How to Plant, Grow, and Care for ‘Wine and Roses’ Weigela

Weigela is a gorgeous, low-maintenance flowering perennial shrub perfect for all types of gardens across many zones. ‘Wine and Roses®’ is a stunning variety with deep-colored foliage and bright pink contrasting flowers, and organic farmer Jenna Rich will tell us all about it.

A 'Wine and Roses' weigela shrub basks in soft sunlight, showcasing its elegant allure. Its purple blooms captivate, each delicate petal adorned with intricate white stamens, creating a mesmerizing contrast against the lush foliage.


Weigela shrubs have been around for hundreds of years. They’re growing in popularity for their carefree nature, beautiful shades, size options, and hardiness. If you’re looking for a new ornamental to complement all the bright greens and annual pinks and purples in your garden, ‘Wine and Roses®’ weigela features a unique shade of maroon foliage that offers an amazing contrast to your annuals and bright greens, adding an old-timey feel. 

Besides its beauty, this shrub is extremely low-maintenance, only needing some light pruning and perhaps a little mulch in cooler growing zones before the winter months. I’ve had a hard time deciding what to add to our sandy, sloped landscape here in zone 5b, but now I know for certain I need to add a couple of ‘Wine and Roses®’ weigela.  

If you’re not familiar with weigela shrubs, stay tuned to learn more about this old-fashioned variety.


A vibrant close-up captures the intricate 'Wine and Roses' weigela flowers, flaunting their fuchsia pink petals, accentuated by delicate white stamens. The lush leaves, painted in verdant greens and rich browns, elegantly frame the floral spectacle.
The deciduous flowering shrub ‘Wine and Roses’ Weigela is native to East Asia.
Botanical Name   Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’ 
Plant Type  Deciduous flowering shrub 
Family Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Genus Weigela
Special Characteristics Two bloom seasons, deer-resistant
Native Area  Bred in the Netherlands
Sun Exposure Full sun 
Height  4 to 5 feet 
Watering Requirements  Average
Soil Type  Well-draining, moist, adaptable to different types
Pests  Aphids, spider mites, scale insects, deer
Diseases Black spots, anthracnose, botrytis, powdery mildew
Maintenance Low
Hardiness Zones USDA 4 to 8
Bloom Time One in mid to late spring with a second in summer and fall, zone-dependent

What Is It? 

A vibrant close-up of 'Wine and Roses' weigela flowers showcasing their delicate tubular shapes. The gentle play of light accentuates the petals' soft texture, casting a radiant glow that enhances the allure of these elegant blossoms.
This classic garden variety boasts deep foliage and strong growth.

Weigela is a dense, deciduous flowering shrub first imported to Europe from Asia in the 1800s. It was discovered by Robert Fortune in 1844 on the island of Chusan, and he considered it one of the most beautiful shrubs he’d come across. The florida portion of its botanical name comes from the word “florid,” which means excessive, flushed, or elaborate. This refers to the amount of showy, tubular flowers that hummingbirds love to feed on.

‘Wine and Roses®’ weigela is the result of over 20 years of breeding by Herman Geers of The Netherlands. By crossing many different varieties of weigela, he strived to create a version with deep foliage, and he succeeded. What he didn’t expect was the strong growth habit, hardiness, and lack of serious pest and disease threats. 

This variety has been recognized by Penn State as Gardener Selects. It is a member of Proven Winners® Colorchoice® flowering shrubs, selected for their low maintenance levels, intense and interesting colors, and high garden reward. It’s also the first weigela variety to win a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award


Purple 'Wine and Roses' weigela flowers, their delicate white stamens reaching outward. Behind the elegant blooms, the lush green foliage of 'Wine and Roses' weigela provides a verdant backdrop.
The shrubs grow four to six feet wide and 1-2 feet per year.

This shrub has gorgeous, long-lasting, wine-colored foliage and blooms clusters of bright pink, five-lobed, trumpet-shaped flowers that appear first in mid to late spring with a second, smaller flush appearing in the fall. Its striking foliage remains a deep wine all season long, sometimes appearing almost black. 

Its growing habit is dense and rounded with arched branches when fully mature. Pruning can alter the shape as desired. Compared to other weigela varieties, ‘Wine and Roses®’ is large, spreading four to six feet. The growth rate is moderate at one to two feet per year under ideal conditions. 

How to Grow

With a little pruning and the occasional watering, you can easily and successfully grow gorgeous weigela. You’ll be amazed by the beauty this cultivar provides you without much care or effort


A close-up of pink 'Wine and Roses' weigela flowers, their delicate petals unfurling in the sunlight, inviting admiration. Lush green leaves encircle the blossoms, providing a verdant backdrop, enhancing the flowers' stunning hues.
Plant in a sunny location for optimal performance.

‘Wine and Roses®’ weigela is a true sun lover, so choose a sunny spot in your garden so it can perform its best. While it can tolerate partial shade, flowering will be best, and foliage will be the darkest shade of purple when grown in full sun. 


A 'Wine and Roses' weigela shrub displaying purple flowers, adding a splash of color to the garden. In the backdrop, a blurred scene reveals a ground adorned with bark mulch, enhancing the plant's aesthetic appeal and providing a natural contrast.
Avoid overwatering to prevent wilting and ensure well-drained soil.

Water newly transplanted weigela consistently. Very little to no supplemental water is needed once the plants are well-established, although extra care should be taken when conditions are extremely dry and hot. If you notice wilting or the tips slightly bending, it’s time to water. 

They do not do well with “wet feet,” so don’t grow them where water settles


A close-up reveals dark, moisture-laden soil, hinting at fertility and life. Its textured surface forms small crumbles, indicating healthy decomposition and aeration. This earthy substrate promises a nurturing environment for burgeoning plants and organisms.
This shrub prefers moist, well-draining soil.

The preferred soil is moist and well-draining, with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. These plants are adaptable to different soil types, including light clay. Test your soil with an at-home kit or reach out to your extension office to inquire about professional soil testing done in your area. 


In a sunlit garden, a brown fence encloses greenery, while a leafy shrub adds a touch of natural charm. At the forefront, an orange tractor loader stands ready, filled with fresh mulch, accompanied by a trusty shovel for landscaping tasks.
Organic straw mulch protects weigela shrubs during winter in extreme cold.

Wood chips can be added for garden aesthetics or in northern climates, to warm the soil, retain moisture, and add soil fertility as it breaks down. 

Organic straw mulch or leaves can be used to cover the base of your weigela shrubs before winter when temperatures drop below 5°F (-15°C).

Climate and Temperature

A cluster of purple ‘Wine and Roses' weigelas bloom against a backdrop of green leaves, their rich hue drawing the eye. The delicate petals unfold gracefully, creating a captivating display of color and texture in the garden landscape.
The plant thrives in various climates without specific temperature or humidity needs.

Wait until the risk of spring frost in your region passes to plant a new plant or cutting. ‘Wine and Roses®’ performs well across many different regions and zones, having no particular requirements when it comes to optimal temperatures or humidity levels.

Once plants are established, cold region growers may protect the crowns of the shrubs with straw mulch or frost blankets, but it’s a personal preference and depends on your regional climate. Weigelas can tolerate some urban air pollution and light salt along coastlines


An open hand, coated in grime, tenderly holds vibrant yellow fertilizer granules, ready to nourish the soil. In the background, the rich, dark earth awaits its nutrient-rich infusion, promising growth and vitality to the planted seeds.
Fertilize according to package instructions based on shrub size and age.

Apply a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring before new growth emerges to encourage new growth and healthy foliage. Optionally, cover the base of the plant about a foot in diameter with well-aged compost for moisture retention, a soil fertility boost, and to keep weed pressure down. 

Overall, weigela is a low-feeding plant. Refer to the fertilizer package for specific instructions. Amounts will depend on the size and age of your shrub.


Pink 'Wine and Roses' weigela flowers bask in the golden sunlight, their delicate petals unfurling gracefully. Behind them, verdant leaves form a lush backdrop, also soaking up the warmth of the sun's rays.
Weigela stems with flowers and foliage are excellent for long-lasting bouquets.

Cut full stems, including flowers and foliage, to use in bouquets. Weigela makes a wonderful, long-lasting cut flower. Pair it with Russian sage, alliums, or Siberian iris in the spring. 


A close-up of pruning shears with sharp blades positioned to trim a stem adorned with lush leaves. The golden rays of the sun gracefully envelop the scene, adding warmth and depth to the composition.
Regularly prune to maintain its shape.

Remove any old or dead branches in the spring as new growth and flowers begin to appear. Weigela produces on last year’s wood so avoid pruning until after the plant begins to flower. This ensures you don’t remove branches that will produce flowers this year.  

Perform light maintenance prunes as needed to maintain the desired shape and size and to avoid them looking scraggly and becoming weedy. These are low-maintenance shrubs but they do appreciate some love! Always use clean, sharp shears. 

Pro tip: Flowers appear mostly on branches three years old or younger. Take photos of your plants each year during pruning sessions to determine you aren’t removing young stems and get the most out of your shrubs. Moderate to heavy pruning every few years will rejuvenate your plant and encourage new growth. 


Softwood stem cuttings are the most common and best method for propagating weigela shrubs but you can also purchase bare roots and plants ready to transplant. Select a well-draining area in full sun before planting. 

Softwood Stem Cuttings 

A green pot holds a weigela cutting, its delicate leaves reaching for the warm sunlight. The rich brown soil nurtures its roots, promising future blooms. Nature's dance unfolds as light caresses the tender foliage.
Propagate by wrapping the cuttings in a moist paper towel.

It’s best to propagate ‘Wine and Roses®’ weigela in early spring. To take softwood cuttings:

  1. Select a healthy stem.
  2. Use clean, sharp shears to cut four to six inches of green growth below a node.
  3. Remove any bottom leaves.
  4. Optionally dip the bottom of the cutting in a rooting hormone before placing it in fresh potting soil.
  5. Several cuttings can be placed into the same pot if it’s large enough.
  6. Keep newly potted cuttings out of direct sunlight.
  7. Keep them watered as they settle in.
  8. Check for new roots in a few weeks, but allow them to fully develop before transplanting them. 

If they’ll be traveling to a friend, instead of potting them up, wrap them in a loose plastic bag with some moisture or a moist paper towel. Place them in a refrigerator temporarily if necessary. 

Take softwood cuttings in early spring and transplant them before the heat of summer to avoid stress and transplant shock. Warm region growers may take cuttings later in the year when winters aren’t harsh. Note that you want your new shrub to develop a strong root system before going into the winter months. 

Hardwood Stem Cuttings 

Three hardwood stem cuttings lay gracefully atop a neatly trimmed patch of green grass, basking in the sunlight. Each cutting boasts leaves, displaying nature's intricate beauty and potential for growth and rejuvenation.
Cut a stem diagonally when propagating from hardwood.

This form of propagation is similar to softwood cuttings, but instead of propagating during the growing season, hardwood cuttings are taken during the shrub’s dormancy when there are no leaves present. To do it:

  1. Select a mature, woody stem about the diameter of a pencil.
  2. Ideally, you can cut where last year’s wood joins up with two-year-old wood, as it has the best healthy rooting potential.
  3. Cut as tight to the main growing stem as possible for a nice, clean wound. 
  4. Cut the tip of the stem off where the wood changes to green wood.
  5. Make the cut diagonal so rainwater runs down and off the cutting. This prevents rotting.
  6. Dip the end into a rooting hormone before potting it up.
  7. Place as much of the stem as possible in the soil for the best chance of rooting.
  8. Leave at least three buds visible above the soil surface.

Allow them to grow in a greenhouse or cold frame as they develop roots, which will take longer than softwood cuttings. Hardwood cuttings take more effort to form new roots, so a rooting hormone is recommended.

Bare Roots 

A ‘Wine and Roses' weigela shrub adorned with clusters of rich purple flowers, drawing attention with its elegant hue. Diverse shrubs create a lush backdrop, enhancing the visual appeal of the 'Wine and Roses' weigela's striking blooms.
Transplant ‘Wine and Roses’ weigela bare roots promptly upon arrival.

Weigela bare roots may arrive with or without foliage. It’s best to transplant them as soon as they arrive, but if that’s not possible or the weather isn’t conducive, pot them up in fresh soil and keep them indoors, in a greenhouse, or a semi-heated building like a garage. Follow the care instructions given by the retailer


Pink 'Wine and Roses' weigela flowers, their delicate petals unfurling under the warm sun's rays. Lush green leaves provide a verdant backdrop, creating a captivating contrast against the blossoms’ hues.
‘Wine and Roses’ weigela is readily available at nursery stores in spring.

If you’re not quite ready to try your hand at taking cuttings or planting bare roots, many nursery and garden supply stores will have ‘Wine and Roses®’ weigela readily available for purchase this spring. They may be a bit more of an investment, but they’ll take off once you pop them right in the ground.


Planting your bare roots, purchased plants, or newly created plants from stem cuttings is easy once you’ve selected the perfect garden location.  


A 'Wine and Roses' weigela shrub, boasting purple flowers, towers gracefully against a backdrop of a weathered fence. The lush greenery surrounding it enhances the beauty of its striking blooms, adding a touch of elegance to the scene.
Proper spacing for ‘Wine and Roses’ weigela is at least 60 inches apart to minimize disease risk.

Weigela spread can be four to six feet, so the recommended spacing is at least 60 inches between plants. Proper spacing and airflow help reduce the risk of disease.


'Wine and Roses' weigela blossoms showcase a regal purple hue, gracefully shaped in tubular blooms. Their petals delicately curl, creating a captivating contrast against the lush, oblong leaves enveloping them.
Transplant a weigela plant by digging a wide hole and mixing compost with native soil.

Transplant weigela during the cooler parts of the year, in spring or fall, to avoid any frost damage to its roots. 

To transplant cuttings: 

You can place these directly into the garden area you have planned for your new weigela plant or pot them up in a container and allow them to root. This will take four to six weeks. Leave them outdoors so they can remain acclimated. Keep them well-watered, but don’t overwater.

To transplant a bare root: 

Gently fork the area to loosen the soil, and add your fertilizer and compost if needed. Dig a deep enough hole to fit the root. You want several inches of the root to be exposed above the soil surface. Backfill with native soil and tamp down gently. Water it in thoroughly. Cut back any new shoots to encourage the plant’s energy to develop new roots.

To transplant a weigela plant: 

Dig a hole as large as the root ball with extra width and place it in the hole. Mix in some compost when backfilling native soil, leaving the top of the rootball exposed. Water in deeply and mulch right away, leaving a few inches around the stem bare.

Common Problems

In general, weigela shrubs are not problematic, but here are a few issues to look out for

Root Drowning

Weigela shrubs don’t enjoy standing water or soggy soil. To avoid waterlogging, place weigela in a well-draining spot. If you need to remedy your soil before transplanting, add well-aged compost to add structure and retain nutrients or sand to improve drainage. Work with your extension agent if you need assistance.


A close-up captures a Japanese beetle basking in sunlight on a leaf, its exoskeleton glinting like precious jewels. The play of light reveals the beetle's elegant design, a testament to nature's craftsmanship.
Promptly remove severely infected weigela plants to prevent widespread infestation.
  • Aphids are annoying at worst for the sticky residue they leave behind. Control them with a strong stream of water. 
  • Are you seeing webbing between flowers and leaves? This is a tell-tale sign of spider mites, which could be red or black, though they’re hard to see with the naked eye.
  • Japanese beetles will munch through the foliage, leaving Swiss cheese-looking foliage in their wake. These bugs mate often and can become a problem quickly. Take a jar or bucket of soapy water out in the early morning when the bugs aren’t quite fully awake yet. Shake them off the leaves into the soapy water. Do this every other day to keep the pressure down. 
  • Whiteflies are tiny and hang out on the underside of leaves, flying away when disturbed. They may just seem like a nuisance, but their damage causes yellowing and leaf drop. Heavy streams of water or neem oil are remedies for large infestations.

Monitor pests by scouting regularly and taking swift action. Avoid overhead watering and remove any badly infected plants to avoid a large infestation. Deer won’t dine on weigela unless there is a shortage of more palatable items for them to eat. 


A close-up of a leaf displaying signs of anthracnose disease, characterized by dark, sunken lesions spreading across its surface. Anthracnose, caused by fungal pathogens, leads to wilting, browning, and eventual death of infected plant tissues, impacting overall plant health.
Maintain the health of ‘Wine and Roses’ weigela by prioritizing garden sanitation.
  • Black spots: This may occur when weigela is planted in wet, soggy soils (which you already know to avoid!) Black spots cause ragged-looking, spotted leaves. Remove infected plant parts, prune to increase circulation, and avoid too much moisture. If necessary, move your shrub to a more suitable location.
  • Anthracnose: This fungal disease causes leaf spots and blight. Prevention is key as it can spread fast and move to other parts of your garden. It thrives in cooler spring and early summer conditions and slows down in the heat of summer. If you see yellow or rust-colored spots or leaf drop occurring, treat by a spraying liquid copper or sulfur fungicide.
  • Botrytis/gray mold: Another fungal disease that thrives in wet conditions, botrytis prevents photosynthesis and will eventually cause death in your shrub. You’ll see mold on all parts. Remove infected parts and destroy them to prevent spread. Airflow and providing ample space is the best prevention. Neem oil and copper fungicides can be used to treat infections. Always follow the instructions on the product packaging for safe and proper use.
  • Powdery mildew: Symptoms include a white powdery layer on the leaves that may eventually curl and fall off. Proper pruning, spacing, and airflow are ways to prevent this disease. 

There aren’t many problems to expect with wine and roses. Most disease risk decreases with general garden sanitation, drip irrigation watering, and a strong focus on soil fertility. If established plants suddenly look “off,” do some further investigating to determine the root cause and treat them accordingly. 

Final Thoughts

I wonder if you’re as impressed as I am with weigela shrubs after learning more about their ease of maintenance and beauty. ‘Wine and Roses®’ delivers elegance, romanticism, and interest to any type of garden

I am planning to add a few ‘Wine and Roses®’ weigela to my sandy, sloped landscape and think you should, too.

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