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Growing Variegated Weigela

Posted by katefisher Z7_NorthernCA (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 6, 08 at 19:20

Question about growing this shrub. I asked over on the Shrub Forum earlier this week but I'm not really detecting a pulse over there so I thought would run it by folks here.

I'm thinking of planting several of these in the front yard as a kind of barrier. I'm wondering what kind of growth rate I might see in this wiegela. Also according to what I've read it could get between 5 - 6' tall. Does it take well to shearing? Probably want to keep it around 4 feet.

Thank you.

Kate

Here is a link that might be useful: Variegated Weigela


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Kate, we have a variegated Weigela in our frontyard and it gets an annual 'shearing' typically right after it has finished flowering. It responds very well and have found it to be a VIGOROUS grower. For us here in the Vancouver BC area it flowers late April, early May.


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Kate - this is my second year with weigelas and they lose their leaves here over the winter - maybe you would want evergreens for a barrier (?)

Carrie


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

I bought 2 from SpringHill and mine are 4 yr old. I am not impressed with them at all. One of the 2 is about 4 ft high and has nice arching branches but in the 4 years it bearly puts out any flowers. The other has never gotten over 2 ft. high and never flowers but for a few flowers at the base of the plant. Both plants are in full sun, well drained soil. Your not suppose to have to cut it back if you want that full arching habit but someone else told me to try cutting it back and see what happens after it flowers that is IF it flowers. If they don't do anything this year (5th yr) it is out of here!


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Thanks folks. Maybe I should look at an evergreen shrub instead. My only worry would be the snow resting on it during wintertime but that probably won't be a major issue. It would be nice to have something green during the off-season.

Kate


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Kate, for something evergreen you may wish to look at Lonicera nitida as a nice, dense and fairly compact shrub, drought tolerant as well! Has dainty little white flowers in the spring....


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

I have had Variegated Weigela for many years and it is one of my favorite plants. I grow it for the foliage, and consider the short-lived flowers to be a bonus. It took a few years to begin blooming reliably and heavily, but once it hit its stride, it's been very faithful. It likes full sun, but otherwise has been tolerant of heavy clay, drought, and less than perfect drainage. I keep a good organic mulch around it and might throw a handfull of fertilizer its way each spring. I do not shear this plant. I cut some of the oldest canes to the ground in late winter each year and that is the extent of maintenance for it. This keeps it at about four feet by four feet. I love it as a background plant in perennial beds because the golden variegation makes such a nice color echo with yellow flowers. You might want an evergreen for a screen, but then again, our growing seasons are so long, you might enjoy the Weigela.


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

FYI, don't judge any plant if you got yours from Spring Hill Gardens, one of the worst nurseries in the country--poor quality plants, usually seedlings rather than named cultivars; poorly packaged and normally DOA. Weigela is not one of my favorite shrubs, but a report on one from Spring Hill Nursery should be discounted.


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Thanks everyone. Appreciate all the good feedback. I'm really loving the weigela photos I've seen so far. I have a Midnight Wine that is still buried under snow. Hopefully it fared well this winter. The primary reason I want the larger bushes like the Variegated Weigela Florida is to convey a message to neighbor kids namely that my front yard is NOT a playground.

Maybe I need something thicker. Not sure if this will be thick enough to form a kind of hedge.

Kate

Here is a link that might be useful: Weigela 'Florida'


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

To convey your message better, plant some barberry shrubs...lol! JK!

Karen


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Karen:

That's not a bad idea. I'm above very little at this point. What barberry gets really dense that I can manage at about 3 - 4 feet tall?

Thanks!

Kate


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Actually several would fit that order. I love Rose Glow. Believe me, they wouldn't run or ride through it more than one time. Aurea is gorgeous, too, if you can find it.


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

I like Rose Glow too, very pretty. The thorns would give them an ouchin they wouldn't want to get again! They can be pruned to the size that you want easily.

Karen


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

So let me ask a question. I looked through some of the barberries and you ladies are right about how pretty and effective they seem to be. Here's my worry. What if I plant a row of these and one of the little terrorists in the neighborhood trips or rides his bike into my barberry hedge? Does that create a liability for me? I do NOT want to end up paying the very little darlings who have been bothering me the past five years.

Thanks.

Kate


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Kate,

I'm not a lawyer but would think that if they are on your property and if they are trimmed so that they don't travel into your neighbor's yard, then you should not be held responsible if someone crashes into a bush. If I ran my car off the road into my neighbor's yard and hit a tree, it would be my fault... not the tree's.

Besides, I agree that the color and lush look of them would be very effective in the front, perhaps interplanted with some nice, prickly (Oops... not nice, Molie) spreading junipers. You could create a very attractive and effective border of various colors and textures that would compliment your house as well as keep out the unwelcome visitors.

Molie


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Thanks Molie.

You know I hope you are right. Because I really like some of those barberry. The plants actually would not run along a neighbors fence line but the street. You know I really think we need a visual here.

Photobucket

We are toying with the idea of a fence. But if we go with a hedge it would be from one end of the front yard to the other. Being on a corner lot the kids run through my yard all the time and this year I'm putting in a rose bed and some of the trees were removed last fall. They also play football right in front of my house and are constantly bouncing into my yard.

You cannot tell here but we only have one neighbor we are physically connected to and that person is an absentee landlord. Only a third of that property is in use and it is fenced so we are protected from each other that way.

Thank you.

Kate


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Kate,

You said the magic word... football! I love our neighbors and recall many after school games with the kids crashing through the bushes between our yards. Luckily they have grown up into the "driving cars" stage.

With that in mind, a fence might be your best bet because I know from experience that hedges won't stop them when they're diving for balls. They'd eventually destroy the hedges. Sorry, but I see the results right next door with all the holes in my neighbor's hedge.

Molie


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Well sniff. I am reluctantly reaching the same conclusion. The kids in the house to one side of us now have a cute lab puppy that likes to run up and down my driveway also. That would be fine except I have a geriatric cat who is not keen on dogs.

But Molie will they really go long for a pass if it means falling through barberry? I like what tepelus said above about certain bushes giving them an 'ouchin' they won't soon forget.

Kate


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Kate,

They'll learn quickly not to dive into the prickles but that won't stop their balls from landing in your bushes or yard. And kids are ingenious... they'll use anything to knock the balls out of the bushes. Afterall, without those balls, the game ends.

Of course, there's a downside to the fence idea that I didn't think of until now... unless you have one super sturdy fence, those balls will be crashing into and marking it.

There has to be a good solution. You really do need some kind of "stopper." Look at that beautiful front border and Hibiscus???. They'll get crushed because your yard is level with the road. Maybe you should look around the neighborhood and see what ideas other folks have come up with in their yards. Then go with what you really love.

The planting suggestions above are really nice ones. I also have a varigated Weigela. They are beautiful in bloom and do get large, but they're not very threatening.

Molie


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Weigela or Fence

Hey Molie.

You make some good points. You are right about them causing destruction to a fence. Which is why I am seriously considering a chain link fence. I actually got one bid for it already but it seemed really high. $12.00 a foot for 117 feet (the perimeter of the yard)so $1,404.00. To me that seems like a lot for a plain ole chain link fence.

If I can get it installed for cheap enough I won't mind if it gets destroyed. Because after five years or so I will probably want to take it down anyway.

Appreciate your thoughts.

Kate


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Barberrys or a knock out rose would keep them out. I removed both from areas in my front yard because it was killing my husband to put up Christmas lights. My knock out roses got 4-5 feet high and my barberries got about 4 feet (it was a burgundy one and a golden one). No one would go through either of these bushes.


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

There is no reason to have all three - a low picket fence, followed by Knock Out rose and the barberry in front. Let's see how any human beings or dogs would enjoy crashing into that! The effect would look stunning too - imagine a white picket fence, as a background for deep pink roses, with burgundy foliage of barberry "Rose Glow" at the front. And for good measure, grow Acaena novae-zelandiae as ground cover in front of the barberry. The velcro like seed heads disintegrate as one tries to pull if off clothings. And those pesky seedheads do not differenitiate between human clothings and animal fur.

I can see it - an intruder getting stung by the barberry prickles, lacerated by the rose thorns, smashing into the picket fence, and picking up a few dozen tightly adherent Acaena burrs on the way out. An experience that's unlikely to be forgotten soon.


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RE: Growing Weigela

I meant "........no reason not to have all three.........".


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Thank you Havanese and Cactus Joe. I will start evaluating which Barberry will be right for our situation. My only concern is that where the yard meets the front porch is very shaded. So I might have plant something else there as these guys seem to be sun loving.

I'm also considering a row of heavenly bamboo for another area of the yard. Do you all know how far apart to plant for a Heavenly Bamboo screen/hedge?

Thank you.

Kate


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

I am new to growing weigela and have both pink and varigated. Can someone tell me what to expect and the best place to plant it? I am trying to landscape our new home as there is nothing here and looking for a flowering and pretty shrub. Does it spread or can it be rooted. HELP. I am in Southeast Georgia. Thanks.


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

FWIW, I have barberry. It is always shedding small branches full of thorns. If you grow other things in that bed it is annoying to constantly be pricking yourself on a stray piece of stem laying on the ground. I wear gloves but they go through everything.


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

jerry, depending on the variety of barberry you choose, it will get from about 2 1/2 feet to 4 feet high and wide. Read the tag on the plant at the nursery to know the specifics of the shrub you choose. Your barberry will like full sun best, but they will tolerate a half day of shade too. They're not picky about soil or moisture, which makes them very easy to grow here in the deep south. And yes, they are reasonably easy to root from cuttings taken in February. They are, however, quite slow growing. I'd advise you to buy nursery stock.

If you are just beginning your landscape plans, I would suggest you make a list of plants you want to grow, with at least 1/3 to 1/2 of them being evergreens. We have so many wonderful broadleaved evergreens available to us here in the south that it's not hard at all. Use barberries as color accents, not as the foundation of your plantings, since they lose all their leaves in the winter. That being said, both the purples and the gorgeous golden leaved "Aurea" are some of my favorite plants.

Here in the south, our choices for colored leaf plants are far fewer than further north. Purple leaves tend to fade in our intense sun to a muddy brown color that doesn't show well at all (they look like a black holes in a group). Golden leaves often scorch very badly in our sun. Not so barberries. They look fresh all summer. Granted, the thorns are somewhat problematic. I try to keep them away from paths and other places where they can snag me. I do not shear them, as I like their graceful open habit. Growing them naturally also means I don't have to deal with the thorns very often at all, really only when I need to remove a dead branch here and there. I keep a pair of heavy leather gloves handy for such times.


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

Has anyone had half of their weigela die over winter? I have a variegated weigela and it bloomed most beautiful for three years.. we had a very snowy winter this yr. Now my weigela is getting buds on it .. but only on the front half. the back half is just brown twigs with not buds as yet. Is it possible they will come to bloom still? Or is the back of the plant dead. And can i save it?


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

I have a varigated weigela in my flower garden and I have trimmed it down the last two years. The last few years the leaves are getting all green and I am losing the varigated look. What can I do.

I've heard cutting out the green leaf branches and let the varigated ones grow. Is there some fertilizer or something I can use to bring back the variegated leaves?


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RE: Growing Variegated Weigela

I have been growing Weigela as a hedge for 5 years with just one issue: pill bugs feeding on the bark during winter. Planted in the autumn, the first plants bloomed the next spring and have been blooming ever since. Weigela will root directly from stems. Just cut off a branch and stick it deep (remove any bottom leaves, if necessary) in well-moistened soil during the growing season or at least 6 weeks before winter and the plant will bloom the next spring if the the soil moisture is maintained. For issues with blooming, make a winter feed topdressing using 1-cup each of alfalfa meal, bonemeal, and greensand and gently work a half-cup into the top soil near the plant in late autumn; water it in. Alfalfa meal can be created from the pellets (rabbit food) or, alternatively, made into a tea by putting a cup of pellets into a 5-gallon bucket to seep for about 3 days and use this water with the bonemeal and greensand. The vitamins and active ingredients in alfalfa meal (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, carotene and other minerals) helps to turn on a plant's biological timer, leading to a healthier blooming plant.


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