Weigela Bush Guide: How To Identify, Plant and Grow Types of Weigela Shrubs

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | April 5, 2024

Person looking at weigela bush after learning how to identify types of weigela flowers and bushes, as well as how to grow weigela bushes and planting and care tips for weigelas.

If you are looking for a low-maintenance plant that will add dramatic splashes of color to your garden, the Weigela Bush is a top contender.

Not only is it one of the most attractive shrubs out there, it is one of the top plants that attract hummingbirds, all types of butterflies, and other pollinators.

Between being able to be grown in a variety of climate conditions, growing so easily, and having so many varieties, you are sure to find the perfect Weigela bush for your outdoor space.

This complete guide explains everything you need to know.

Weigela Bush

(Weigela florida)

Weigela Bush flower in oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Caprifoliaceae
  • Genus: Weigela
  • Leaf: About 2 to 4 inches long, usually medium green but can be bronze, reddish or multi-colored
  • Blossoms: Tubular shape, usually deep shades of pink and red but sometimes white and yellow
  • Fruit: Small dry capsules clustered like bananas, containing tiny seeds
  • Native Habitat: Northern China, Korea and Japan
  • Height: Anywhere from one to 10 feet tall depending on the variety
  • Canopy: Anywhere from 2 to 10 feet wide depending on the variety
  • Type: Deciduous

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Ranking

Least Concern


How To Identify Weigela Bush

When it comes to how to identify the Weigela Bush, know that there are many varieties, but they generally have similar characteristics.

Weigela Bush Leaves

Weigela Bush leaves tend to be a shade of medium-green for most varieties, but some can have multi-colored leaves or shades like bronze, deep purple, and red.1

The leaves are opposite, meaning the leaves in each pair grow directly across from one another.

Graphics showing how to identify Weigela bush, featuring images of Weigela bush leaves, Weigela bush flower, and Weigela bush seeds in circular frames.

(Seed Image by: Rob Hille10)

They are usually glossy, 2 to 4 inches long, and are either egg-shaped or a flat oval shape that is broadest in the middle and tapered at the ends. The edges are usually slightly serrated.

Weigela Bush Flower

The Weigela Bush flower is usually a deep shade of pink or red tubular-shaped blooms. They are usually 0.75 to 1.5 inches long with five petals.

While pink flowers are the most common, some Weigela varieties produce yellow or white ones.

Weigela Bush Growing Zone

The Weigela Bush growing zone falls between 4 and 9.3 With such a wide range of growing zones, you can have a thriving Weigela plant pretty much anywhere in the continental US except the very coldest and hottest places.

Weigela Bush Growth Rate

The Weigela Bush growth rate is considered ‘moderate.’ So as for how long it takes to grow Weigela Bush, expect it to grow about one to two feet a year.

The exact growth rate can vary depending on the conditions of your region. The full height of this plant depends on the variety, so you may see it reach full maturity anywhere from one season to several.

When To Plant

As for when to plant Weigela Bush for the best yield, it is best to wait for cooler temperatures. If you put it in the ground during the height of summer, it will probably die.

Spring and fall are optimal, though if you live in a cooler climate, you may be able to get away with planting it in the late spring or early summer.

Growing a Weigela Bush From a Seed, Cutting, or Seedling

When it comes to growing a Weigela Bush from a seed, cutting, or seedling, here is what you need to know:

Growing From a Seed

Growing Weigela Bush from a seed is not a very popular propagation method.

First, there is no way to know if the new plant will look like the mother plant. Secondly, it can take up to three years for the bush to grow.

Growing from a cutting or an offshoot are better option.

Growing From a Cutting

Growing Weigela Bush from a cutting is the most common way because it is the easiest way. You can propagate this plant by using hardwood or softwood cuttings.

When growing from hardwood, follow these instructions:

  • Take the cutting just after the first frost has come or very early in the spring before it starts producing leaves again
  • Only use stems that are at least a foot long. Trim away any soft growth.
    Be sure to cut below a pair of buds
  • Dip the cutting in root hormone, though this isn’t required
  • Place the cutting right into the ground or start growing in a container
  • The container cutting can be left outdoors but do not let them dry out. Proper watering the first 7 to 10 days is particularly important
  • The time it takes for the cutting to establish itself will depend on the exact conditions of your outdoor space, but generally, roots should form after a few weeks

When growing from softwood cuttings, follow these instructions:

  • Take the cutting early in the summer
  • Check this newer growth doesn’t have any signs of infestation or disease
  • Remove the tip of the soft growth. It is too fragile to grow roots and will cause rotting or rapid water loss
  • Like hardwood, the cut must be made just below the pair of leaf buds
  • Place outdoors or in a container, making sure to keep the soil moist, especially during the first week to 10 days

Growing From an Offshoot

Growing a new plant from offshoots is another option that is performed in the spring.

  • Dig several furrows around the mother plant about 4 inches deep–think of rays of the sun coming off the center
  • Lay down the young shoots in the grooves, fill them up with topsoil, and press down
  • New shoots will form that have their roots that can be separated from the mother plant in the fall. Use sharp shears to separate them
  • Once planted, give the new shoots some extra protection that first winter by wrapping them in jute or fleece to shield them from frost damage

Best Growing Conditions for Weigela Bush

Luckily, this shrub isn’t particularly high-maintenance, but like any other plant, it is important to know the best growing conditions for a Weigela Bush.


One of the most important planting tips for Weigela Bush is knowing how far apart to space them so they can grow properly.

Since they can vary greatly in size by variety, the proper spacing will depend on how large your plant is expected to grow.

A Weigela bush with pink and white flowers and a tall bush with white flowers in a garden.

(Image: F. D. Richards12)

Generally, they should be spaced anywhere from 2 to 6 feet apart, depending on the particular shrub.


So, how much sunlight does Weigela Bush need each day? The answer is quite a bit.

These plants thrive best in abundant sunshine, and you should place them somewhere they will receive anywhere from 8 to 10 hours of direct light daily.

They can do okay in partial shade, but they will not produce as many flowers, and since their brilliant blooms are the big draw, this probably wouldn’t be ideal for most people. If you live in a particularly hot climate, placing the plant somewhere it will get a bit of shade later in the day is probably fine.

Full-shade is a non-starter however as the plant likely won’t bloom at all.


Weigela is pretty hardy in many respects, and it can thrive in all sorts of soil, but its ideal soil will be moist yet draining well.

The ideal pH level would be between 5.5 and 7.5, which would be soils ranging from alkaline to slightly acidic.


The watering needs for Weigela Bush plants were pretty substantial when it was first established. During its first growing season, keep a close eye on the soil, and always give it a nice, long drink once the top two inches have gone dry.

During this time, it will probably need watering once or twice a week. You may need to water it more if it is particularly hot and sunny.

The best time to water this plant is earlier in the morning when the roots will better absorb the moisture.

Once the plant has become established, it doesn’t need much attention in the way of watering. So long as it receives occasional rainfall, it should be fine, meaning the only time you may need to water Weigela would be during an extended dry spell.

Extra watering may also be called for when it is particularly hot for an extended period. If you see brown or yellow leaves or the soil is dry and cracked looking, it needs some hydration.

When it comes to container gardening, however, potted Weigela usually need to be watered once or twice a week as the soil in potted plants dries out more quickly.


Weigela Bush can thrive in a variety of climates and isn’t particularly sensitive to temperature. The only thing to pay attention to in this regard is making sure you don’t plant the shrub until you are certain the last frost has passed.4

As for the ideal humidity, this easy-to-grow plant doesn’t have any special requirements in that regard either.


This plant does best with a yearly dose of fertilizer in the spring. Make sure to do this before that year’s new growth appears.

Slow-release pellets or liquid fertilizer are equally good choices for Weigela.


Pruning is an important part of Weigela maintenance if you want to maintain the highly attractive appearance for which it is so prized.

When To Prune

Like many plants, removing any dead, diseased, or damaged wood in the late winter is important not only for aesthetics but for maintaining optimal plant health. Weigelas, like most deciduous shrubs that produce flowers, are particularly prone to winter dieback and will benefit from some cleaning up during this time.5

Removing a few of the larger branches during this time will encourage heavy blooming in the spring.

If you would like to prune this shrub for shaping purposes, the best time is after the big, late spring bloom.

Controlling Size

Many varieties of Weigela can grow quite tall and wide, and you may want to prune to control the size. When pruning for this purpose, you can cut back branches to one-third of their current size.

A cluster of white and red weigela blooms surrounded with green leaves.

(Image: peganum 13)

Be sure to cut them to a point where two of the branches meet. Using a hand pruner is preferable to hedge clippers to maintain the fullness of the plant.


Removing old wood every few years is important for maintaining the appearance of Weigelas–they look best when primarily composed of younger wood. When pruning for rejuvenation purposes, branches that are at least 1.5 inches or larger should be cut away at the base of the plant.

Do not get rid of more than ⅓ of the branches at a time, even if these older branches make up more than that percentage of the shrub.

Companion Plants For Growing Weigela Bush

There are several good choices when it comes to companion plants for growing Weigela Bush. Companion plants serve several purposes, but when it comes to this shrub in particular, they are mainly used to make the space more visually appealing, rather than protect the shrub, promote its growth, etc.

There are many different varieties of Weigela Bush, and the best companion plants for a particular bush will largely depend on its appearance, though some plants, like honeysuckles, go well with most types of Weigela.

Some examples of specific varieties and the best plants that go with them:

The Polka variety goes best with other perennials that bloom in the summer, such as Shasta daisies, cone flowers, Russian sage, or Gypsophila.

The Wine and Roses Weigela shrub, with its dark shades, goes great with plants that produce yellow or white flowers or light-colored foliage to create a sharp contrast.

The Rumba Weigela Bush, with its bronze-colored leaves and dark maroon flowers, is considered one of the most attractive varieties, and its low-growing nature makes it a good pairing with many dwarf varieties of plants such as spiraeas and potentillas.

Generally speaking, good companion plants for most varieties include other flowering shrubs such as hydrangeas, lilacs, and viburnum. The lighter shades of these plant’s flowers really give a striking contrast to the dark flowers of the Weigela plant.

Some good perennials to plant alongside Weigela include salvia and bee balm. Like Weigela, these plants attract pollinators and will keep them coming back to the space after it is no longer blooming.

Annuals that work well with this shrub include petunias and impatiens. Unlike Weigela, they thrive best in partial shade, so placing them in the shadows of the shrub will keep them healthy.

How To Stop Weigela Bush Disease

When it comes to how to stop Weigela Bush disease, the good news is, that this hardy plant isn’t a particularly vulnerable one.

Some common pests of the Weigela Bush are spider mites, aphids, and scale insects, though they aren’t as prone to them as other types of shrubs. Natural pest control for Weigela Bush includes natural insecticides and neem oil.6

A weigela bush, situated next to a concrete wall, whose leaves have completely fallen out.

(Image: I.Sáček, senior14)

Good old-fashioned water works great too. Giving the bush a good spraying will remove most of the insects, but if the shrub has just started blooming, the flowers may fall off.

When it comes to Weigela Bush disease prevention, problems are most likely to start in cramped, excessively moist conditions. Most of the diseases are bacteria-related and include black spots, powdery mildew, and botrytis.

Weigela is a great choice for an easy-to-grow, ornamental shrub. Varieties with colorful foliage are great focal points, while others are perfect for privacy hedges, edging, or borders.

The Weigela Bush attracts lots of pollinators, making it a great choice for anyone who wants to create a more environmentally friendly space.

Weigela Varieties

There are about a dozen species of Weigela Bush and over 100 varieties. Here are a few of the most popular Weigela shrubs to consider for your garden.

Wine and Roses

The Wine and Roses variety is popular for its particularly glossy purple foliage and striking pink flowers. There are many sub-varieties of this Weigela plant, such as ‘Midnight Wine’ which has very deep, dark foliage.

Weigela Florida

Weigela Florida, also known as Old Fashioned Weigela, is one of the taller varieties, reaching anywhere from six to 10 feet, and up to 12 feet wide.2

Its rose-pink flowers bloom abundantly in the spring and may bloom again for a short time in the mid-to-late summer.

Graphics illustrating the different types of weigela flowers with text and images of its varieties including: Polka, Wine and Roses, Rumba, Weigela Florida, and Variegated Weigela.

(Polka Image by: David J. Stang11)

The name ‘Florida’ has nothing to do with the state, but means ‘freely flowering,’ about its particularly robust production of flowers. Like most varieties of the shrub, its foliage is green, and it maintains this coloring particularly well during the growing season.

Variegated Weigela

This variety of Weigela Bush has green leaves that are creamy yellow at the edges. As the leaves age, they turn white.

While this term refers to a specific type of Weigela shrub, you may also hear the term ‘variegated Weigela’ to describe any variety that has multi-colored leaves.


This variety is particularly popular in drier areas and grows anywhere from three to five feet tall. Its thick, green foliage makes it a good choice for perennial groundcover.


This variety of Weigela is particularly hardy and can tolerate a wide range of climates and soil conditions. It is one of the shorter types, only reaching about three feet tall.

But it is also considered one of the most attractive with its dark maroon flowers and bronze-tinted leaves.

Landscape Design With Weigela

When it comes to landscape design with Weigela, here are a few things to consider.

Weigelas are most prized for the striking pink flowers they produce, but once they stop blooming, they are not very remarkable, save the varieties that have more colorful foliage. So when it comes to using them for borders, it is best to mix them in with other shrubs where they can kind of fade into the background when they are not actively blooming.7

Varieties with colorful leaves are great as focal points in your landscape. Dwarf Weigela makes for a great foundation plant–those set around the edge of the house–as well as an accent plant.

Dwarf varieties may also be a good choice if you have a smaller yard.

When it comes to landscape gardening, Weigela is a great addition because of the dense clusters of brilliant, colorful flowers they produce. They are great for borders and edges, whether for your property line, pathways, or garden beds.

If you are interested in privacy trees and shrubs, the taller versions of the Weigela Bush are perfect for this purpose.

The striking colors of the Weigela Bush make it a great option for mass plantings, helping you create a bold focal point in your outdoor space.

Frequently Asked Questions About Weigela Bush

In Which Month Do Weigela Bushes Typically Flower?

You will see Weigela Bushes blooming in May through June. They will also bloom in the late summer but not as abundantly.

Is Weigela Deer Resistant?

Deer do not seem to eat Weigela Bush.8


1Oregon State University. (2024). Weigela florida. OSU Landscape Plants. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from <https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/weigela-florida>

2NC State Extension. (2024). Weigela florida. North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from <https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/weigela-florida/>

3US Department of Agriculture. (2023). USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. USDA.gov. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from <https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/>

4Lindsey, R. (2022, March 21). Interactive map: average date of last spring freeze across the United States. Climate.gov. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from <https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/interactive-map-average-date-last-spring-freeze-across-united>

5ISU Extension and Outreach. (2024). When should I prune my weigela? Horticulture and Home Pest News. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from <https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/when-should-i-prune-my-weigela>

6National Pesticide Information Center. (2024). Neem Oil Fact Sheet. National Pesticide Information Center Oregon State University Extension Services. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from <http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/neemgen.html>

7Jauron, R. (2008, March 26). Growing Weigelas in the Home Landscape. Iowa State University | Horticulture and Home Pest News. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from <https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2008/3-26/Weigelashtml>

8Nitzsche, P., Perdomo, P., & Drake, D. (2024). Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance. RUTGERS | New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from <https://njaes.rutgers.edu/deer-resistant-plants/>

9Species Information Image: A bright pink weigela flower blooming somewhere on Manitoulin Island, ON in late summer of 2022 Photo by A K. (2022, December 27) / Unsplash License. Cropped and remixed with text, shape, and background elements. Unsplash. Retrieved January 23, 2024, from <https://unsplash.com/photos/a-red-flower-is-blooming-on-a-tree-tfkaz66SMUE>

10Weigela bristol Ruby r1 Photo by Rob Hille. (2007, February 10) / Public Domain. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved January 23, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Weigela_bristol_Ruby_r1.jpg>

11Weigela florida Polka 0zz Photo by David J. Stang. (2006, October 12) / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Cropped na remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved January 23, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Weigela_florida_Polka_0zz.jpg>

12Weigela florida ‘Variegata’, 2017 Photo by F. D. Richards. (2017, May 25) / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Cropped and changed file format. Flickr. Retrieved March 13, 2024, from <https://www.flickr.com/photos/50697352@N00/34847086096/>

13Weigela sp – probably praecox Photo by peganum. (2016, May 12) / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Resize and changed file format. Flickr. Retrieved January 23, 2024, from <https://www.flickr.com/photos/peganum/26882130642/>

14Weigela florida, Brno, CR Photo by I.Sáček, senior. (2010, March 1) / Public Domain. Resized and changed file format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved January 23, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Weigela.jpg>