What is a Weigela Bush?

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  • Written By: Sonal Panse
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2019
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A weigela bush is an ornamental garden shrub that is popular for its riotous, colorful blooms and multicolored foliage. Originally from East Asia and deciduous in nature, weigela bushes are available in about ten native species and over 180 hybrid cultivar varieties. The plant is named after the German scientist Christian Ehrenfried Weigel.

Butterflies and hummingbirds find weigela bushes very attractive, especially when the latter are in bloom between May and June. The flowers are funnel-shaped and appear in clusters of colors. The native species are either white, pink or red, with some bushes producing all three colors, but with the cultivars, it is possible to find a wider color range that includes crimson, lavender, peach, orange, yellow, red-orange, yellow-orange and yellow-white. The cultivars also have attractive leaves of burgundy, black, green, green and white, and green and yellow, making for a variegated weigela bush that can look good even after the blooms have faded. Some popular weigela bush varieties are Bristol Snowflake, Pink Princess, Red Elf, Carnival and Minuet.


Apart from their obvious beauty, weigela bushes appeal to gardeners as they can be easily propagated through cuttings, do not require much maintenance and do not easily succumb to pests. In addition to planting hardwood and softwood tip cuttings, propagation can also be carried out by bending a stem to the ground, making a nick on the stem and covering it with soil. Planting is best done between early spring and fall, and the plants should not be planted too deep in the ground.

Weigela bushes can thrive in almost any type of soil, as long as they receive sufficient sunlight and water; these plants will not do well if planted in the shade or if the ground becomes too water-logged. Mulching will help, but will hamper plant growth if overdone and allowed to accumulate around the bush base. It is generally enough to add fertilizers once or twice a year or, if the soil is good, every alternate year.

The weigela bush can grow up to ten feet (3.04 m) tall and can spread around eight to 12 feet (2.43 m to 3.65 m) wide. The shrub can be left in its natural state, or it may be pruned to give it a desirable shape or to keep it at a specific height. It is best to prune weigela bush in summer after the plant has finished blooming. Pruning weigela bush earlier in spring or later in winter can adversely affect its blooming.


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Post 4

How much cold can these plants stand in winter?

Post 3

I was told that this bush was well known in the prairie days as it was planted over a gravesite, then it covered the grave with a blanket of flowers. Is there any validity to this?

Post 1

My Weigela bushes did not bloom this year and they are very healthy and green and growing very bushy. Can I prune these in mid summer? From reading the articles, it appears I pruned them in the wrong time of year, (the late fall-early winter) and that caused them to fail to bloom.

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