Lemon Ice WeigelaWeigela florida 'Lemiczam'
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Weigela florida 'Lemiczam'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Lemon Ice™ Weigela is a new variety of weigela with unique flower colors of very pale lemon yellow tinged with chartreuse. It blooms from late April through May, and then more blooms develop from mid-summer into fall. It is a deciduous shrub reaching 5 or 6 feet tall and wide, with a bushy, rounded form and arching branches. Grow it at the back of smaller shrub beds, or in the middle of large ones, for its brightness, and to highlight other colors, like the dark-leaf weigelas we also carry.
Grow the Lemon Ice™ Weigela in full sun for maximum blooming, but it will take a little light shade too. It is hardy in zone 5, easily grown, and thrives in most soils, as long as they are well-drained. Normally free of pests and diseases, it is also left alone by deer. A simple pruning in early summer is all it takes to have this lovely bush blooming away and thriving for years.
What could be more cooling and refreshing in summer than an icy cold lemon ice? You can bring that same cool, sophisticated feel to your garden, tempering the brighter colors of your shrubs, with the Lemon Ice™ Weigela. Nothing says ‘cool garden’ like the icy shade of lemon with a twist of green – the color designers die for. It is also the best color there is to bring together different shades of color in your garden, and you might be surprised to learn it is the perfect binding color for purples and pinks. It lifts them into another dimension, making them sparkle and shine. But enough of this designer talk – the Lemon Ice Weigela is simply a terrific garden shrub, that blooms early with masses of soft citrus-yellow flowers that are a real color break from the pinks and reds most weigela come in. Not only does it bloom early, it continues to bloom lightly through the summer, so you are never without this valuable color in your beds. Growing to about 6 feet it is perfect for a soft background that will really make your garden shine.
The Lemon Ice™ Weigela is a vigorous deciduous shrub, that has an upright, slightly arching form, reaching 5 or 6 feet tall and wide within a few years. The young stems are red, and the leaves are a bold green, making an interesting contrast when this plant starts to grow in spring. The 2-inch long leaves are oval and an attractive background for the flowers, and for other shrubs around them. Blooming begins earlier than other varieties of weigela, with the first blooms opening in late April and continuing through May.
The flowers are in clusters, and a plant in spring bloom is so smothered with blossoms in that first blooming that the leaves are obscured by the profusion of large flowers. Each bloom is tubular, flaring open at the mouth into 5 flat petals which make a ‘landing strip’ for the insects and butterflies that love the blooms. The hummingbirds that also come of course don’t need anywhere to land – they hover above the clusters, feasting. The color is quite unlike other weigela. It is a pale acid yellow with hints of the palest possible chartreuse – a glowing color at the very cool end of the spectrum. After that initial blooming the flowers fall – no dead-heading required – and then, after a short break, more blooms appear on the new stems, continuing with a light bloom production all the way through summer and into fall.
With its extraordinary coloring, this bush is a wonderful companion to other flowering shrubs, especially those with dark-colored leaves and dark blooms. It is a perfect color foil for any other plant color, including the pinks and reds of other weigela, which really ‘pop’ when grown in front of it. Grow it in the background of your beds to bring light, and accent darker tones around it. Feature it among dark-green evergreens around your home. Plant it on a bank or at the foot of a wall. Wherever you grow it, you are going to love it
Considering their exotic-looking blooms, weigela are cold hardy, and this bush will grow easily in zone 5 and all the way through zone 8. In warmer zones than that there may not be enough winter cold for it to bloom properly.
Although it will be happy in a little partial shade, full sun is preferable for the Lemon Ice Weigela, especially to keep the continuous blooms coming. It does need well-drained soil, and it won’t grow well in wet ground, but otherwise it grows in any kind of soil, including heavy clays and rough urban soils and conditions. It may look exotic, but it’s easy to grow.
Pests and diseases won’t bother the Lemon Ice Weigela, and neither will deer, although they are always unpredictable. Since it blooms in spring on older wood, the time to prune is after that first flush of blooms. Shorten back side stems – new growth will quickly sprout and bloom in the same season – and remove any long, awkward shoots. On older plants remove a few old stems completely each year, to encourage new growth from the base and keep your plant youthful and vigorous. That summer pruning is the secret to later blooms in the year, and to the blooms of the following spring.
The Japanese weigela, Weigela florida, has a confusing name. It doesn’t come from Florida, because the name is derived from the word ‘florid’, meaning ‘flushed red’, not from the state. The earliest plants were introduced by the plant hunter Robert Fortune from Japan in 1845, but the wild plant can also be found growing in northern China and Korea. The variety called ‘Lemiczam’ was created by the late James Zampini, who owned Lake County Nursery, in Perry, Ohio. He was a keen breeder and a grower with a good eye for new varieties, who found many beautiful new trees and shrubs. It is distributed with the trademark name of Lemon Ice™ by Upshoot™, a plant development and marketing company founded by Mr. Zampini’s daughter, Maria.
This unique color in Weigela is a truly valuable addition to these terrific garden shrubs. It is sure to be a big hit, and our stock will be gone very quickly – order now, everyone wants one.