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Old Fashioned Weigela (Weigela florida)



Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech (first published May 2009, last reviewed March 2024)


Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf Height: 9 feet Spread: 12 feet
Shape: upright, spreading
Old fashioned weigela is a large shrub with a coarse texture and showy spring flowers. This plant is best suited for a shrub border. There are several new cultivars which are improved versions (dwarf, foliage and flower characteristics) compared to the species.

Plant Needs:

Zone: 5 to 8
Light: Partial shade to full sun Moisture: Moist to dry
Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay pH Range: 3.7 to 7.0


Suggested uses for this plant include border, screen, and massing.

Planting Notes:

Tolerates wide range of soil and light conditions. Pollution tolerant. Prefers well-drained soil and full sun.


Easy to grow.
Prune one-third of the oldest wood each spring after flowering to maintain plant shape and control dieback.


No serious pest or disease problems.


Consult local garden centers, historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.
Cultivars of Weigela florida:
`Bristol Ruby' has ruby red flowers.
`Variegata' grows up to 4 feet tall. Foliage color is variegated with yellow. Flowers are pink. Wine and Roses® has pink flowers and dark burgundy leaves on a compact plant that matures at 5 feet tall.


Most of the weigelas in the nursery trade are hybrids developed to produce superior flowers. The stems are usually covered with flowers for a short period of time in the spring. Best used in a shrub border or in large groups. Also serves as good background for smaller plants. Unless one buys a variegated cultivar (non-green or multi-colored foliage), this species is in the same limited showiness category as forsythia, i.e., showy in flower for a few weeks and then non- descript for the rest of the year.

This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

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Publication Date

March 6, 2024