In the Garden Now - Weigela

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Weigela ‘Polka’

Weigela ‘Polka’, ‘Variegata’,  ‘Rubidor’, ‘Wine and Roses’ and ‘Midnight Wine’

Text and photos by Victoria Gilleland

How can I possibly ignore a family of shrubs so beautiful and easy to grow in Northwest gardens?   Four of these gorgeous shrubs are blooming their hearts out in my garden this spring. Weigela are very easy to grow healthy deciduous flowering shrubs which come in a variety of sizes and in many different flower and leaf colors. They bloom most profusely when grown in full to part sun. If grown in shade they tend to have a looser growth habit and to produce fewer flowers.

These plants are a draw for wildlife. Hummingbirds and other pollinators spend a great deal of time at the brightly colored funnel shaped flowers of Weigela.

Weigela ‘Polka’ is a fairly compact variety with bright pink flowers and green leaves and typically reaches 4 x 4 feet.  I'm amazed at the number of flowers produced on this small shrub in my part shade garden.

Weigela ‘Variegata’

Weigela ‘Variegata’ nana has lovely irregularly variegated foliage with flowers that range from pink to white.  The shrub reaches 4 x 4 feet and stays more compact in sun.  The colorful foliage is great with the solid green of so many other shrubs and perennials. It’s a standout in the shade garden as well with or without flowers because of its lively variegated foliage.

Weigela 'Rubidor'

Weigela ‘Rubidor’ has golden yellow foliage and ruby red flowers and may reach 6 x 6 feet high and wide.  Even without its red flowers the foliage is spectacular and energizes the garden.  When the flowers are out in force this plant is stunning!  I prune ‘Rubidor’ heavily right after flowering to keep it a smaller shrub.  If you happen to look for this plant in a nursery you may find it named as Weigela ‘Rubidor’, Weigela ‘Briant Rubidor’ or as Weigela ‘Olympiad’……a good example of the ever changing names of plants.

Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’ and ‘Midnight Wine’

Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’ and ‘Midnight Wine’ have burgundy foliage and dark pink flowers. The foliage is more of a bronze or dark green in shade.  ‘Wine and Roses’ may reach 5 x 5 feet or more.  ‘Midnight Wine’ is a dwarf variety similar in color to ‘Wine and Roses’ and typically 2 x 2 feet that fits well in containers or smaller spaces.  

There are many other Weigela varieties available that would make fine additions to the garden.  All of them can be trimmed back right after flowering to keep them more compact.  Enjoy Weigela in local gardens now or plant one in your garden for a splash of spring flower color and colorful foliage throughout the growing season.

 (Botanical Name:  Weigela hybrids  )

Victoria Gilleland is the owner of Cottage Garden Designs, a Garden Design company specializing in Redesign of Residential Gardens, Garden Consultation and Coaching. She has been designing gardens in the northwest for over 20 years.   


Anonymous,  May 29, 2015 at 11:56 AM  

Thank you for these articles. They are always educational and entertaining.

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