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2018 Landscape Plant of the Year - Spilled Wine® Weigela

If you’re looking to add all-season color to your all-too-green landscape,
look no further than this easy care, award winning shrub:
Spilled Wine® Weigela.

Contributors: Susan Martin

Spilled Wine® Weigela

You may be familiar with a longtime best-selling shrub named Wine & Roses® weigela. It’s now considered a landscape standard in zones 4-8 where it is commonly used in landscape plantings. Its dark purple foliage and intense rosy pink flowers make it pop against light colored brick houses or a sea of green. A typical height for Wine & Roses is 4-5’, though people often keep it sheared to a smaller size.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a shrub like Wine & Roses weigela but in a smaller size? Enter Spilled Wine®, its petite 2-3’ tall companion. No more pruning needed! Spilled Wine weigela naturally grows the perfect height for planting in foundation beds under windowsills where it won’t block your view. Its shorter, mounding shape also makes it ideal for lining the edges of low maintenance landscape beds, perhaps in front of taller evergreen shrubs or butterfly bush.   

Spilled Wine weigela leafs out each spring with intense wine red foliage on mounding plants. Hot magenta pink flowers appear prolifically early in the season, glowing against the dark backdrop. Once the flowers have finished, the foliage retains its deep coloration for the rest of the growing season, providing easy color and requiring no maintenance other than average amounts of moisture. Deer typically don’t bother with weigela, but butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy its flowers. 

Distinguishing Qualities:

  • Dark wine red foliage all season
  • Loads of vibrant magenta pink flowers in spring
  • Attract butterflies and hummingbirds
  • Not preferred by deer
  • Low mounding shape
  • Adaptable to most soil types
  • Grows in large containers and landscape beds
  • Measures 2-3’ tall x 2-4’ wide
  • Reliably hardy in zones 4-8

Care Tips

Choose a sunny spot for your Spilled Wine weigela where it will see a minimum of six hours of sun per day. The more sun, the deeper the foliage color will be and more flowers will be produced. Though it prefers well-drained soils, it is extremely adaptable to many different kinds of soils including heavy clay. This plant requires an average amount of water, which is about 1” per week. If you do not receive periodic rainfall in your climate, you may need to supplement with sprinklers or a hose. Apply a slow release fertilizer formulated for trees and shrubs once per year in early spring.

Like lilacs and forsythias, weigelas set their flower buds on their stems the year prior to them blooming—what gardeners refer to as “old wood.” Though little pruning is ever needed on Spilled Wine weigela, if you wish to do so pruning needs to be done immediately after the shrub has finished flowering in late spring to early summer. If you wait and prune it next year in early spring instead, you’ll cut off the flower buds for that year.

Very little maintenance is needed for your Spilled Wine weigela to thrive. Sunlight, average water, and feeding once in early spring should do the trick. Not so tricky after all, is it? 


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Patent info: Spilled Wine® Weigela florida 'Bokraspiwi' USPP23781 CanPBR4655


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