Sonic Bloom® Red WeigelaWeigela florida 'Verweig 6' (PP# 25,132)
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Weigela florida 'Verweig 6' (PP# 25,132)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Break the ‘bloom barrier’ with the Sonic Bloom® Red Weigela. Most weigela just bloom in early summer, a problem breeders couldn’t solve for years. Now that boundary has been broken, with an outstanding bush, growing 4 to 5 feet tall and wide, with healthy dark-green foliage. This fast-growing shrub is smothered in lipstick-red blooms through May and June, and then starts again in summer, carrying on right into the fall. It’s perfect to bring brightness and color to your summer garden, and adored by hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators.
Plant the Sonic Bloom® Red Weigela in full sun for the best results, although an hour or two of shade won’t hurt. Grow it in any well-drained soil, even clay and poor soils. Use some fertilizer in spring, and prune only after the first flowering is over. Free or pests or diseases, this bush is easy to grow and untroubled by deer.
Weigela bushes are wonderful shrubs for late spring and early summer, covered in colorful blooms at that time. Sadly, after that, even the best older varieties only manage a few stray blooms later in the season, leaving you with a pretty plain, green bush to look at. That ‘bloom barrier’ took years to be broken through, but now Dutch plant breeders have done it, and created the brilliant Sonic Bloom® Red Weigela. The lipstick-red blooms are a stand-out, and they just keep on coming and coming. You will be happy, and so will your hummingbirds, who will now keep visiting all through summer. This great plant has been receiving terrific reviews from home gardeners, and it really does keep blooming. It’s perfect for any sunny spot in your garden, and lightens up summer easily, with a rounded shrub that needs very little attention, and grows vigorously. It can be disappointing, after the beauty of spring, to see so much green and so little bloom in your summer garden. Don’t let that happen to you, when shrubs like the Sonic Bloom® Red Weigela are the answer, giving flowers after most other shrubs have come to an end.
The Sonic Bloom® Red Weigela is an upright, arching deciduous shrub that grows 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. Many branches grow from low-down on the plant, keeping it bushy and dense. Older stems are an attractive light gray-brown color, and they create a sturdy framework for this vigorous shrub, that will reach its full size in just a few years of growth. The leaves are dark green ovals, growing to 4 inches long, with an interesting undulating form and a finely-toothed edge. They have a firm texture, with a slight gloss, and they stay healthy and fresh looking from summer to fall.
Blooming typically begins around May, with clusters of blooms developing among the new leaves, all along the stems of the previous year. The flowers are large, about 1½ inches long, with a fat, tubular form, and an open mouth with 5 broad lobes. They stand upright or point outwards, so they are very showy, and don’t hang down at all. Their brilliant lipstick red is a blast of color beaming out across your garden. The blooming is so profuse that the leaves are almost completely hidden. That first blooming last about 6 weeks, and the flowers are magnets for hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinating insects. After a brief rest, new blooms form on the developing stems, keeping the color coming and coming right into the fall. Deadheading isn’t needed to encourage reblooming, as it often is in other shrubs.
Wherever you need color – that is the spot for the Sonic Bloom Red Weigela. Grow it against a backdrop of evergreens around your home, or plant it in the middle of shrub beds, or at the back in smaller beds or in narrower areas. Use it along a fence, or by a gate or doorway – we all need a colorful welcoming. Space plants 3 to 4 feet apart for a beautiful informal hedge.
The blooms might look exotic and ‘tropical’, but the Sonic Boom Red Weigela is very hardy, even through zone 4. It prefers areas with warm or hot summers, yet it tolerates cold winters well, and grows all the way into zone 8. There isn’t enough winter cold in hotter ones for proper development.
Full sun is best for the Sonic Boom Red Weigela, for maximum blooming, but it will handle an hour or two or shade each day just fine. It grows easily and vigorously in any well-drained soil, including soils from sands to heavy clays. Although drought resistant, long periods of dryness could reduce reblooming, so water regularly.
Feed in spring with a fertilizer for flowering trees and shrubs. Slow-release forms give good results, and they only need one application a season. Pests or diseases rarely cause problems, and deer don’t like to eat this plant. For the best results over the years, prune in summer just after that first blooming comes to an end. Remove any weak or damaged stems, and shorten back the remaining branches by up to one-third. In older plants that have become very dense, remove a few of the oldest branches close to the ground, just above a strong side-stem. This invigorates and renews your bush, encouraging lots of strong new branches. Don’t trim later in the year, as this will remove flowers for that May blooming the next year.
The common weigela, Weigela florida, is a shrub that grows wild in Korea. It was introduced separately into America and into Europe, and there the varieties are often very different from our classic ones. ‘Red Prince’ is an older, classic form, probably from North America, and one of the best reds, but it only blooms in early summer. Gijsbertus Verhoef is a plant breeder in the small town of Hazerswoude, just outside Boskoop, the plant growing center of the Netherlands. He collected seed from a plant of ‘Red Prince’ early this century, and grew a batch of seedlings. Among them was one that stood out for its lipstick-red blooms, but even more for how the flowers kept coming and coming, all through summer and into fall. He patented it in 2014 with the name, ‘Verweig 6’. It is part of the Sonic Bloom® collection of reblooming weigela put together by the Syngenta Group, a French seed and plant developer. It is made available to American gardeners as part of the Proven Winners® range, a brand of Spring Meadow Nursery, from Michigan.
Finally, a true reblooming weigela. You will love this spectacular bush, and so will all those pollinators. Deer not so much. . . But order now, because our stock is limited, and these great bushes deserve a good home – yours.