Spring and summer in the garden should be a time of profuse blooming and lots of color. This is easy in early spring, but when warmer weather arrives, we still need those blooms – and that is where the Wine & Roses® Weigela steps in. This colorful shrub bloom steadily throughout May and June, and usually blooms again in late summer and early fall as well. It is among the easiest and most reliable of shrubs too, growing well in urban conditions, and thriving with very little attention. The Wine & Roses Weigela has deep purple foliage all season, that perfectly compliments the rich rosy pink of the abundant blooms. A glass of burgundy wine and a vase of old-pink roses, all together on a single plant.
This easy-care deciduous shrub grows as a cluster of arching stems, reaching no more than 6 feet in height, that form a framework for short side branches carrying abundant blossoms all along the stems. Each flower is large – two inches long and one inch across – shaped like a funnel and carried in clusters of up to 8 blooms. They are the color of old roses, a rich, bright pink with purplish overtones. The color carried throughout the flower, without the yellow throat that many weigela have. Blooming last up to 8 weeks – an extraordinary long time for flowering shrubs – and a simple trim after blooming will ensure you get a second display at the end of summer and into the early fall. Another great thing is that hummingbirds love weigela, and this shrub is sure to attract any living in your neighborhood. This is a great bush to plant near where your children play, so they can enjoy the thrill of seeing those marvelous creatures. It fits well into any shrub bed, alone or in a group, and it can be planted in a row as an attractive informal screen. Space plants at 4-foot intervals.
The slightly glossy leaves of the Wine & Roses Weigela are tough and durable. They are oval, 3½ inches long and 2 inches across. They emerge in spring a bright purple color, which quickly deepens to a rich, stable wine. This darkens and intensifies in direct sun and when the temperatures climb. That is very different from many other shrubs and trees with colored leaves, which tend to become greenish as the temperatures rise. This bold coloring last right into fall, and it means this shrub keeps on giving and giving, even when not in bloom.
Growing Wine & Roses Weigela
Once you plant your Wine & Roses Weigela, it will take off, growing rapidly and vigorously into a broad bush, with numerous stems growing up from the base and arching outwards, until you soon have a plant over 5 feet tall and 6 feet across. It grows and flowers best – and has the best foliage color – if you plant it in full sun, but it will be fine in a little light or dappled shade for part of the day. It grows well in any average soil that is well-drained, and although it is drought-resistant once established, it benefits from regular watering, to keep it lush and blooming. This is one of the easiest of shrubs to grow, even in city gardens, and it is more resistant to disease than other weigelas – and pests and diseases are already rare among these plants. It is normally not bothered by deer. this plant responds well to pruning immediately after the June blooms are finished. Cut back all the flowering side-shoots to an inch or two in length and remove the top few inches of the main stems Remove any weak or crowded stems at the base. This will stimulate a second flowering, and keep the graceful, arching form of this shrub from becoming too crowded.
History and Origins of Wine & Rose Weigelas
There are only seven species in the genus Weigela, and most of the ones we grow in gardens come from the species called Weigela florida. That name is a bit confusing, as it doesn’t come from the state of Florida at all, but from Japan, northern China and Korea. The name is from the word ‘florid’, which originally meant ‘flushed red’. Wild plants can be up to 10 feet tall, and the original plants were brought to Europe from Japan in 1845, by the plant collector Robert Fortune. The variety we call Wine & Roses was discovered during a breeding program created by Herman Geers, a nurseryman in Boskoop, The Netherlands. That area is the heart of the Dutch nursery industry. In the 1990s he took pollen from one of the seedlings he had grown and used it to pollinate an older variety called ‘Victoria’. Among the seedlings he raised one stood out, and he named it ‘Alexandra’. He acquired both a US plant patent and Plant Breeders Rights in The Netherlands in the late 90s, but these have now expired. Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc., in Grand Haven, Michigan, incorporated this plant into their ‘Wine’ series of Proven Winners® as Wine & Roses®.
This great shrub was winner of the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society Gold Medal Plant Award for 2000, and winner of the Penn State ‘Gardener Selects’ trials in 2001. This proven worth has made it one of the most popular weigela around, and our stock is flying out the gates. Order now, because they will soon be gone.