Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday's Fav's: Weigela 'Red Prince'

Today's spotlight is on my Weigela 'Red Prince' which is in its full-blooming glory. This gorgeous deciduous shrub is one of my fav's, and is often used in my landscape designs.

Red Prince is a showy plant when in bloom, and rather quiet during the rest of the season. Its tubular flowers attract hummingbirds and bees, and for brief time in the spring, it is an absolute stand out in the garden.


Red Prince has a form that is irregular, and I like it that way. I have seen some specimens pruned into a perfect mounding shape, but it's not natural for the plant, so therefore it's not my preference. Some minor pruning of long, overgrown canes is the only shaping I perform.

The delicate flowers appear in abundance, and this year the show is spectacular! Each tiny flower is dressed in crimson, with white anthers and pistils. Absolutely gorgeous!

Clusters of flowers appear on every branch, from top to bottom. This plant is quite floriferous, and the abundance of flowers this season is causing the branches to bend just a little. The display is jaw-dropping!

Red Prince pairs well with other flowering shrubs. Behind and to the left, my very tall 'President Grevy' lilac has finished blooming, and directly behind the weigela is my 'Blue Muffin' Viburnum in full bloom.

To the side are spirea for early summer bloom, and on the other side of the bed I have summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) for mid-summer color and a wonderful fragrance. So you see, in a bed approximately 14' square, I have something blooming nearly all season long!

I knew everyone would wonder what was blooming behind the Weigela, so today is a two-fer because the Blue Muffin Viburnum is another of my fav's, also used in my landscape designs. Are you seeing a pattern here? Indeed, I like to grow the plants that I offer to my customers for their gardens. That way, I have an idea of how they grow and how well they thrive in our area.

Viburnums in general are one of my favorites, and Blue Muffin is a sweet, smaller specimen. Those adorable white flowers are followed by bright blue berries. I wouldn't bake with them, but the birds love 'em!

I find great delight in the delicate beauty of the blooms of my Red Prince Weigela. The shrub can be a bit ungainly, but certainly deserves a place in the deciduous shrub border.

Here are the facts:

Botanical name: Weigela florida 'Red Prince'

Common name: Red Prince Weigela *

Hardiness: Zone 4 - 8

Height: 5' - 6' tall

Spread: 5' - 6' wide

Flowering time: late spring/early summer with another, less abundant bloom late in summer

Location: Full sun is recommended, but my plant is situated in full morning sun with deep shade all afternoon and still flowers profusely.

* Weigela is pronounced Wy gee la; with a soft 'g' sound (like a 'j'). Some people pronounce it with a hard 'g' sound. Some add an extra 'i' and say wy gelia. However you wish to pronounce it, this stunning shrub deserves a place in the landscape as a specimen plant. When in bloom, it is drop-dead gorgeous!

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