashioned weigela (Weigela florida ‘Verwig’):

A form of ‘Tango’ reaching 12 to 18 inches high with pink, white, and green variegated foliage and deep pink flowers.

Spilled Wine® old fashioned weigela (Weigela florida ‘Bokraspiwi’):

Wider than tall at 2 to3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide, this cultivar has a broad, spreading habit. It has dark purple foliage and magenta-pink spring flowers

Sonic Bloom® old fashioned weigela series (Weigela florida):

Pearl Sonic Bloom® has white flowers with yellow throats changing to light pink. Pink Sonic Bloom ® has a rich pink flower. Red Sonic Bloom® has a lipstick red flower.

Tango old fashioned weigela (Weigela ‘Tango’):

A compact, hardy shrub, 2 to 2 1/2 feet high, this cultivar has long leaves that are predominantly purple with a green underside. Leaves maintain their color throughout the summer. Numerous flowers are red with yellow centers appearing in early spring and last three to four weeks.

Wine and Roses® old fashioned weigela (Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’):

This cultivar grows 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. It has dark burgundy-purple foliage and highly contrasting, intense rosy-to-hot-pink, tubular flowers in the spring. Plant in full sun to ensure strongest color.


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