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 and tidy, 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
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), Small shrub (3-5 feet), Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 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 upright to low and mounded habit. Sizes range from six to nine feet high and nine to 12 feet wide to dwarf forms which only reach two to three 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 short petiole leaf stalk. There isn’t any significant fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

The one to two inch long, tubular to funnel-shaped flowers are rosy pink outside 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 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 water in dry periods. Since it flowers on old wood, prune after flowering, although annual pruning is not necessary. Older plants can be rejuvenated 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® (Weigela florida ‘Bramwell’):

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

Ghost® (Weigela florida ‘Carlton’):

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

Midnight Wine® (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  (Weigela florida ‘Minuet’):

This cultivar grows only two to three 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® (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® (Weigela florida ‘Bokraspiwi’):

Broad spreading habit as it is wider than tall at two to three feet high and three to four feet wide. It has dark purple foliage and magenta pink spring flowers

Sonic Bloom® 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 (Weigela ‘Tango’):

A compact, hardy shrub, two to two and half feet high. Long leaves are predominantly purple with a green underside that maintains its color throughout the summer. Numerous flowers are red with yellow centers appearing in early spring and last three to four weeks.

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

This cultivar grows  four to six foot tall and wide. It has dark burgundy-purple foliage and intense rosy-to-hot-pink, tubular flowers as high contrast in the spring. Plant in full sun to ensure strongest color.

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