Weigela bushes are stunning plants that honestly deserve a spot in everyone’s garden or home landscaping. I can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t want to grow them: they’re low maintenance, can be placed anywhere sunny, have amazing and colorful blooms, and very pretty foliage.
Weigelas are a type of flowering shrub and although the different varieties have slight differences in shape and size, they usually grow to a sensible 5 feet in height. They bloom in early spring and hold their flowers all summer long, with some varieties re-blooming throughout the summer!
These bushes can also grow almost anywhere in the U.S., as they’re comfortable in USDA zones 4-8 and sometimes zone 9. These shrubs are also quick growers, reaching their full size in about 3 years.
As you can already tell, Weigela bushes make for fantastic additions to your garden and once you see images of the different Weigela varieties, I hope you’ll feel fully inspired to care for this gorgeous plant.
This bush is native to Northern Asia and many centuries ago, when Europeans began visiting these regions, they were enamored by these bushes and brought them to Europe, from which they were eventually brought to the U.S.
Weigelas became incredibly popular for their bright blooms that immediately catch your attention. Because they have been so loved for so long, many people have cross-bred and created different varieties, producing different foliage and flower colors.
Most varieties have the same shape and gardening needs, just differing in looks. Although, as you’ll read below, there are a few that have more specific needs. Here’s a list of the 12 most common Weigela varieties, however you may find many others that are special hybrids of these.
Weigela_florida_04 / Andrey Korzun / CC BY SA 4.0
This is one of the most common Weigela varieties. This variety has intense pink blooms, with a rich rose-colored hue. When they first bloom, the flowers are lighter in color and as the summer continues, their pink color deepens.
Its flowers are a bit smaller than other Weigela varieties, although they are plentiful. Its foliage is a dark green color, a nice background for the bright blooms to pop off of. This variety grows to the average height of 4 to 5 feet tall.
Also sometimes called My Money Sunset, this variety is very well known for producing gorgeous foliage. While its traditional bright pink flowers are quite beautiful, its foliage typically wins the hearts of its gardeners.
The foliage is oval-shaped, with a white outline and green center, although these colors can vary- another reason why the foliage is so desirable. Sometimes the leaves are shades of green, ranging from a faint lime green to a rich forest green, while sometimes they become more yellow or orange.
This range of colors is where the “sunset” in the name comes from, because the colors blend together like a beautiful sunset. Just as beautiful as a Monet painting!
This variety is also a dwarf version, only growing to a maximum 1.5 feet in height. For this reason, this is one variety that can be potted or used as ground cover.
Sonic Bloom Pearl
Weigela_floribunda / Qwert1234 / CC BY SA 4.0
This variety is sometimes called the Sonic Bloom Pink, because its flowers have a supersonic pink color. These flowers are a bit larger and are shaped like large funnels- perfect for hummingbirds!
These flowers also start off as a lighter pink color and as the summer continues they become a powerful bright pink. When in full bloom, this bush becomes an ocean of magenta, as the bush can grow up to 5 feet tall and has a heavy bloom.
Red_weigela_flowers_on_a_bush / W.carter / CC BY SA 4.0
As the name implies, this Weigela variety has strong, crimson colored blooms that differentiate it from other Weigela varieties. These flowers are a bit smaller and are more trumpet shaped, as opposed to the deep funnel shaped flowers of the Sonic Bloom Pearl and others you’ll see below.
These flowers also re-bloom throughout the summer! At the end of spring, they bloom in full, with their bright red flowers. Yet, as the summer goes on they will likely bloom again toward late summer, slightly less profound this time.
This variety is also a bit more compact, growing to only 3 feet in height and slightly less wide. Crimson Kisses also prefer soil with greater airflow, so they really appreciate extra mulch or perlite.
This Weigela variety is another that’s preferred for its colorful foliage. The Magical Fantasy foliage doesn’t have the same range of color as Monet Sunset, rather it stays white and green.
The foliage here is also a bit smaller in shape, and curls in more tightly. In fact, the overall shape of this bush is tighter and less widespread, with growth angled upwards. However, this bush still grows to the average Weigela height of 4 feet.
The flowers are a soft, light pink and are trumpet shaped, with a princess-like aesthetic, hence the name. This variety of Weigela is a little more heat-resistant and is therefore better suited for zone 4.
Wine and Rose Weigela
Fuchsia_Magellanica_%27Riccartonii%27 / RichardHC / CC BY SA 4.0
The name of this Weigela variety comes from its flowers, which look like roses dipped in wine. They have a deep fuschia hue that takes over the whole bush when in bloom. Although, sometimes this bush is called the Florida Alex, as many Weigela varieties grow throughout Florida.
This variety has a true shrub shape, growing equally up and out and rounding out to a nice bush. However, it can also be pruned to be a very nice hedge. I’ll explain all the pruning needs and steps further in this article.
Wine and Rose flowers continue to bloom throughout the summer and keep their strong hue until mid-fall. These colors are bold and create a nice pop in your landscaping.
Weigela_florida_Rubidor_1zz. / David Stang / CC BY SA 4.0
This Weigela is also sought after for its foliage, which is unmistakable and quite distinct from the other Weigela varieties. Its foliage is a bright lime green and shines golden in the sunlight. Another wonderful thing about this foliage is that it keeps its color, even into the fall and winter it doesn’t darker.
This foliage is even more gorgeous in contrast to its dark purple colored flowers. These deep violet flowers are also trumpet shaped, with a dark red center.
Something to note with this Weigela is that it requires more sunlight to maintain its colors. If it doesn’t receive enough, since its foliage is already very light, the foliage will become pale and almost without color.
Czech Sunny Side Up
Weigela_florida_Alba_2018-05-06_1792 / Salicyna / CC BY SA 4.0
This variety was originally bred in the Czech Republic and with its bright white flowers, the name couldn’t be more fitting. This variety is almost inverse from the Golden Jackpot we just looked at, showing how much of a range in looks there is in Weigela varieties.
This bush has dark green foliage with pale white flowers, who have a more yellow center. This variety is also slightly smaller, growing only to 3 to 4 feet in height.
Red Prince Weigela
The Red Prince also creates colorful red flowers, but these are more of a scarlet color than the Crimson Kisses I mentioned earlier. These flowers somehow hit the perfect balance between red and pink, marking another spot on the Weigela rainbow of colors.
One reason why this variety is loved so much is because it’s such a reliable bloomer. Although Weigela varieties in general are low maintenance, the Red Prince is even more consistent with its yearly blooms that keep their color all summer long.
Florida Wings of Fire
This Weigela variety has beautiful light pink flowers that are a delight in the summer, but its fall foliage is what gives it its name. Unlike the other varieties I’ve mentioned that are chosen for their colorful foliage, this variety changes colors throughout the season.
Its foliage is green during spring and summer, while the pink flowers bloom, but as the summer ends its foliage becomes yellow and turns orange. In the peak of autumn, its foliage deepens to a dark orange or red, shining with true fall colors.
This is one of the most common Weigela varieties and, therefore, is likely the variety that you see if you spot a hot pink Weigela. This bush’s brilliant fuschia blooms keep their color all summer long.
This variety has a large bloom at the beginning of the summer that stays strong for several months. However, this variety is known to bloom a second time, around late July or August. Although, this second bloom isn’t as full as the one at the beginning of the season.
Weigela_florida_Alexandra_2018-07-09_4457 / Salicyna / CC BY SA 4.0
The name for this Weigela comes from its dark violet colored foliage. The reddish purple foliage along with the rose flowers gives this bush a very warm color scheme.
Its flowers are dark pink at the start of their long funnel shape, but they turn lighter and finish with white tips. This very colorful variety of Weigela is more compact and lower to the ground, only growing to about 3 feet. This makes it perfect for container gardens or as ground cover.
Weigela Bush Care Guide
After looking through several Weigela varieties, you can choose for yourself which one would be the best fit for your space and taste. Now I’ll explain for you all the necessary steps for taking care of the Weigela bush to make sure you get its most beautiful blooms every year.
These bushes grow well in most parts of the U.S., perfect for zones 5-8 and can be comfortable in zone 4 or 9. This bush also grows very quickly, reaching its full size after 3 or 4 years. In fact, this bush grows so well in so many places that it was once considered an invasive species.
These bushes are both non-toxic to humans and pets, and deer-resistant! So, you won’t have any worries about anyone eating these flowers. That being said, although the flowers are edible they don’t have any specific culinary use.
Planting & Placement
When you’re ready to plant your Weigela bush, the main consideration you need to keep in mind is sunlight. I’ll go completely in depth about this bush’s sunlight needs, but it’s worthy to mention here as well, because lack of sunlight will really reduce the blooms you get.
This bush loves hours of indirect sun, so placing it along with other bushes or by- but not under- trees is perfect. Too much direct sun can be harmful, especially if you live further south with hotter climates.
For the few dwarf and compact Weigela varieties, you can plant them in pots, although you will need relatively larger pots. Although, these shrubs don’t make for good indoor plants. For the varieties that have the general Weigela size, these need to be fully rooted in the ground.
Many also wonder if you can propagate Weigelas and, of course! As with the Little Lime Hydrangea, to propagate this flowering shrub you start with a clipping of softwood. Just place this in water and allow the roots to grow over the following weeks then, when they’re quite large the clipping is ready to plant!
Also, because its blooms are so distinct, this bush attracts lots of pollinators. Which is a great thing for your garden, so you want to be smart about how you attract them. Maybe plant this bush near fruit trees or other flowering shrubs to ensure that they’re pollinated, and away from where you eat or your kids play.
Lastly, when planting a Weigela bush it’s important to remember to place it somewhere so you can see its beautiful blooms! Even though most varieties have bold blooms that you can spot a mile away, make sure to plant this bush in your yard where it’s visible and you can admire its gorgeous flowers.
Weigela bushes aren’t very picky with their soil desires- standard, well-draining soil will do the trick! As with any plant, soil that’s too compact and causes water to get stuck can cause root rot, so it’s important to make sure water, air, and nutrients can flow freely in the soil.
Mulching and adding compost does help this bush, as both of these add texture to the soil and very healthy nutrients from the compost. You can use any organic compost make sure to leave a layer of soil between the root bundle and mulch, so the soil isn’t too moist, then add in organic compost or worm castings around the periphery.
I’ve already begun to explain the sunlight needs for Weigela bushes and, thankfully, they aren’t very picky about sunlight either, so there isn’t much to add! The main need with sunlight is that it’s indirect and that there’s enough of it.
This can mean getting a couple hours of morning sun or a few hours in the evening. Or, if this bush is planted near a tree that provides partial shade, this is great too.
Like I’ve explained, this shrub is very low maintenance, so it’s not super particular about how it gets this sunlight. The only thing to avoid is keeping it completely in the shadows- which you shouldn’t do anyways because this keeps the beautiful blooms out of sight!
If the bush doesn’t get enough sunlight, it will be most noticeable in the flowers. While they’ll still bloom, they will be much less vivid. For the Weigela varieties that change color, they do so because of the sunlight they receive, so this process will be changed with a lack of sunlight.
Lastly, if you’ve chosen a variety for its foliage, you want to make sure that foliage receives sun, but is protected. If it’s in direct sunlight for hours, and especially if you live in a warmer region, the leaves could get sunburnt! Take care to give them indirect light.
The watering needs for all Weigela varieties are the same, which is just frequent watering to keep moisture in the soil. This means give your Weigelas frequent waterings, about once a week.
You can check the soil to determine if it needs watering, just by feeling a few inches deep and sensing if there’s moisture or if the soil feels dry. If you’ve had rain recently, then no need to water again.
For the Weigela varieties that have green or darker foliage, if the leaves turn pale or become lighter, this means they aren’t receiving enough water.
Weigelas don’t have any specific vulnerabilities to worry about, so just keep an eye out for the standard issues like root rot or mold. As with most plants, it’s better to underwater and adjust than to overwater and have soaked roots.
Because these bushes attract so many pollinators, you’ll likely have bugs and birds all around these bushes in the summertime- which is a great thing! If you notice any that hang around too long and are destroying the bush, then you should take measures to organically remove them.
Weigelas don’t require pruning, but it’s a good move especially as they get larger and their form starts to distort. For the smaller and dwarf Weigela varieties, pruning won’t be necessary unless you want to keep a specific shape.
Regardless of the size of your Weigela, it’s always important to clear out any dead or damaged parts. If you see branches that are clearing decaying, then you should remove these.
Extensive pruning isn’t needed though, because the new flower buds grow on the branches from the previous year, so it’s important not to clip these. Only take out branches that are completely dead or have been damaged.
It’s best to prune Weigelas after the blooming season has ended, so this will be early to mid winter. You can use either garden scissors or hedge trimmers.
Pruning can also be helpful for keeping the shape of the Weigela, especially as the bush grows and might start to overgrow its neighbors! You can trim it down however you see fit, but always only cut back one third of the branche’s length.
Of course, the flowers of each variety of Weigela have their own unique look, but they all grow about the same way. They always bloom in early summer, usually around May, and the blooming season is all through the summer.
Some Weigela varieties do bloom a second time in late summer, but they don’t always do this. Regardless, the fragrant blooms will last until September or even October- they’ll last longer in warmer climates and will die sooner in colder ones.
Many people like to plant several Weigela varieties next to each other to have a mini field of flowers. Especially because the different varieties come in different colors, you can plant different kinds next to each other for an array of flowers and foliage!
Weigelas also make for great hedges, because they’re quite robust shrubs that grow quickly and hold their form. Regardless of how you style them, they’re a great addition to any landscape.
Ready for Weigelas?
I hope that this complete guide leaves you feeling prepared to pick a Weigela variety and plant one soon! The blooms on these shrubs are incredible and with so many different varieties, you can surely find one that will look great in your yard.
These beautiful shrubs are pretty much as low maintenance as it gets- all they need is to be watered once a week. Once they’re planted in a spot with good, indirect sunlight, in an area with healthy soil, they’ll take off on their own.
These bushes grow super fast, but stay at a manageable 5 feet in height. Their flowers will shock you year after year and will bring all the pollinators to your yard! There really isn’t a single particularity or nuance with these bushes, which means you’ve got nothing to be afraid of!