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Wine & Roses® Weigela

WINE & ROSES recently became the first Weigela ever to win the coveted Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award. This is not your grandmother's Weigela.

When you think of Weigela, most likely you recall pleasant memories of that big old shrub in front of your Grandmother's house. You remember the burst of pink or red trumpet-like flowers in spring and the hummingbirds that gleaned its nectar. But can you remember that plant once the blooms had faded? Not likely, because Weigela is one of those plants that fades into garden obscurity after spring. Unlike our Grandmother, we demand landscape plants with more. Our precious garden space is best reserved for plants that not only flower but also earn there keep with additional attributes like attractive fruit, colorful stems or fantastic fall color. So is Weigela a shrub that deserves to be a garden memory? Not with the introduction of WINE & ROSES Weigela florida 'Alexandra'. WINE & ROSES recently became the first Weigela ever to win the coveted Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award. This is not your grandmother's Weigela.

WINE & ROSES is the culmination of nearly twenty years of breeding effort by Herman Geers of Boskoop, Netherlands. Geers patiently crossed existing varieties of Weigela, sowing out thousands of seeds each year and selecting out only those with the darkest foliage. After selecting out the best plants, he crossed  pollinated those and repeated the process numerous times until he got what he was after, the first, truly purple-leafed Weigela. By all accounts this is a plant development breakthrough. Wine & Roses shines from spring to fall by combining colorful foliage and intensely colored, funnel shaped flowers.

One of the most interesting aspects of this new plant is how it's being used in Europe. The dark purple foliage is so attractive, it is being sold and used as a cut branch in the thriving European floral market. Floral designers are combining Wine & Roses with more traditional cut flowers like roses, baby's breath and chrysanthemums to create uniquely beautiful flower bouquets. Demand is so high in Europe that the world famous Dutch flower auction at Aalsmeer has been selling Wine & Roses for as much as twenty times the price of traditional cut flowers. Wine & Roses is a natural addition to floral bouquets because of its unique color and lasting ability. You can easily combine it with common perennials found in your garden. Try combining Wine & Roses with either Shasta Daisy, Siberian Iris, Globe Thistle, or Russian Sage. The results will simply amaze you.     

As a garden shrub Wine & Roses is strong grower with no serious insect of disease problems. Reaching a mature height of four to five feet, it may be easily trimmed to maintain lower height. It can be used as a hedge, as a foundation plant or it can be effectively integrated into a shrub or perennial border to provide season long color. It's also perfect for use in a Hummingbird garden or cut flower garden. Like many perennials, a light shearing after it blooms in mid-spring will often be rewarded with a second bloom. To achieve its best foliage color it is essential to plant Wine & Roses in full sun. Sunlight  brings out the dark pigments that gives Wine and Roses it dark purple leaf color.

Wine & Roses is now available in the United States and can be found locally at better garden centers and nurseries. If they don't have it, ask them to find it for you. Good garden centers will carry the plants you want. Plants like Weigela Wine & Roses.

By Tim Wood 

All rights reserved ©  Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sat, 06/06/2015 - 7:38am

Hi...I'm a gardening novice and don't know a whole lot about landscaping (but willing to learn!)! I've been dubbed a "plant murderer," but was recently reinspired to try again after I resurrected a seemingly dead, non-existent orchid, and have successfully re-potted, three times, a thriving miniature rose plant a friend gave me.

So, centered in my front flower bed that runs along the front of my house, facing east, is the Wine and Roses Weigela I planted late summer last year. I was thinking of getting another one, because I love it it so much, and putting both plants off to the sides and put a rhododendron or something in the middle. But anyway, flanking the sides of my Weigela are two pontenella (sp?) shrubs. And to the side of each of those are sedum. I want to get rid of the sedum. On the far sides of the flower bed are daylillies (the yellow and red, I think, varieties), with variegated hostas bordering the edge across the front. I'm wondering what some good companion plants are for the Weigela? Please help!


Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Thu, 05/26/2016 - 12:09pm

To the commenter asking if Wine & Roses weigela keeps its leaves in winter - no, it does not. It is a deciduous plant.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Thu, 05/26/2016 - 7:21am

Will it keep leaves through the winter?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Thu, 06/11/2015 - 7:34am

I like to recommend plants that bloom at a different time than the weigela so that your bed has an extended season of interest. So I would recommend things that bloom later, like panicle hydrangeas (especially dwarf varieties like Bobo or Little Lime), rose of Sharon, landscape roses like the Oso Easy series, and caryopteris.

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