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Why I Love Weigelas

Chanticleer Garden has lots of Weigelas, like this one behind Amsonia.
Chanticleer Garden has lots of Weigelas, like this one behind Amsonia.

Simply put – Weigelgas are lush, old-fashioned shrubs that make a big impact in the garden and do it quickly.  I regularly recommend them to my garden-coaching clients, telling them that Weigelas grow fast, are quite drought-tolerant, are unbothered by pests of any type (in my 25 years of growing them) and boy, can they fill up a garden.

Oh, and they’re pretty, especially when blooming.  Love the naturalistic, fountainesque shape.

Close-ups of Weigela blooms in shades of pink.
Close-ups of Weigela blooms in shades of pink.
 'White Knight' Weigela in my garden. 'White Knight' Weigela in my garden.
‘White Knight’ Weigela in my garden.

Breeders are providing us with lots of smaller choices these days – like this ‘White Knight’ variety that’s almost white.  It’s only about 4 feet tall by 8 feet wide.

How do I maintain my Weigelas? After they’re settled in, I never, ever give them supplemental watering, so that tells you how drought-tolerant they are.  No fertilizer, no pesticides.  Just a bit of pruning after they’re full-grown, and the kind of pruning given is important.   No shearing into artificial shapes!  Just a bit of renewal pruning – removing a third of the stems all the way to the ground, sometime in late spring or early summer.  This encourages new growth while preserving the Weigela’s lovely natural shape.

Posted by  Susan Harris.

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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