The Weigela is directly related to the honeysuckle family. It is a shrubby plant. It was named after Christian Ehrenfried von Weigel, a German botanist, chemist and pharmacologist. Under natural conditions the plant is found in eastern and southeastern Asia, in the Far East and on the island of Java. The genus includes 15 species, represented by deciduous shrubs.
Cultivated only 7 species and 10 varieties of high ornamental value. Veigela not only has a very spectacular appearance but is relatively unpretentious and can be easily propagated.
Peculiarities of Veigela
The plant likes moisture and grows quite well in the shade. This upright shrub does not produce stolons. The petiolate, suprotectively arranged leaf plates have no leaflets and are serrated or serrated.
Bell-shaped or funnel-shaped flowers are about 5 centimeters long. Flowers are solitary or are part of loose inflorescences. They may be cream, crimson-red, pink, yellow or other colors, often changing from a paler to a brighter shade during flowering. The fruits are represented by a bipartite box with small seeds inside.
Weigela - planting, care and description of the plant
When to plant
The best time to plant a weygela is in spring.
It should be planted before the buds swell but the soil should already be warm, in which case it will take root very well. Planted in autumn, the shrub dies during the first wintering.
The place for planting is best chosen on an elevation, and it should have protection from drafts and northern wind, which can be the cause of dropping the flowers and buds. It is better to plant wagelas on the south side of the building. With good light, the flowers are very bright and the blooms are abundant.
For planting, you need loose soil with a lot of humus. Suitable loamy or clay soil neutral or slightly alkaline. It is worth considering that Weigela middendorffiana can be planted in mildly acidic peat soil. The seedling to be planted must be at least three years old.
How to plant
The planting hole must be 30 to 40 centimeters deep.
If the soil is poor, the hole should be made deeper because a layer of nutrient-enriched soil (1.5 grammes of compost plus 100 grammes of nitrophoska) should be placed on the drainage layer (15 centimetres high), which can be made from gravel, brick fragments or sand. The fertilizer should be well mixed with the compost. For the seedlings to take better root, their roots can be treated with a substance that stimulates root growth (Viva+ or Radifarm).
If the seedling is a small type of veigela (not higher than 100 centimeters), then between bushes should be left at least 80 centimeters, gaps between bushes of high varieties (height to 250 centimeters) should be from 150 to 200 centimeters.
During planting, do not forget to straighten the seedling roots, the soil will need to be gradually poured into a hole and tamped, in order to avoid the formation of voids. You can only submerge the root neck 10-20 mm, but it is desirable that when the soil settles after watering it was at the same level as the ground. The plant planted should be well watered and the soil surface should be covered with a layer of mulch.
Growing this shrub is easy and even a beginner can handle it. It is necessary to water the veigela only in a dry period, using a large amount of water (if the root circle is mulched, the watering will be less frequent).
It is also necessary to produce timely weeding and loosening the soil, which is carried out very carefully only on half of the spade, otherwise you can damage the root system. You also need to timely feed the plant, and if during planting you added nitrophoska and compost to the hole, then the bush will not need feeding for 2 years. In the third year, in early spring, you need to fertilize the veigela, for this purpose, make a full mineral fertilizer, such as diammophoska, ammophoska, Kemira-lux or other fertilizers, which include potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. In the last days of spring or the first days of summer during budding, a second fertilization should be done, taking phosphorus and potassium fertilizers (potassium sulphate, superphosphate, etc.).
Thanks to this, the plant will bloom long and abundantly, and there will be a strengthening of the branches, which is good for wintering. The third time the bush is fertilized during the digging in autumn, taking wood ash (you will need 200 grams of fertilizer per 1 m2). You can use the fertilizer Kemira-autumn for this purpose, and the dosage should see the instructions.
This shrub blooms 2 times per season. The first lush flowering is seen from the second half of May until mid-June, with the flowers appearing on last year's shoots.
The second time the shrub blooms in August and blooms until September. At the same time, flowering is less abundant than in the spring time, and the flowers grow on the shoots of the current year. During flowering, the plant looks very spectacular.
The plant can be quite simply propagated by seeds. Remember, however, that they only germinate for 1-2 years, so experienced gardeners do not recommend sowing them into boxes or greenhouses.
The easiest way to propagate wigella is to self-sow. In the spring, when the seeds fall into the ground will sprout, it will be necessary to select the strongest, and remove the rest. They will need to be brought up, which lasts 2 years, only after that they can be transplanted to a permanent place. But be sure to keep in mind that this method of propagation does not always retain the varietal characteristics. In this regard, gardeners with a lot of experience recommend propagation by vegetative method, namely by grafts, young shoots from the stump, as well as summer green or last year's half-tree cuttings.
For cutting cuttings, the length of which should be 10 to 15 centimeters, you should choose green shoots of the current year (cut in the last days of June) or last year's half-wooded shoots (cut before the sap starts to flow), or you can cut rootstock. The leaf blades at the bottom of the cuttings should be cut off, and the upper ones should be shortened by ½ part. The cut at the bottom should be dipped in Kornevin. The cuttings are planted in a soil consisting of peat and sand, with a 4 cm layer of sand covering its surface. The cuttings should be sunk only 10 mm, no more.
Each plant should be covered with a cut plastic bottle or glass jar. Cover every day to remove for a while to ventilate and water. The young shoots that emerge should be pruned so that the plant will be more bushy.
Sprouts should be propagated in a different way. Pick out the strongest lower shoot and bend it toward the surface of the ground.
At the point of contact with the ground, the bark on the shoot should be slightly incised. Then it is fixed on the surface of the ground and covered with soil. The next spring the shoot will be fully rooted. Only grafts and cuttings can be transplanted to a permanent location at the age of three years.
How to properly prune
Weigella, like all shrubs, needs pruning.
Young shrubs only need pruning for sanitary purposes. To do this in early spring, cut back branches that overgrow the plant, as well as diseased, injured and frost-damaged branches. Older plants need formative pruning, it should be carried out after the veigela blossoms for the first time (in the middle of the summer period), and the young shoots should not yet grow. It is worth remembering that during the second flowering, the flowers appear on the shoots of the current year. In this regard, if you did not make a formative pruning in time, and new branches began to grow, it is recommended to postpone it until the next year.
Mature shrubs require rejuvenating pruning once every 3 years, and all branches that are more than 3 years old should be cut off, and those that remain should be cut back by 1/3. It may be necessary to cut all the branches back in some cases, the Veigela will regenerate very well after this trimming.
Diseases and pests
Often this shrub is infested by leaf-eating caterpillars and aphids. During long periods of heat and drought, thrips or spider mites may settle on the plant. However, by the time the drought period begins, the veigela will have already finished its first flowering.
To kill these pests it is recommended to use pesticides such as nitrafen, Rogor or Celtan, but be aware that they are harmful to the environment. There are more harmless means to control pests - insecticidal infusions made from plants such as bitter pepper, wormwood or garlic. If planted seedlings turn yellow and begin to wilt, it is likely due to the fact that the root system is infested with bears or May beetle larvae. They can get into the soil with compost or humus during planting. To kill them, water the shrub with a solution of Actara or carbophos.
Weigela is most often affected by gray rot, rust, and spotting. To get rid of a fungal or bacterial disease, treat the bush with bordeaux liquid (copper sulfate mixed with milk of lime). As a preventive measure, the plant can be treated with Topsin solution (3%) during leaf emergence.
Weigela. Flowering and species.
Weigela after flowering
Seeds mature in September, but are collected in October after the bolls begin to crack. To prevent the seeds from spilling out on the ground, you should wrap a few pieces of gauze cloth around the capsule as early as September and fix it on the branches. After the capsule matures, you need to cut it carefully and take it indoors. There you can remove the gauze and pour the seeds on the newspaper. After the seeds have dried, they need to be poured into a bag of paper, on which do not forget to mark the name of the plant, its variety and the date when the seeds were collected.
They should be put in a darkened, dry place, where they will have to be stored until the spring period. Remember that seeds only hold good germination for a period of one to two years, and bushes grown from seeds may not retain the varietal characteristics of the mother plant.
After the leaf fall (last days of October or first days of November), cover the bush root zone with soil and the mound should be 15 to 20 centimeters high. It is recommended to bend the branches to the soil surface and fix them. From above, the bush is covered with spunbond or roofing felt, and the cover is pressed down so that it is not blown away by the wind.
You can not duck the branches, and tie them with twine or rope, tying them well. Fence the plant with a net of plastic or metal. Inside the resulting structure should be poured dry fallen leaves. The structure should be insulated on top with a dense covering material.
Main species and varieties with photos and names
For gardeners in the middle latitudes, the most suitable veigela varieties are those that are frost-resistant.
These include the species and varieties described below.
Early Weigela, or pleasant Weigela (Weigela praecox)
In natural conditions, it grows in the Far East. The bush reaches a height of about 200 centimeters. There is pubescence on the surface of the leaves. The crown is spherical in shape.
The outer part of the flowers is deep pink. Inflorescences consist of 2 or 3 flowers, and they grow on lateral shoots of the current year. It happens that the flower's phloem has a white-yellow color, in the buds the flowers are colored purple. Flowering begins in the last days of May and lasts 10 to 30 days. The variegated variegated species is the most interesting.
It has yellow spots on the surface of the green leaf plates and in the summertime they become cream colored.
Weigela flowering or Weigela florida
The bush reaches 300 centimeters in height. The shoots have two rows of hairs on the surface. The short-celled serrated leaf leaves have pubescence along the central vein on the front side, while on the underside all the veins are pubescent. Inflorescences consist of 3 or 4 intense pink flowers, which open in the last days of May.
Flowering lasts about 20 days.
- Weigela purpurea, or Weigela red (Weigela Purpurea).The bush is about 150 centimeters tall and has a lush crown. The leaf plates are brownish-red in color, and the bright pink flowers have a yellow pharynx. Flowering is observed in June and July.
The Nana Purpurea variety is very similar to Weigela purpurea, but the bush is smaller.
- Alba.It is a dwarf form. The white florets turn pink during fading.
This form is very beautiful and most frost-resistant. It has small leaflets. The brush-like inflorescences consist of deep pink florets.
- Weigela pink (Weigela florida Bunge). The outer surface of the flowers is carmine pink and the inner is almost white.
- Weigela Victoria (Weigela florida Victoria). The bush is about 100 centimeters tall. The foliage is brownish red and the flowers are purple.
Weigela hybrid (Weigela hybrida)
Has a sprawling crown and blooms lushly. The height of the bush is about 150 centimeters.
The fragrant flowers are funnel-shaped and can be part of loose inflorescences or singly. Depending on the variety, the color of the flowers may be pink, mauve, purple, white, purple-red.
- Bristol Ruby. The variety originated in 1941 in the United States. The bush can reach a height of 250-300 centimeters with a crown diameter of 350 centimeters.
The leaves have a deep green color. The pink flowers have ruby red edges and sometimes have orange in the middle. This fast-growing plant begins blooming in the last days of June.
- Red Prince. A variety bred in the United States.
Compact shrub can reach a height of 150 centimeters. It has a sprawling crown and drooping branches. The bright red flowers look very beautiful against the green leaves.
The bush can vary in height from 100 to 150 centimeters. The shoots are ascending.
The large (3 to 4 centimeters) yellow florets have orange spots in the pharynx. They are part of small-flowered inflorescences of 2-6 pieces or may be solitary. Flowering occurs twice a season.
It is also quite common for gardeners to grow the abundant-flowering Weigela, the pleasant Weigela, the early Weigela, the Japanese Weigela, the garden Weigela, the Maximowicz Weigela and the Korean Weigela.