It's no secret that I enjoy a glass of wine in the garden. So imagine my excitement when I received an email from Proven Winners a few days ago, where the word "wine" appeared SEVEN times in just a few short paragraphs! Naturally they knew they would have my attention, so as I continued to read I was thrilled to discover there were some new introductions to their line of weigela : one of my favorite deer-resistant and drought tolerant flowering shrubs. And yes, their names revolve around wine. Very clever.
If you haven't grown weigela before I highly recommend selecting varieties that have colorful leaves as well as flowers. Varieties are available that have golden, burgundy or variegated foliage so you really get lots of color from a single shrub.
My "go to" weigela that I use in many of my landscaping designs is Spilled Wine. This beauty has the classic tubular pink flowers on deep burgundy foliage and grows 2-3 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. When I need something smaller I use Midnight Wine which is closer to just 1 foot tall. Well now I have some new options to consider too.
Midnight Wine Shine
Midnight Wine Shine is a good upgrade from the older Midnight Wine as it is a stronger bloomer yet still compact at 1-1.5 feet tall and 2-2.5 feet wide. This improved selection has even darker, glossier leaves and is less prone to winter tip dieback. Hardy in zones 4-8. Plant in full sun for best flowering.
Very Fine Wine
Very Fine Wine is a new introduction and an improvement over Fine Wine, which in itself was an improvement over the old Wine and Roses which caught my eye many years ago and started my love affair with this genus. Very Fine Wine offers better winter hardiness (because we all know that just because THIS year has been mild doesn't mean next year will be, right?), improved foliage color as well as being more floriferous. Sounds great! The mature size on this one is said to be 2-2.5 feet tall and wide; so more of an even mound than Spilled Wine which is wider than tall. Hardy in zones 4-8. Plant in full sun for best flowering.
- Deer Resistant
- Drought tolerant once established
- Low maintenance
- Hummingbirds love the tubular flowers
- No fussy pruning needed
- Tolerates clay soil as well as alkaline soil
Design Ideas for Dark Foliage Weigela
Contrast the dark foliage with something bright such as golden leaves.
Use the dark foliage to punctuate shades of green.
Here's another view of that same lovely garden in Michigan.
Where to buy?