Wine & Roses weigela (Weigela florida "Alexandra") fills spring gardens with trumpet-shaped, red-pink blooms, but its contributions don't stop there. Its true deep-purple foliage was the first of its kind for weigelas. The leaves add excitement to gardens from spring through fall. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, simple-to-grow Wine & Roses weigela requires little maintenance in return for its long-lasting show.
Sun and Soil Preferences
Sunlight plays an important role in the season-long beauty Wine & Roses offers. Abundant sunlight enhances the weigela's prolific blooms and colorful foliage.
Full, direct sun of at least six to eight hours per day maximizes spring flowers and intensifies the striking purple leaves all season. Sun-drenched leaves deepen further in color as autumn arrives. Wine & Roses tolerates light, filtered shade, but bloom quality and leaf color diminish.
Wine & Roses adapts easily to all soil types, as long as soil is well-drained. It grows well in average garden soil without any special amendments.
Wine & Roses matures to 4 to 5 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide. Its moderate size suits specimen plantings, mixed shrub borders or foundations. Pair it with gold- or silver-leaved plants for striking effect. Space Wine & Roses to allow for mature size plus at least 8 to 10 extra inches for ease of maintenance.
The dense shrub also makes an excellent hedge. Unlike some shrubs that thin toward the soil, Wine & Roses stays full from top to bottom. For dramatic hedging, plant Wine & Roses shrubs at 3-foot intervals.
Water and Fertilizer Needs
Established Wine & Roses shrubs need minimal watering under normal conditions. Supplement rainfall during heat or drought. Water deeply and allow the soil to dry well between waterings, but never to the point that leaves look pale or stressed.
Fertilize Wine & Roses in early spring as new growth begins. Use a slow-release fertilizer designed for trees and shrubs, and follow label instructions. As an example, one 19-8-10 tree and shrub fertilizer recommends 1/2 cup fertilizer per square yard. Broadcast the fertilizer out from the shrub's base to about 2 feet beyond its spread, then water the area well.
Annual Pruning Tips
From hedging to specimens, Wine & Roses responds well to timely pruning. It can easily be kept smaller than normal and retain its full beauty.
The shrub blooms heavily in spring on branches grown the previous year. Light pruning right after spring blooms encourages a second, smaller flush of flowers. Limit winter pruning to dead or damaged branches, or you'll remove spring's flower buds.
Fresh-cut stems from Wine & Roses are valued for floral displays. Consider cut stems for home bouquets as part of pruning. Follow the shrub's natural form, use sharp bypass pruners, and sterilize the blades with household disinfectant before and after you prune.
- Photo Credit SteveByland/iStock/Getty Images
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