Weigela: planting, care and reproduction in open ground

Table of contents:

Weigela: planting, care and reproduction in open ground
Weigela: planting, care and reproduction in open ground

Characteristics of the weigela plant, agricultural technology for planting and caring for shrubs in the open field, recommendations for reproduction, how to protect against pests and diseases, species and varieties.

Weigela (Weigela) belongs to the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae) and includes representatives of the flora that have a shrub type of growth. The genus, according to various sources, unites 7-15 species. They are mainly distributed in the eastern or southeastern Asian regions, and the only one can be found on the Indonesian island of Java, located between Bali and Sumatra. If we talk about Russian lands, then three varieties of this genus grow in the forests of the Far East, nine species are introduced (that is, imported and adapted). All weigels are moisture-loving and prefer the proximity of water.

Family name Honeysuckle
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Shrub
Breeds Seeds or cuttings
Open ground transplant terms In March or April
Landing rules If the variety is undersized, the distance between the seedlings is maintained at 1-1.5 m, otherwise 2-3 m
Priming Loose, fresh, nutritious, moderately moist, loamy or sandy loam
Soil acidity values, pH Any
Illumination level Bright lighting or partial shade
Humidity level Moderate watering during dry seasons
Special care rules Top dressing and pruning required
Height options 1.5-3 m
Flowering period From mid-May, with warm autumn, again in August-September
Type of inflorescences or flowers Single flowers or in groups of 1-6
Color of flowers White, yellow, pink, dark red, crimson, pale purple or pinkish purple, reddish purple
Fruit type Woody or cartilaginous capsule
The timing of fruit ripening In summer or autumn after flowering
Decorative period Spring-Autumn
Application in landscape design In single and group plantings, it is possible to form hedges
USDA zone 4–8

Weigel got its name thanks to scientists who wished to immortalize the name of their colleague botanist, chemist and physician from Germany Christian Ehrenfried von Weigel (1748–1831).

All species of the genus have a crown formed by upright branches. Weigela does not form stolons. It is the absence of such underground shoots (stolons) that the shrub owes its spectacular decorative outlines of the crown. The height of the plant is 1.5 m, but there are species that reach with branches up to a 3-meter mark. The color of the shoots is brownish, their surface is smooth. The branches usually have outlines inclined to the soil surface, they are covered with a large number of leaves.

The foliage of the weigela flies around with the arrival of autumn. The leaf plates are arranged in an opposite order and are attached to the shoots by means of petioles. Sometimes the leaves grow sessile. There are no stipules. On the edge of the leaves, there is serration or they are serrate-toothed. Weigela winter buds are characterized by the presence of several scales with pointed tops. The color of the foliage is green or there is a whitish or cream strip along the edge, and there are species with a crimson tint of the leaves. The shape of the leaf plates is ovoid, while at the top there is an elongated pointedness. On the surface of the leaves, veins are visible, as if pressed into it.

Lush flowering at weigela usually begins in mid-May or at the very beginning of summer, so the plant is deservedly called among the people "the messenger of heat". However, if the autumn days will please you with warmth, then flowering can be repeated in August-September, but it will be less abundant. This process lasts a whole month. Flowers bloom against the backdrop of many leaves, serving them as a wonderful addition. The buds are located singly at the ends of young shoots or can be collected in 1–6 pieces (sometimes there are more of them), forming a loose inflorescence. Weigela buds take their origin from the leaf sinuses at the tops of the branches.

The shape of the corolla in the flower is in the form of a tube, funnel or bell. There are 5 blades in the corolla, the same number of blades at the calyx. The number of stamens is the same, their size does not exceed the corolla. The color of the petals in weigela flowers can be very diverse: snow-white, yellow or pink, crimson or dark red, reddish-purple or pale purple. When blooming, a pleasant aroma spreads around. Flowers grow sessile or on pedicels of varying degrees of development, the latter can grow together into a common flowering stem.

After pollination, weigela produces fruits, represented by capsules, characterized by a woody or cartilaginous surface. The shape of the fruit can vary from tapered-cylindrical to ovoid-elliptical. At the apex there is a narrowing into the spout, which has formed from the upper part of the ovary. When fully ripe, the capsule opens with a pair of valves. The placenta is present in the fruit, which remains in the form of the outlines of the central column. The seeds are small, often have wings, and their shape is angular.

Agrotechnics of planting and caring for weigela in the open field

Weigela blooms
Weigela blooms
  1. Landing place this flowering bush should have good lighting or partial shade. It is important that the location provides protection from gusts of cold wind and drafts. A good choice would be to place the weigela under the crowns of trees, giving an openwork shade. Only in a well-lit place will the plant show all its beauty and splendor of flowering. It is not worth planting in lowlands, where stagnation of melt water or moisture from precipitation is possible, and the bush can also freeze out.
  2. Soil for weigela it is recommended to select a nutrient so that it is light and permeable to moisture and air, but at the same time, the soil mixture must have the ability to retain moisture. In nature, bushes generally prefer soil with a pH of 5, 5–6, 5 for growth, that is, slightly acidic, but most comfortable for a plant on neutral compositions with a pH of 6, 5–7. There are species that are suitable for a slightly alkaline substrate with a pH of 7-8. If the soil on the site is not suitable for growing weigela, then it is replaced with a substrate of leaf humus and sod soil (equal volumes). If the moisture capacity of the soil is low, then high-moor peat is added.
  3. Landing weigela It is carried out in the spring or autumn period, in the first case, during March-April, or until frost has yet hit in the fall. If cultivation is carried out in southern or subtropical areas, then this operation can be carried out all year round, avoiding a short period with low temperatures. To plant a weigela seedling, a planting hole is dug with the same diameter and depth parameters - 0.5 m. When planting in a group between low-growing species or varieties, it is recommended to leave about a meter and a half, otherwise this parameter is kept within 2-3 m. When planting, a soil mixture from deciduous-sod soil was used, then the diameter of the pit is increased to 1 m, the depth remains the same. It is recommended to loosen the bottom of the pit by 5–10 cm. Weigela seedlings that have reached the age of three are planted in the open ground. The plant is placed in a planting pit, its roots are carefully straightened and the cavity is filled to the top with the extracted soil (or the soil mixture described above). In the near-stem circle of the weigel seedling, the substrate is easily squeezed to remove voids. This is followed by abundant watering. After the soil settles slightly, it is added again to level with the ground level on the site. It is recommended to mulch the trunk circle immediately with wood chips or crushed peat. In order for the plant to adapt faster, all branches of the weigela seedling must be cut to half their length. In the case when a flowering bush is planted, pruning is not carried out. For the first two weeks, you need to provide shading from direct sunlight.
  4. Watering when cultivating weigela should be regular and moderate, stagnation of moisture in the soil is excluded. All due to the fact that in nature this shrub grows in regions of East Asia characterized by a monsoon climate, where the soil is constantly moist. If watering is not carried out and the soil is allowed to dry out, then flowering will quickly deteriorate and may come to naught, and this will also slow down the development process. After each watering or rain, it is recommended to mulch the weigela tree trunk circle so that moisture does not evaporate from its surface so quickly. Peat, sawdust, crushed bark or husk can act as a mulching material.
  5. Fertilizers when growing, weigels should be reintroduced only two years after planting, since they are mixed immediately into the planting soil. During the growing season, it is recommended to feed the shrub three more times. With the arrival of spring, a full mineral complex is used (for example, Fertika or Kemira-Universal, but you can use urea or superphosphate). The preparations are scattered in the snow until the growing season of the plant has begun. The fertilizer application radius should correspond to the projection of the weigela crown. In the first week of June, when the buds begin to form, dressings are used, which include potassium and phosphorus, which will ensure the lush flowering of the weigela. It is important that there is no chlorine in the fertilizer or the volume of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus is equal. In the fall, for digging, you need to bring in wood ash or complex preparations, which will contain a significant part of potassium. Such feeding will promote the ripening of the weigela branches and help prepare the plant for winter.
  6. Pruning for weigela bushes while they are young they spend with the onset of spring, while the juices have not yet begun to move. This is necessary for sanitary purposes in order to remove all branches damaged, shrunken or diseased during the winter. When the plants are mature, the same sanitary pruning is done in the first weeks of spring. To form the crown, the branches are cut immediately after the first flowering ends. In this case, one should not only shorten the shoots that stand out from the general silhouette, but also remove those that began to thicken the bush, heading to the middle. Experienced gardeners recommend Weigel to rejuvenate by cutting off 3/4 of the length of the shoots every 3-4 years.
  7. Storage of seedlings. When buying plants in the fall, when the first frosts have already hit, it becomes necessary to preserve the weigela seedlings until the next spring. For this, gardeners use the following methods. Method 1 - weigela seedlings are buried at an angle in the open field so that even the branches are covered with soil. After the snow cover melts in the spring, planting is carried out at the above dates according to the above rules. Method 2 - plants are planted in pots and kept indoors. Watering with such care should be moderate and when foliage flies around the weigela seedling, the container is transferred to cool conditions, where the heat indicators will be in the range of 1-6 degrees. It is permissible for the temperature to be below zero for a short time. Watering until spring should be very sparse, while complete drying of the substrate is prohibited. In the last week of February, when the buds begin to swell on the weigel planted in a pot and the plant begins to grow, the container must be transferred to a well-lit place. Watering is gradually increased, and in the middle of spring, feather feeding is carried out. If necessary, crown molding is performed. When the return frosts recede in May, the seedling can be moved into open ground, adhering to the rules of the primary planting.
  8. General advice on care. When cultivating weigels in a personal plot, it is necessary to regularly engage in pruning, dressing and weeding from weeds. It will not be superfluous to loosen the soil after precipitation or watering. However, it should be remembered that the root shoots lie in the near-stem circle of the shrub no deeper than 8–10 cm, so the soil is loosened with great care. If the root system is damaged, it can even cause the death of the plant.
  9. Weigela wintering. Since the regions where this shrub is grown can differ in climate, the preparation for the winter shrub season will be different. For example, in southern regions and subtropical areas, shelter is not required. In an area with a more severe climate, the plant must be wrapped in a non-woven material (it can be spunbond or lutrasil). It is recommended to cover the trunk circle near the weigela bush with fallen dry leaves or cover it with spruce branches. When April comes, such a shelter is removed so that the roots do not rip out.
  10. The use of weigela in landscape design. Such bushes can be planted both singly and in groups. Group compositions can be composed purely of different species or varieties of this representative of the flora, or plantings can be mixed. With their help, you can form hedges that do not require a haircut. Low-growing plants are used to decorate borders and flower beds, in flower beds or in stone gardens. Tall weigela bushes look good together with trees characterized by decorative properties and non-falling foliage. Good neighbors for weigela are Japanese spireas and cotoneaster, barberries and mock-mushrooms, forsythia and felt cherries.

See also guidelines for planting and caring for colquia in the open field.

Recommendations for breeding weigela shrub

Weigela in the ground
Weigela in the ground

In order to get new bushes of this plant on your site, you can sow seeds or carry out cuttings. As for the newly introduced varietal forms, they propagate exclusively by cuttings.

Propagation of weigela using seeds

This method is not difficult, but you still have to spend more effort than rooting cuttings. For hybrid species, it is not used, since the qualities of the mother plant are very rarely preserved during reproduction. However, any specific plant can be obtained this way. If we talk about fresh seed, then its germination rate is almost 100%, which is not lost throughout the year. Sowing is carried out both in spring and before winter.

To start sowing weigela seeds, the area where they will be placed must have shading (a place under the openwork tree crowns is suitable). The soil is carefully leveled with a rake and the seed is spread over the surface. Top crops are sprinkled with a small layer of peat chips or river sand. The thickness of the covering layer is about 0.5–1 cm. This layer needs to be easily compacted, and then thoroughly moistened using a fine-dispersed spray gun.


If weigela seeds are sown before winter, it is recommended to provide the crops with a cover, which is a layer of straw, dry foliage or non-woven material (for example, spunbond). With the arrival of spring, when shoots appear, such a shelter is removed.

When the seeds are sown in the spring, the weigels are covered with transparent plastic wrap to protect them from return frost. Care in this case consists in periodic ventilation (for 15-30 minutes) in order to remove the collected condensate from the film and moisten the soil with a spray gun. After 20 days, the first shoots can be seen and the film can be removed.

After some time has passed from the moment when the weigel seedlings have sprung up, it is recommended to thin them, leaving 10-15 cm between them. Further care of young plants will consist in watering and weeding from weeds. Only a year later, you can transplant to a school (training bed). For the winter, such plantings should be lightly covered (with foliage, straw or agrofibre).

When 3-4 years have passed from the moment of sowing weigela seeds, transplantation is carried out to a permanent place in the garden. Plants grown using the seed method will please with flowering only when 4-6 years have passed.


Sowing seeds and subsequent cultivation of weigela seedlings can be carried out indoors until the moment when they can be transplanted into a flower bed in a garden. But then, with the arrival of summer heat, containers with plants are taken out into the open air, with the obligatory cover from direct sunlight.

Propagation of weigela by cuttings

Branches can be cut twice during the growing season.

First time by cuttings

begin to practice with the arrival of spring, when the buds on the shoots have not yet begun to open. The branches from which the cuttings are cut must be lignified and vegetative (that is, they will not form flowers on them). The length of the workpieces should vary within 8-10 cm. In order for such weigel cuttings to take root faster, it is recommended to use root formation stimulants (for example, heteroauxinic acid or Kornevin). In such a solution, the cut branches are kept for 4–5 hours.

For planting cuttings, a soil mixture of coarse-grain river sand and crushed high-moor peat is used (parts are taken of equal volumes). Weigela cuttings are almost completely buried in pots with filled soil. They try to maintain the distance between them about 25 cm. Stir the pots with cuttings in a semi-shady place. Caring for cuttings consists in timely watering when the soil begins to dry out.

If it is noticed that buds begin to bloom on the cuttings and the shoots are elongated, this is a clear sign of successful rooting. Now it is recommended to plant several seedlings in garden containers. The soil mixture in this case will have to consist of peat, garden soil, clay and river sand.

The care for such seedlings will be regular soil moistening, top dressing with the use of complex mineral fertilizers. When the shoots reach a height of 5 cm, they are pinched. If weigela plantings are cared for without violations, by autumn their height will be 20-25 cm.

When the end of next winter comes, then before the seedlings start growing, it is recommended to prune and transplant in containers, the volume of which is 3 liters. Care during this growing season will be the same as before, but the pinching is no longer carried out. By September, weigela seedlings will ripen 3–6 shoots, and the height of the plants will be 0.7–0.8 m, then they are ready for transplantation into open ground to a permanent place.

Second time by cuttings

study from late May or early June. On the weigela bush, young, half-lignified branches of the current season are selected. The blanks will be cut from the bottom of the growth so that their length is about 8–10 cm. All leaves from the cuttings should be removed, leaving only the top two. The remaining sheet plates are cut in half so that moisture does not evaporate too much from their surface. All further actions correspond to the first method, for those cuttings that were cut in March.


Weigela cuttings harvested in the summer give a greater percentage of rooting.

Such cuttings, which were planted in June, already grow to 10-15 cm by September. In order for the grown weigela bushes to reach readiness for transplanting to a new place in the open field, they should be grown for a couple of years. Plants that are obtained by cuttings will delight with flowering already for 2-3 years from the moment of planting.

How to protect weigela from pests and diseases in horticultural cultivation?

Weigela grows
Weigela grows

The plant pleases the eye with its appearance and rather spectacular flowering, but like many representatives of the garden flora, it is susceptible to attacks of harmful insects and some diseases.

The latter are gray rot and various spots … Gray rot is easily identified by a fluffy bloom of a grayish tint, which can cover the leaves or stems of Veylela, especially in the root zone. The cause of the disease is waterlogged soil from irrigation or precipitation, thickened plantings or high humidity in the environment while the temperature drops. In order to fight this disease, it is recommended to spray with fungicidal preparations, among which Fundazol or Fitosporin-M can be distinguished.

Spots are usually viral in nature, and aphids are the main vectors. It is manifested by the disease by the appearance of spots on the leaves of weigela of various colors, which gradually merge, covering the entire leaf plate. The foliage will fly around in a short time and the plant will die. It is recommended that the affected bushes be dug up and burned outside the site, and the soil where they grew should be treated with a strong solution of potassium permanganate.

Among the pests, there are: aphids (not only weigela sucking out nutritious cellular juices, contributing to the transfer of viral diseases), thrips, caterpillars and spider mites. Also, the harm is done by beetles and bears, whose larvae eat up the roots. In order to deal with these "uninvited guests", it is recommended to use broad-spectrum insecticidal preparations. These can be Aktellik or Aktary, Fitoverm and Boverin. The latter two will help in exterminating the larvae.

Types and varieties of weigela

In the photo, Weigela blooming
In the photo, Weigela blooming

Weigela flowering (Weigela florida)

is the most popular variety originating from the territory of the Far East. The color of the petals is in flowers of a pale pink hue, which gradually darkens as it wilts. The breeder tried and bred a large number of garden forms, which differ in the color of flowers, leaf plates and height indicators, as well as the flowering period. Blossoming buds, as a rule, are taken from the 20th of May, and this process in flowering weigela stretches until the beginning of June. For open spaces, the following varieties are most acceptable:

  1. Red Prince or Red Prince, presented by American breeders, characterized by flowering a second time in early September. The petals in the flowers have a reddish-brilliant color, both on the inside and outside. The corolla is narrowed, bell-shaped. From the buds, inflorescences are collected, numbering several of them.
  2. Alba blooming weigela variety, bush shoots stretching up to a height of 3 meters. The color of the flower petals is initially snow-white as it fades into pinkish tones.
  3. Variegata characterized by a rather decorative coloring of deciduous mass, where green leaf plates have a whitish or creamy strip along the edge. Because of such spectacular foliage, the plant looks beautiful even without flowering. However, this variety of blooming weigela also deserves attention, since the petals have a rich pink color. Flowering occurs in the period May-June.
  4. Nana variegata has dwarf height parameters and variegated color of leaf plates. The color of the petals in flowers is whitish-pink-crimson. From several buds, inflorescences are usually collected. Recommended for growing in rockeries or rocky gardens.
  5. Purpurea the owner of flowering lasting throughout June-July. The growth rate of this blooming weigela variety is low; it is recommended to provide shelter for the winter period. The deciduous mass is characterized by a reddish-brown color and pink flowers that effectively stand out against the background of the leaves.
Pictured by Weigel Middendorf
Pictured by Weigel Middendorf

Weigela middendorff (Weigela middendorffiana)

The natural distribution area covers the territory of the Far East and Sakhalin, and can be found in the northeastern Chinese regions. A shrub characterized by foliage falling annually with the arrival of autumn. The height of the crown can be 1–1, 5 m. The leaf plates have an elongated-oval shape, there is a sharpening at the top.

The flowering process of the Middendorf weigela can occur twice during the growing season: the first time in the first week of May, the second in the period of August-September. The flowers have a tubular corolla, the petals in it can be colored yellow or grayish-yellow, and their surface is decorated with a mottled bright orange color scheme. The flower length varies in the range of 3-4 cm. After flowering, small seeds with lionfish ripen. The seeds fill the capsules with elongated outlines.

In the photo, Weigela is pleasant
In the photo, Weigela is pleasant

Weigela suavis

a rather rare species, although it is characterized by spectacular outlines and an openwork crown. The shrub can reach a height of 1.3 m. The leaves have oval-lanceolate outlines and a bright green tint, but when mid-September comes, the foliage takes on different colors. The plant will lose its leaves in October. The flowers are quite attractive due to their pinkish-lilac color of the petals, while the inner part of them has a pale pink tone. The weigela corolla has a pleasant shape in the form of a funnel. The flowering process starts on May 10 and lasts until the end of the first summer month. The second bloom can be expected at the end of summer or with the arrival of September.

In the photo, Weigela early
In the photo, Weigela early

Weigela early (Weigela praecox)

has a bushy form of growth, reaches a height of about two meters. The crown is thick. Flowers begin to bloom in May, this process stretches for 14–20 days. The flowers have a pubescent surface, the petals are painted in a pink tone. The buds are collected in groups of several, crowning drooping peduncles.

In the photo, Weigela hybrid
In the photo, Weigela hybrid

Weigela hybrid (Weigela hybrida)

is a group in which plants are combined, bred by hybridization. Species of abundant flowering (Weigela floribunda), Korean (Weigela coraeensis) and flowering (Weigela florida) took part in the breeding work. For the formation of landscape compositions, specialists often use various varieties, among which the most effective are recognized:

  1. Eva Rathke is a relatively long-standing variety that enjoys success among florists. Breeders of Poland were engaged in its breeding (in 1890), for purchase the variety is available today on the website of the Union of Polish Nurseries. Shrubs with branches reaching 0.7–1 m in height, the crown width being 2–3 m, although it is characterized by compact outlines. This variety of weigela has an extensive deciduous mass of green or bright green color. The leaf plates are elliptical in shape and tapered at the tops. Leaves reach 6-10 cm in length. They grow along the entire length of the branch. The flowers are characterized by shiny, reddish-pink (carmine-pink) petals with a lighter inner part. The corolla has a tubular shape. The flowering process takes place over a period of time spanning all summer months. The growth rate of this variety is moderate.
  2. Rosea is a hybrid variety of weigela hybrid with large flowers and a wheel-shaped corolla limb. The petals in them are pink in color, the surface of which is decorated with snow-white speckles. The height of such a bush is approximately 1.5 m. The crown is formed by branches characterized by smooth bends. With the arrival of autumn days, the color of the leaves turns from green to variegated red. The plant has average winter hardiness, it is recommended to provide a small shelter for the winter period. Dried foliage can act on it.
  3. Bristol Ruby was bred by breeders in the United States in the middle of the last century (in 1941). This variety of weigela is distinguished by its high growth rate. A shrub whose branches can reach a height of 2.5–3 m. The crown diameter is 3.5 meters. The foliage is bright green. The length of the leaf plate is 6-10 cm. Flowering is extended throughout June-July. The color of the flowers is quite spectacular, the inner part of the petals has an orange or orange-reddish tint, while their edge is reddish-ruby.

Related article: Tips for growing honeysuckle.

Video about growing weigela in open field conditions:

Weigela photos:

Weigela Photos 1
Weigela Photos 1
Photo Weigela 2
Photo Weigela 2
Photo Weigela 3
Photo Weigela 3
Photo Weigela 4
Photo Weigela 4
Weigela Photos 5
Weigela Photos 5