Weigela - what kind of plant is it and what does it look like?
Weigela, known as Weigela florida is an ornamental bush from the caprifoliaceae family. The plant comes from the regions of the Eastern Asia, more precisely, from the areas of Japan, Korea, and China.
Weigela is a highly valued decorative plant, mostly because of its size – it can reach up to 3 meters. It has characteristic hanging branches covered with long serrated leaves.
Many varieties have different leaf colors:
- green with light edges,
During the blooming season, weigelas amaze with their bell-shaped flowers. The number of flowers depends on a particular species. Just like their colors. Some weigela flowers are white, others are red, purple, and pink.
The most popular weigela varieties
Because of the great number of varieties, you can perfectly fit a weigela plant to your garden. Nonetheless, five particular types are the most commonly picked among garden owners. Find them below:
- Caricature – its ornamental and wavy leaves are the biggest asset,
- Wine & Roses Alexandra – its leaves are claret, and flowers – pink,
- Nana Variegata – the leaves have white edges, while the flowers are pink,
- Snowflake – valued for beautiful white flowers,
- Bristol Ruby – the flowers of this weigela are purple.
Dwarf weigela varieties
Weigela plants aren’t only full-size ornamental bushes. There are also dwarf varieties of this species. They reach maximally 0.5 meters in size. Their biggest advantage is rich blooming.
Weigela Piccolo is one of the most popular types of dwarf weigelas. Its leaves are green and flowers pink.
What are the best soil and location for a weigela plant?
Weigela florida, despite its high resistance, needs proper conditions. Only then the effort of taking care of the plant will result in rich blooming. When picking the location for the plant, make sure the soil is fertile, rich in humus and slightly damp.
Warm and sunny places are definitely much better for the shrub. The plant should also be protected from the wind. Picking the right location is crucial – especially for the popular varieties, already mentioned above.
The bush planted in shade will manage, but in this case you can expect poorer blooming in comparison to plants growing in full sun.
Young weigela plants should be specially protected. They require preparation before a couple of first winters after planting. Wigela is a resistant bush, but we recommend an extra care for younger plants, as they are more fragile than older shrubs.
How fast do weigela bushes grow?
Weigela is characterized by a relatively fast growth rate. As for tall varieties which can grow up to 3 meters tall, the yearly growth rate is about 20 centimeters.
This rate can vary depending on where the plant grows. Other factor are important as well – for instance, the method and frequency of fertilizing.
Weigela – watering and fertilizing
Weigela florida can survive a drought. It can manage for a long time without watering, although lack of water might make it look less magnificent. If you want to make sure the plant has the best conditions, water it regularly.
Lawns with a sprinkler system installed make a perfect place for this plant. Thanks to this, one doesn’t have to worry about watering, as it is done automatically. All you have to do is program the frequency.
Additionally, weigelas like fertilizing. You can use special product purchased in a gardening store. Alternatively, you can make your own fertilizer e.g., from chicken or cow manure.
Can you form a weigela into a hedge?
Some gardeners decide to use weigelas as hedge plants. Note that weigelas aren’t dense, so they aren’t the best plants to form a typical hedge as in the garden’s border separator.
A weigela hedge is more of a decoration. You can use it to divide the yard into zones. This way, you can organize the space.
Weigela – propagation
Weigela can be propagated using one of the two methods. They involve:
- a lignified cutting,
- a green cutting.
The first method requires cutting 20 centimeters of a lignified stem. Plant the cutting during fall. You can store the cutting in damp sand during the winter in an interior of a room temperature that is higher than 0°C (32°F).
As for the other method – you cut the stems during an active growth of the plant. The cuttings should be 8-12-centimeter long.
When to prune weigela plants?
Weigela florida requires pruning twice per year. The first is in spring, another after the blooming period. During spring in March prune only dry and dead branches.
The second pruning should be done between June and July, two weeks after the shrub stops blooming. Depending on the size of the plant, 1/3 of the stems should be pruned.
What are the most common weigela diseases?
Weigela bushes are relatively resistant to diseases, that’s why they are quite rare. Freezing during winter is the biggest threat, especially to young plants. The gardener’s poor decisions who waters the plant incorrectly or fertilizes it too intensely, might also harm the weigela.
What’s more, the plant might get attacked by a disease called powdery mildew. The symptoms are light green stains appearing on the bottom of leaves. They gradually increase and get covered by a white residue. Mildew is a fungal disease which can also attack flowers. Affected parts slowly die. Make sure to remove dead elements, and use anti-fungal products purchased in a gardening store.
Are weigelas vulnerable to pests?
Weigela is a highly resistant plant to various pests. Aphids are the only real danger for them. Fortunately, the problem is easy to solve thanks to various available insecticides.
📍 What does weigela look like?
Weigela is one of the most popular ornamental bushes in the world. Typically, it's quite wide. Depending on the variety, it can be from 0.5 to 3 meters tall.
📍 What is the best soil for a weigela?
Weigelas aren't very demanding. You can grow them either in fertile or average soils. The best pH for this plant is 5.5-6, that is, slightly acidic.
📍 When is weigela's bloom time?
Weigelas bloom between spring and summer. Some varieties also bloom during fall.
📍 Why does my weigela not bloom?
The lack of blooming might be caused by a few factors. A too dark location or too intense fertilizing are two most common reasons.