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Weigela

Caprifoliaceae
Deciduous, Shrubs

From China and Korea. Weigelas are valued for their lavish springtime display of funnel-shaped, 1-in.-long flowers. They aren’t attractive out of bloom and have no real fall color. Most are rather coarse-leafed and stiff, becoming rangy unless pruned. Use as background plants for flower borders, as summer screens, or in mixed borders.

After flowering, cut back stems that have bloomed to the side shoots that have not flowered; leave only one or two of these to each stem. Cut some of the oldest stems to the ground. Thin new suckers to a few of the most vigorous. Another method is to cut back the entire plant about halfway just after blooms fade; do this every other year. The resulting dense new growth will provide plenty of flowers the next spring.

Weigela coraeensis

Grows to 12–15 ft. tall and wide, with leaves to 6 in. long. Flowers are 1/2 in. long, white or light pink aging to red.

Weigela florida
Weigela florida

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Weigela florida

Fast growth to 6–10 ft. tall and 9–12 ft. wide, with branches often arching to the ground. Leaves are 2–4 1/2 in. long. Pink to rose-red flowers.

The following selections grow about 6 ft. tall and wide: ‘Bristol Snowflake’, white flowers opening from pinkish buds; ‘Java Red’, red-tinted foliage, red buds opening to deep pink flowers; ‘Pink Princess’, lilac-pink flowers. ‘Wine and Roses’ reaches 5 ft. tall and wide, with deep purple new leaves that contrast nicely with its bright pink flowers; foliage matures to purplish green and turns blackish purple in autumn. ‘Midnight Wine’ reaches just 1 1/2–2 ft. high and wide, with metallic burgundy foliage and deep pink flowers. ‘My Monet’ grows 1 1/2–2 ft. high and 1 1/2 ft. wide with pink flowers and leaves edged in white that turn pinkish in full sun.

Weigela hybrids

These are hybrids between W. floridaW. praecox, and other species. They generally grow to 3–6 ft. tall and wide. White, pink, or red flowers. Some varieties have colored foliage. Here are some of the most common.

‘Carnaval’. Grows to 4–5 ft. tall and wide, with 1 1/2-in.-wide, blush pink to vivid pink flowers that appear a little later in spring than others; reblooms in early fall. A hummingbird favorite.

‘Dark Horse’. Compact growth to 3 ft. tall and wide. Bronzy purple leaves with lime-colored veins and bright magenta-pink flowers make for a striking contrast. Good for a low hedge or midborder shrub.

‘Minuet’. Dwarf variety to 3 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide. Purplish leaves. Flowers blend red, purple, and yellow.

‘Variegata’. Compact growth to 4–6 ft. tall and wide, with deep rosy red flowers and creamy yellow to white leaf edges. ‘Variegata Nana’ is 3 ft. tall and wide.

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