Variegated Weigela, Weigela florida ‘Variegata’, is a staple in my nursery and has been for years. The ultra attractive variegated leaves are plenty eye catching, but as soon as one of these plants makes a flower in the spring it flies out the door!
Seriously. Sometimes it’s frustrating because it’s nice to have some in bloom for our spring sales, but as soon as a flower opens up somebody buys that plant.
I find variegated weigela to be hardy here in zone 5 but I wouldn’t try growing it in colder zones. Even though we’ve had two winters in a row with temps down as low as 22 below zero and mine have done well. Even if some winter damage occurs all you have to do is cut the plant back and presto! It fills back in nicely.
This is a fast growing shrub. If let grow out it will spray out very natural, much the same in shape as a Forsysthia. Or they can be kept trimmed to about 24″ if that’s what you need.
Easy to grow, easy to propagate. Softwood Cuttings root very easily but it can also be done just as easily as Hardwood Cuttings. That means that you can start taking cuttings as early as June and just keep on sticking cuttings through the summer, into the fall and even winter.
Like most times, the only time that you don’t want to take cuttings of this plant in spring when the plant is putting on new growth. We use a six week rule to know when to start sticking our cuttings in the spring.
The Six Week Rule.
Here’s the thing with softwood cuttings. Forget about what they say online about bloom date etc. If you follow the six week rule you can’t go wrong as far as timing is concerned as to when to start doing softwood cuttings. (Yeah, yeah I know. I’m online spewing information too.)
From the day plants get their leaves in the spring, count ahead six weeks. During that six week period the plant actually produces, for you, about 5 or 6 inches of new, soft growth that can be used for softwood cuttings. That new growth needs six weeks to harden off enough to be used as a softwood cutting.
If you take the cuttings too soon, they will wilt down and fail, but most importantly you will have wasted those cuttings. You can take a few, stick them Under Mist, and see how they hold up. If they stand up, you’re good to go. Some wilting is normal, but laying flat on the rooting medium is not good.
Typically cuttings that wilt right after being stuck should be pretty well standing up the next morning. If they don’t, they are too soft, give them another week to harden off before you take more.
Anytime you can offer a plant for sale with a beautiful flower like this it is going to sell like crazy. This is a plant that always sells well in Our Members Area. It’s not something that I would do ten thousand of, but I root about 400 a year for my nursery and I know I could sell hundreds as liners.
There you have it. Easy to grow, great seller!
Questions or comments, post them below.
Not sure how to save it. Please help
I have a weigela that has come back this season and last season with just a couple branches sprouting leaves. How far down should I cut m bush? Should l thin it out on the inside too? I’m in zone 5b
I’d simply prune it to shape it and remove any dead wood. You really shouldn’t have to thin it on the inside.
Hello Mike. Just came across your page , learnt so much . Thank you so much.
I have red Weigela . They are flowering now.
Can you please advise me as to when do I take a cutting and from where for other side of garden and should I straight away stick in the ground.?
Zee, See this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
How long does it take before variegated weigela will blossom after rooting?
Joy, a year or less.
How many years does it take for the weigela to blossom? and a rhododendron too?
Both should bloom in the first or second year for sure.
Judie Bakken says
I have several coral bells and the red ones are almost dead. We had a very wet June and July,
could that have been the problem? I have a couple other ones that are doing very well..
If the roots were always soggy, then yes, that could be an issue. There are a lot of coral bells and some just perform better than others.
Melva Boyd says
How do you sell a plant such as a weigala taken from your backyard but do not have or can only guess at the correct name?
You can sell it just as a Weigela, but I really discourage that. It’s far better to buy a small plant that is properly labeled and make hundreds of those that you can sell to other growers etc.
I’m moving to Hilton Head and would like to bring rooted cuttings of my variegated weigelia. Is zone 9 too hot? Would it be able to survive?
Zone 9 is really iffy for any plant that needs a dormancy period, but it’s worth a try. Variegated weigela is kind of border line cold hardy anyway so maybe a warmer climate would suite it better.
K g says
Hilton head is not in zone 9!
patricia scott says
hi mike i want to know do you fertilize your potted plants all year long i know to use slow release osmocote 14 14 14 and it lasts for 4 mo. but do you fertilize every 4 mo. all year long even in the winter.?
I typically fertilize my container plants only once each growing season. Usually early summer as we are weeding, trimming and cleaning up the nursery.
I live in sw florida any advise what I should start with as far as plants go?
Plants in south Florida are easy to root and they grow fast. Just visit local garden stores and find things that you like, things that have lots of color or flowers. Anything that is colorful and or flowers sells really well. Here’s a list, the bottom part is for the warmer zones like yours. 21 Plants that are Easy to Grow and Sell Like Crazy
The following 21 plants are really easy to grow and they sell like hot cakes. They always have been really good sellers and they always will be really good sellers. And this list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to plants that you can grow and sell that people want to buy.
2. Red Weigela
3. Varigated Weigela
4. Pink Flowering Weigela
5. Red Twig Dogwood
6. Fragrant Viburnums
7. All Flowering Viburnums
9. Dappled Willow
10. Pussy Willow
14. All kinds of Perennials
17. Japanese Hollies
18. English Hollies
20. PJM Dwarf Rhododendron
22. Rose of Sharon
23. Dwarf Alberta Spruce
24. White Dogwood trees
25. Chinese Dogwoods
26. Blue Rug Juniper
27. Gold Flame Spirea
28. Gold Mound Spirea
29. Ornamental Grasses of all kinds
30. Crimson Pygmy Barberry
31. Rosy Glow Barberry
Okay, that’s 31 and I could go on forever.
Here are some plants for warmer zones, 8,9, and 10
Fragrant Tea Olive,
Burgundy Chinese Fringe Flower
Owari & Hamlin Oranges
Azalea (out the wazoo down here)
Crepe Myrtle (ditto)
hybrids such as Blossom Peacock and Papillo
Star gazer lilies
Crape Myrtles of all kinds
Azalea varieties-evergreen & deciduous(native)
Fragrant Tea Olive-evergreen
Loropetalum/Chinese fringe flowers
Abelia -so many new exciting varieties -good for zones 6-10!
Burning Bush/ Euonymus varieties…
Spirea -especially Bridalwreath, Little Princess, Goldmound…
Jasmines (vines-Carolina, Confederate)
Lady Banks Rose
Anise (check out Florida Sunshine)
Holly-Soft Touch/Sky Pencil/Youpon/Burfordii….
Japanese Magnolias(Saucer, Betty, Royal Star…)
Evergreen hedge trees/shrubs
Junipers-Blue Rug, Sargentii, Blue Point,…
Vitex (or Chaste Tree)
Nellie R Stevens
Red Tip Photinia
Van Houtti Spiraea
Gail Howard says
Hi Mike, I really have learned so much from your website. Awhile back you did a video about trimming back plants to make them fill out more. Would it work on the Weigela too? My plant is about four feet tall with only six strong branches. Thanks.
Absolutely. Wait until the plant is dormant, probably mid Nov to Thanksgiving in cooler states, then cut it back as much as you want. It will fill out nicely. Right now we are awaiting a freeze. We have hundreds and hundreds of plants that need to be cut back hard. As soon as they freeze, we are going to whack away at them.
Gary Miller says
I live in NW PA and have fields and yards nearby where I have always been able to find deer. When the neighbors got dogs (even in fenced enclosures) that all changed. I don’t see deer near the locations where there are dogs, and I’m not talking about big dogs. I think if you are dog friendly, this is a good way to keep deer away.
Is the variegated weigela deer resistant? Also, do you have a true method of keeping the deer out of my yard? I live in the country in Mississippi and the deer literally come up on my porch and eat my potted plants.
I won’t say that variegated weigela is deer resistant, but it is deer resilient. If they eat it, it will come back nicely. There are all kinds of deer repellent products that work pretty good during the growing season. When it cold and snowy the deer have less and less to eat and they become much more difficult to control. See this two articles; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2012/11/homemade-deer-repellent/ and https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2014/02/which-plants-are-the-most-deer-resistant/
Becky Clinch says
I’ve always been interested in your backyard growing business, but I live in NY and the ag. laws here a pretty strict. I looked into it years ago, and decided against it b/c of propagation laws and business regulations. I am still interested, and do live in an agricultural zone. Do you currently have any customers in NY, doing your system?
I have a lot of people in NY doing this successfully. The Agriculture laws are pretty much the same everywhere and we discuss that all the time in the members area. Don’t talk yourself out of something before you even start. You can start long before you apply for a license to sell. We probably discuss this at least once a week. http://backyardgrowers.com/join
Hi there Mike, I have one of the variegated wiegela’s you were talking about. They are beautifull.
Anyhow, just wondered if you could tell me why all of a sudden it has a darker green stem and leaf (not variegated ?. Is this normal ?
That can happen with a variegated plant. Just remove the green stem. Sometimes variegated plants will revert back to their original state. All variegated plants start from a single sport on a green plant and one branch just happens to be variegated and somebody starts reproducing that one stem. I rarely see this on variegated weigela, but it can happen.
Hi Mike! I live in western Ky. Do I cut back a passion vine for winter?
I’m not familiar with passion vine so I’ll make up a story. If you think it needs pruning, then by all means cut it back. I prune everything except the concrete sidewalk.
barbara hicks says
Thank you for reading my question. I live in zone 5, and will be moving this winter. Can I dig up my aunt joan’s daylilies now, and store them in peat in my basement, to plant at my new house in the spring?
You can dig them now but it might not be cool enough in the basement. Just heel them in outside and they should be fine.
debbie romer says
I love reading your gardening advice. In many cases I take the info you provide and have good luck just growing for my own pleasure and can’t wait to give away new plants to my daughtes.
That’s great. I’m glad that you are able to take some of what I share and put it to good use.