Posted by Aaron Barton on Jun 6th 2021
While there are endless possibilities with herbaceous perennials in the garden, don't forget the important role shrubs can play in providing needed structure and stunning color to the landscape as well. Shrubs are an excellent way to fill space in the garden, draw attention to certain areas, create a backdrop for plantings, help anchor your garden design, or even steal the show themselves. Weigela are an excellent choice for providing color, texture, and size options for almost any situation.
Weigela (why-GEE-la), of the Honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae, are deciduous shrubs native to southeastern Asia, touting a range of appearances and prolific blooms that envelop the plant in an explosion of late spring color. Weigela range widely in size depending on variety, from two feet round to upwards of six feet round. Miniature varieties are perfect for smaller spaces, topping out around two feet tall and wide, including the popular variegated white and pink foliage and pink blooms of 'My Monet.' Compact varieties provide an excellent mid-sized option for foundation plantings and shrubby borders, growing three to four feet tall and wide. Popular mid-sized options include ‘Crimson Kisses,’ with rich green foliage and bright red blooms, 'Pink Poppet,' with green foliage and pink blooms, as well as the deep purple foliage and contrasting bright pink blooms of 'Coco Chill™' Weigela. For large sunny spaces, larger varieties shine with excellent foliage interest and tons of color as a specimen or anchor plant, including the vibrant chartreuse green foliage of 'Golden Jackpot®' against bright pink blooms, as well as the variegated foliage and light pink blooms of 'Mor-Colourful™.' Where Weigela truly shine, however, is when they are in bloom.
All Weigela shrubs flower on old wood (the previous season's growth), forming buds in the fall and blooming strongest from late spring to early summer, densely shrouding the plant in colorful tubular blooms. Most modern varieties also bloom on new wood (the current season's growth), producing a light rebloom from late summer to early fall. Weigela blooms are tubular, five-lobed flowers, generally one to two inches long, ranging in color from deep red, to light pink, to white, providing an excellent source of nectar for hummingbirds and other local pollinators. As Weigela bloom first on old wood, prune shrubs just after early season blooms fade to avoid removing flower buds and to promote dense growth and bud formation for the summer months and a late season flush of color.
While they will tolerate part-shade, Weigela bloom most prolifically and have the most vibrant foliage color in full sun environments, performing best in moist, well-draining soil, and are drought tolerant once established.