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Weigela is ready to bloom and bloom in today’s gardens

Spilled Wine weigela. Photo courtesy ProvenWinners.com

Many of us probably think of weigela as a plant in our grandparents’ yard. The ones on the market today are nothing like their predecessors.

For one thing, plant breeders have scaled down the shrub to a manageable size for smaller landscapes. They’ve jazzed up the foliage on the shrub, introducing plants with purple, almost black leaves, or variegated green leaves. And, the breeders have developed weigela that blooms more than once.

Weigelas (Weigela florida) are fairly long-blooming deciduous shrubs. They do best in full sun, especially for good foliage color and flowering. Weigelas tolerate light shade, but will produce fewer flowers and not have as vibrantly colored leaves. Their trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds, bees and other pollinating insects. They also are very winter hardy.

Tuxedo weigela. Photo courtesy Bloomingeasyplants.com

One of my current faves is Tuxedo (W. x ‘Velda’), which has almost black leaves and pure white, fragrant flowers. It will get up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The color combo is as dramatic as the name implies. I also like Ghost, which has red flowers and chartreuse leaves. The leaves turn almost iridescent in summer. It gets about 5 feet tall and wide.

Shine Sensations and other small weigela shrubs do great in pots in the summer. Transplant to the ground in fall to enjoy for years to come. Photo courtesy Bailey Nurseries’ FirstEditionsPlants.com

Shining Sensation, one of from Bailey Nurseries’ First Edition plants, has pink blooms in May and June and then occasional flowers through summer. The foliage is shiny burgundy. Shining Sensations gets up to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

In the reblooming category, look for Proven Winners ColorChoice’s Sonic Bloom series of weigela, which have flowers periodically throughout the summer and into fall. Each gets about 5 feet tall and wide. Sonic Blooms come in red, pink and pearl. The latter’s white flowers turn pink as they age.

Reblooming weigelas bloom on current season and year-old growth, so if you need to prune, do say by midsummer. Even better, make sure the mature size of the plant fits the space you have allocated and you may never have to prune, except to remove an occasional dead branch.

Sonic Bloom Red weigela blooms off and one all summer. Photo courtesy ProvenWinners.com

Proven Winners Color/Choice also has the popular wine series of weigela, all of which have pink flowers and purple leaves. Midnight Wine is about 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide; Spilled Wine is 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide; Fine Wine is 3 feet tall and wide; and Wine & Roses is 5 feet tall and wide. These weigelas are deer resistant.

You should still be able to find weigelas at garden centers. Anything growing in a nursery pot can be planted any time. Just be sure to water it regularly if there’s no rain.

 

 

 

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