A flowering shrub with a beautiful name seems exotic to our gardeners, but in fact it deserves a place in a flower bed both by its right of origin and due to its beauty. If you are not yet enjoying the lush flowering and fragrance, be sure to get acquainted with the weigela, because planting in open ground and caring for it is not as difficult as it seems.
Weigela is a perennial shrub related to honeysuckle.
Landscape designers love weigela for two things. Firstly, this shrub blooms twice a year, so it is easier to arrange a flowerbed of continuous flowering with it. The second highlight is the change in the shade of the flowers. Freshly opened buds are light, while fully open buds are bright. Weigela simply amazes with the play of shades in each flower cluster.
Lush tall weigela bush looks great against the backdrop of the lawn
Weigela usually begins to bloom in mid-May and ends only in mid-June. Summer flowering is the most beautiful and lush, often behind the buds, greenery is not visible at all. At the end of August, the bush is again covered with inflorescences, but on a more modest scale. Flowers remain on the weigel until the very end of September.
Landscape designers use this shrub:
Weigela stamp looks no worse than pink
The slightly disheveled weigela bush contrasts perfectly with the tall spruce cone.
Dwarf weigela will become a bright spot against the background of rough cobblestones
Even a low weigela hedge can transform a boring gray fence.
That is, in almost any role that other ornamental shrubs perform, weigela can also come in handy. By the way, thanks to the varietal variety of shrubs, beautiful compositions can be created from different subspecies of weigel.
The plant grows well next to conifers, traditional for rockeries, as well as other shrubs: spirea, cotoneaster, viburnum (better Buldenezh), barberry, Japanese quince.
In nature, weigela grows in Central Asia, more than 15 varieties of this plant have been found there. Only three species are found on the territory of the Russian Federation, all of them grow in the southeast of the country.
If you come across Weigela early, Middendorf or Pleasant on sale, know that these are wild species. They will grow well in the Far East, but they are not adapted to a more severe climate.
Varietal weigels came to us from Europe, where they were popularized by a professor of botany by the name of von Weigel. Therefore, they are quite resistant to cold climates and feel great in the middle zone of the Russian Federation under the open sky.
Automating weigel watering is a great way to provide a moisture-loving plant with the correct moisture regime.
Weigela prefers fertile soil with a lot of humus, alkaline or neutral reaction and good aeration (loose or loosened). It is extremely important not to allow waterlogging, otherwise the plant accustomed to a drier climate will quickly die.
If your region has acidic soil or you cannot provide the weigel with the correct moisture regime, it is better to grow this shrub in a tub. If there is a sufficiently dry place on the site and you are ready, if necessary, to apply the necessary fertilizers and regulate the reaction of the soil, landing in the ground is quite acceptable.
Weigela usually grows in a tub only until the age of three.
Weigela is incredibly diverse in color and flower shape, bush height and crown characteristics. Thanks to the efforts of specialists, every gardener can find a variety of this shrub that fully meets his needs and tastes. Among the most famous subspecies of weigela:
For all types of weigela, the opposite arrangement of leaves remains in common, the absence of stipules, the funnel or bell-shaped shape of the flowers, the erect position of the shoots and the fruits in the form of bivalve bolls. By these signs, you can easily recognize relatives, even if other parameters differ greatly.
Planting a weigela traditionally begins with choosing a suitable place. It should be sunny or located in a weak partial shade, this southeastern beauty does not like strong shading. Light-loving varieties with edging on the leaves are planted only in a sunny place. Another important point is the wind. There must be protection from it (a building, a fence, a less sensitive shrub), otherwise strong gusts will ruffle flowers and foliage.
We plant weigela with seedlings:
If possible, try to free the area from weed roots in advance.
Any stones, fragments of bricks or ceramics of a suitable size can be used as drainage
If your weigela is grown in a container, you do not need to free the roots from the ground, plant it with a lump
If there is enough water, the puddle will be absorbed into the ground for a long time.
For this method, three-year-old nursery seedlings are best suited; younger plants are not yet ready to grow in the open air without additional supervision.
If experience suggests that the survival rate of plants in your garden is low, you can treat weigela with a growth stimulant (Radifarm, Viva +).
If you know the basic needs of a weigela, caring for her becomes not too difficult.
Firstly, the plant needs constant aeration, so the soil in the trunk circle must be loosened regularly. After watering or weeding, it is imperative to cultivate the land to a depth of 5–8 cm. Since not every garden owner can devote so much time to an individual bush, an easier solution can be found - to mulch the tree trunk circle with peat or sawdust. If the mulch layer is 10 cm, the need for frequent loosening will completely disappear.
Wood sawdust, pine needles, bark chips are excellent mulching materials
The root system of the weigela is fibrous (without a well-defined central root extending deep into the interior), but diverges to the sides not too close to the surface. Therefore, when loosening, you can be sure that when the spade bayonet is fully buried, you will not damage the roots.
The second need is water procedures. It is especially important to water the weigela during dry periods and in spring after a winter with little snow. You should not feel sorry for moisture - each bush needs a bucket of water for 8-10 liters.
When pruning, be sure to keep in mind that the plant reacts differently to each type of pruning.
The third stage of caring procedures is pruning. It is held annually in the spring to remove twigs that have frozen over the winter. You only need to form a bush once every 2-3 years.
To help the weigela get ready for the lush spring bloom, it needs to be fed. Mineral fertilizers are applied even in the snow, so that when the plant wakes up, it can immediately take advantage of useful elements. Urea is used as a top dressing (20 g per m22), superphosphate and potassium salt (10 g per m22).
The time for the second treat comes when the flower buds form. Then weigela needs double superphosphate and potassium sulfate (30 g each per 1 bush or 1 m2 area). The third feeding is carried out before the autumn digging and consists of ash (200 g per 1 m2) or a specialized team (for example, Kemira-autumn).
Weigela responds well to universal fertilizers
After feeding the plant, it is imperative to water it very abundantly.
Once I lost several ornamental bushes due to too abundant feeding. I wanted so much that there were more flowers that I carried out additional processing with mineral fertilizers with an increased concentration. I myself do not understand how I, with the additional education of a laboratory assistant in chemical analysis, could have treated chemicals so negligently. But the shameful result in the form of three seedy skeletons of the once strong bushes worked more effectively than any lectures, examinations and an additional tub of cold water. After that, I try to never forget that any feeding is a serious chemical experiment, no matter how ordinary it looks. I even got myself a notebook with observations and always write down what and when I did in my kindergarten, so as not to allow such annoying situations anymore, not out of an excess of enthusiasm, but simply out of forgetfulness.
Immediately after flowering is over, it is the best time for formative pruning of the weigela. At the same time, old shoots are removed, and young ones are shortened by half. The second procedure is postponed for 2 or even 3 years. Further work is carried out according to the calendar, taking into account the weather, the climate of your region and the state of the plants.
One of the most difficult tasks in caring for a weigela is to properly prepare a heat-loving plant for winter. As the saying goes, here it is better to overdo it than to miss it. Gardeners use two methods of covering: with pressed branches and collected.
If necessary, protect the bush from the weight of the snow, you can make a frame of crossed sticks under the covering material.
A stunted and young shrub for the winter is spread on the ground, carefully bending the branches and fixing them so that they do not straighten out. Such a mound can be framed with mulch and covered with a waterproof material of choice (from spandbod to film), and then fix the shelter. It is convenient to do this from above with spruce branches, and around the bush - with stones.
This winter shelter is enough for the middle lane.
Tall bushes with woody branches with this approach are easy to break, so they are covered in an upright position. It is necessary to tie the bush into a loose bundle, cover with the selected material and protect with a wire frame.
As a lazy gardener, I really love the tradition of decorating flower beds with stones.At first, when covering a bush, it was necessary to look for suitable pebbles throughout the site and even quietly from my husband to adapt building materials for this business. Then I just found the right amount of beautiful rounded stones in my neighbors and friends, and now I always keep them near the bushes. In the summer they are decorative, and in the winter they become functional.
One of the possible difficulties when planting a weigela is the wrong time. While most other shrubs and trees are preferred to be planted in autumn, it is best to replant in spring. The bushes of the autumn planting take root much worse and often die. To preserve the seedlings until spring (if you accidentally or unknowingly acquired them in the fall), dig in them in an inclined position and sprinkle most of the crown with earth. In this state, the weigela successfully overwinters and you can plant it in the spring.
The rest of the problems, too, in most cases, are associated with the untimely execution of garden robots, or an insufficient number of them.
I’ll say banality, but the plants in your own garden are almost children. While I was lazy to deal with them more often 2-3 times a year, at the very least, they managed themselves and looked almost decent. But as a mother is disappointed with her own kids, watching the success of their peers, so I began to be ashamed of my flower bed, visiting my friends. The flowerbed was formed precisely from the calculation of saving time, since I love flowers, and I hate sowing annuals every year. But you also have to tinker with the bushes to make them really beautiful. With my gardening enthusiasm attacking me in short bursts and usually out of season, it was really difficult to synchronize the needs of the plants and my own mood. Over time, I managed to discipline myself and include the minimum necessary care for the flower bed in my daily plans. The result turned out both with and without a manicure - it seems a trifle, but the image changes dramatically. True, new plants appear extremely rarely now - I treat everyone as an adopted baby.
Gardeners practice reproduction of weigela by seeds and vegetative methods: cuttings (rooting of cut shoots), layering (rooting of shoots due to bending and falling asleep with earth without breaking away from the bush), young stump growth (children who regularly appear at the root neck). Cultivation of cuttings from shoots and shoots is carried out identically, and the layering method is simpler, since at the stage of rooting, young growth does not require additional care.
Weigelu is most often propagated by arcuate layering
Unlike many other ornamental shrubs, weigela reproduces well by seeds. The collected seeds remain viable for a whole year, but they should not be stored longer. Preliminary preparation of seeds is not required, they are quite tenacious and without additional help. For sowing, you can use seedling trays or flower pots covered with foil, in general, any semblance of a mini-greenhouse.
As a rule, all plants sprout at the same time, which greatly simplifies the care of young shoots. The pick is carried out after the appearance of the second pair of leaves, then you can do weeding. If the seedlings have enough room for growth (7–8 cm between neighbors), in the future they only require watering.
If you could not find tools for picking, you can use the tools at hand
At the end of the first year after the emergence of seedlings, the seedlings grow up to 6-7 cm in height, and the root system occupies an area with a diameter of 3-5 cm. At this stage of life, the stem does not branch yet, but it has 3 or more pairs of leaves, as well as axillary and apical kidneys. These seedlings are ready for outdoor growing. It is best to take the boxes out into the garden and place them under the trees that create partial shade.
Such a bush is suitable for planting in the ground or tub.
By the second year of life, the seedling has a height of 40-50 cm and has a well-grown superficial root system. Such a plant can already find a permanent residence in your garden. But the first flowers will have to wait another 2 years.
The seed propagation method is not suitable for hybrid and garden forms of weigela, in which the desired decorative properties have been imparted by grafting. It is best to sow natural forms of weigela: pleasant, early, Middendorf.
Vegetative propagation is the best way to preserve the varietal traits of your green pet. The optimal time for this procedure is mid-June, when the spring flower buds have already completed their function, and the new ones have not yet appeared. Young, not yet stiff shoots should be cut off. The bottom cut should be straight, the traditional oblique will cut the knot to which the leaves are attached. The top cut should be positioned above the sheet cushion, the bottom cut just below it.
In the distant school years, you were certainly told that plants have three ways of arranging leaves on a stem: alternate (ladder), opposite (paired leaves grow opposite each other) and whorled (leaves cover the stem in a ring). Novice gardeners should definitely remember this, since cuttings in plants with an alternate position are cut from the bottom along the oblique, with whorled and opposite ones - only in a straight line.
You can use a regular blade to cut the cuttings.
On the issue of cutting off the two pairs of leaves remaining on the stem, experts are not in agreement: you can remove them completely, cut them in half, or leave 2/3 of the leaf blade.
Then you should proceed like this:
The water level in the jar should not be high - it is enough to moisten the lower 2-3 cm
When buying a bag, be sure to calculate how much product is needed to process all your cuttings.
A cut bottle is the easiest and cheapest mini greenhouse
Experts say that if you stick to this method, good rooting is guaranteed.
Weigela reproduces equally well with both winter and summer cuttings. But summer seedlings bloom for the first time as early as 2 years old, and this is a huge advantage for impatient gardeners. Unfortunately, the first buds will have to be removed before opening in order for the bush to form a more lush and dense crown.
If you missed summer cuttings, you can try growing winter cuttings. They are pruned in April, separating the stem under the bud with unblown leaves. Further, the technology is similar, but rooting is carried out in pots with a soil mixture of sand and turf. After the formation of roots, the plants are pinched and fed with cow dung (0.5 l of slurry per 1 m2) or mineral fertilizers (30 g of superphosphate + 25 g of ammonium nitrate).
Rooting of cuttings is not guaranteed, so prepare them with a margin
Keep in mind that despite additional efforts, winter cuttings not only grow worse, but also take root less readily. Therefore, if you need a guaranteed result, it is better to wait until summer.
Due to the high adaptability of the weigela, it grows well almost throughout the country. But there are several nuances that should be taken into account by a gardener from regions with a harsh climate.
In this region, hybrid varieties of this shrub feel best: Candida, Eva Rathke, Rosea, Lucifer. Of those that grow wild in a temperate continental climate, Weigela early is appropriate, which is often found in the south of the Ussuri region and blooming (varieties Purpurea and Alba). But the latter tolerates the cold worse and needs careful shelter. If you are not embarrassed by the need to protect plants from frost, Weigela garden and Weigela Middendorf will also grow well in a garden near Moscow. Here they will not only grow well, but will also be able to successfully propagate by cuttings and seeds according to the standard scheme.
A cottage near Moscow, decorated with weigels, resembles a cozy house in Provence
Planting weigela in the Moscow region is carried out according to the technology already described above. The only difference is that a spring planting is recommended. The first flowering will have to wait 4 years.
In cold climates, weigela of autumn planting often dies already in the first winter, despite careful wrapping.
If you want to get a richly flowering compact bush, two additional dressings per year are enough. During the swelling of leaf buds (but before the first leaves bloom), nitroammofosk is introduced, 40 g per bucket of water under each bush. At the end of spring, before the blooming of flower buds, potassium sulfate and superphosphate are added in an amount of 30 g per 10 liters of water for each bush.
Before the first frosts, the bushes should be covered with agrofibre, dry leaves or spruce branches (just like roses). If the winter is predicted to be harsh, it is better to play it safe and use roofing material or spandbod for shelter.
The only obstacle to the normal growth of weigela in this region is the severe winter frosts. Therefore, only the most resistant varieties of weigela need to be planted here: Alba, Striatum, Victoria, Styriaka, Red Prince, Eva Rathke. Gardeners claim that they are able to survive the winter with a short-term drop in temperature to -43aboutC. Of course, even these varieties will not hibernate without shelter, but they can be grown outdoors, without wasting time on winter care of tubs.
Despite the apparent fragility and tenderness, this weigela Styriaka is able to withstand an extremely harsh winter.
Planting of seedlings here is also preferable in the spring, since the autumn does not have time to get strong enough before frost. For the rest, caring for a weigela in Siberia is almost the same as in other regions.
Even if the flowering is not too abundant, weigela looks very decorative
As you can see, weigela is not as capricious as she is said to be. Most gardeners are happy with their shrubs, even if they don't follow their care plan 100%. Therefore, be sure to try planting it at home, because you can get no less pleasure from leaving than from contemplating its bright buds.
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Most amateur gardeners consider the weigelu to be the pride of their garden - an extremely ornamental shrub with slightly sloping branches covered with delicate flowers. The bush looks really beautiful, but a little knowledge of this plant will make it even more delightful. How to grow weigela - planting and care in the open field, photos in the garden, interesting species and varieties are discussed in this article.
Wisteria or wisteria (Latin Wisteria) - originally from China. Today it is enthusiastically cultivated almost all over the world as one of the most magnificent flowering plants. Japan is especially famous for its almost fairytale tunnels completely covered with flowers.
Botanically, the genus Wisteria belongs to the legume family (Latin Fabaceae) and produces seeds that look like beans in the pods, but they are poisonous (causing moderate to severe stomach upset in children when consumed).
The vines are characterized by extremely fast growth, reaching a length of 2-3 meters in one season. In the Japanese city of Ushijima in the 20th century, a specimen 10 meters long with 80,000 inflorescences was bred! Even in temperate climates, this plant can literally repaint entire fences and walls.
Arboreal shoots, which grow to a few centimeters in diameter with age, develop attractive shiny ovoid green leaves, and at the end of May, butterfly-like, fragrant flowers appear in long clusters, usually purple. Wisteria flowers have a pleasant sweet aroma, similar to that of grapes. After flowering, the vine becomes covered with hairy pods, which burst to release seeds; they usually survive on the shoots until spring.
Of particular interest to plant lovers are several species and varieties of weigela, which can be successfully grown both in the south and in the middle zone of our country. Here they are.
Weigela middendorff (Weigela middendorffiana)
Under natural conditions, it grows in Sakhalin and the Far East, as well as in the northeastern part of China. It is a shrub that sheds foliage every year. It grows in height from one to one and a half meters. The oval-elongated leaves have a pointed end. Yellowish or grayish-yellow tubular flowers with bright orange dots, reach a length of 3-4 cm. It blooms twice per season.Once in spring (early May), and the second time in August-September. Quite small seeds with wings ripen in an elongated capsule.
Pleasant Weigela is extremely rare to be found among amateur gardeners, although its spectacular and delicate bush is very decorative. This culture is a shrub that reaches a height of 1.3 meters. Oval-lanceolate leaves of a bright green hue in mid-September change their color. The shrub sheds its leaves in October. Particularly attractive are the pinkish-lilac flowers with a pale pink inner surface, resembling a funnel in shape. Flowering usually occurs from May 10 to the end of June. The second time this species can bloom in late August - early September.
Weigela early (Weigela praecox)
This is a tall (up to 2 m in height) shrub with a dense crown. Flowering begins in May and lasts 2-3 weeks. The flowers are pink pubescent, collected in several pieces on drooping peduncles.
Weigela hybrid is called the combination of several hybrids, which resulted from crossing the weigela of abundant flowering, Korean and flowering. When decorating landscape compositions, various varieties of these hybrids are most often used.
Among the old varieties that are still in demand, it is worth highlighting the Eva Ratke variety. This hybrid was obtained in Poland and can be bought today on the website of the Union of Polish Nurseries. The bushes, about one meter high and 2 to 3 meters wide, have a compact crown shape.
A large number of green leaves with a sharp end, 6 to 10 cm long, cover the branches along the entire length. Shiny reddish-pink flowers with a lighter inner surface are tubular. Flowering occurs from June to August.
The Rosea hybrid attracts attention with its large pink flowers with white dots. The crown of a bush one and a half meters high is formed by gently curving branches. It has good winter hardiness, for the winter this hybrid requires only a small shelter.
Also a fairly well-known hybrid is the Bristol Ruby, which is fast growing. It is liked for rather large bushes with a height of 2.5 to 3 meters and a width of up to 3.5 meters. Flowers with reddish-ruby edges and a reddish-orange inner surface are especially attractive. Bloom lasts from June to July.
The Stiriaka variety was obtained by breeding the abundant flowering weigela and the Korean weigela. Beautiful pinkish flowers, resembling strawberries in color, reach a length of 2.5-3 cm. During the abundant flowering, which occurs in May-June, the bushes are covered with "pinkish" foam. By the end of flowering, the color of the flowers changes from pink to reddish-brown.
It is better to propagate the presented ornamental shrub using green cuttings. It is necessary to separate them even at the stage of "defrosting" of the weigela, until new buds appear - the period from April to May, depending on the variety. Separate the cuttings with a secateurs, creating a straight cut and separating about 10-15 cm with two leaves.
Further, the cuttings are kept in a dark room at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius for 12 hours. At the end of the time, they must be planted to a depth of half a centimeter in a sand-peat mixture, sprinkle the planting site with sand and cover with polyethylene. Roots appear only after a month, but transplant weigela to a new place is possible only after a year and a half.
Observing all the above features of self-cultivation of this ornamental shrub, you will never wonder, why does not weigela bloom... Indeed, it is often the failure to comply with the basic norms and principles of plant care that leads to such dismal results.
Serious mistakes often lead to the death of the entire bush, so if you notice any unpleasant and negative changes in the growth of the weigela, take appropriate measures.
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