The weigela is a deciduous shrub that's beloved for its lovely, profuse flower blooms. The most common species is the Weigela Florida, which has countless cultivated varieties. Depending on the specific variety, you'll find that weigelas aren't slow growers and require plenty of space to reach their mature size. You can, however, control the size and growth of your weigela shrub by shearing or pruning it regularly.
Considered a small to medium-sized shrub, the weigela typically grows 6 to 8 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. This standard size varies with different cultivated varieties or cultivars. . Weigela shrubs grow into a rounded shape with dense foliage and arching branches. The weigela is a moderate to fast grower, usually gaining 12 to 18 inches in growth each year.
There are numerous weigela cultivars, which vary in flower colour and overall mature size. The Variegata weigela grows up to 6 feet tall with variegated leaves that have creamy-white margins and blooms in deep-pink blossoms. The Red Prince cultivar grows 5 to 6 feet tall with red flowers, the Polka variety grows only 3 to 4 feet tall with pink flowers that are tinged with yellow, and the Minuet weigela is only 30 inches tall with purple-tinged leaves and ruby-red blossoms. The Alexandra cultivar grows 4 to 5 feet tall with burgundy-coloured foliage and rose-pink flowers. Other weigela cultivars include the French Lace that has yellow-margined leaves with dark-red flowers, the Nain Rouge that's a dwarf variety with reddish-orange flowers and the Suzanne that has white variegated leaves with pale-pink to white blossoms. The Evita weigela cultivar is a slower-growing variety than other weigelas and blooms with bright-red flowers.
Weigela shrubs are excellent ornamental plants for specimen plantings, as well as for creating borders around your landscape. You can also plant weigelas as foundation plantings around your house. Unfortunately, most weigela shrubs are somewhat unattractive during winter, so you might consider mixing the weigelas with evergreen shrubs or other plants with winter interest. However, some newer weigela cultivars now have variegated or colourful foliage that remains on the shrubs for most of the year, adding interest to the plants even when they aren't blooming.
Because most weigela shrub cultivars are robust growers, you should plant the shrubs where they have plenty of space to achieve their mature height and width. Depending on the cultivar, weigelas usually grow best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 through 8, tolerating winter temperatures down to about minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Some cultivars are hardy down to Zone 4, surviving temperatures as cold as minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant your weigela shrubs in a spot that receives full sunlight to partial shade and has moist but well-draining soil. If you're concerned about the weigela's growth rate and size, you can shear back the shrubs or prune the branches while they're actively growing to control their growth and to keep them smaller.