Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Needs full sun for best flowering and foliage color, but will tolerate very light shade. Prune to shape immediately after flowering.
Weigela is a genus of about 12 species of deciduous shrubs from East Asia. They are grown for their showy spring flowers.
Genus name honors Christian Ehrenfried Weigel (1748-1831), German professor at the University of Geifswald.
‘Dark Horse’ is a compact, dark-leaved, pink-flowered version of the popular old fashioned weigela. It is the product of a breeding program designed to produce new weigela varieties featuring the darkest possible foliage colors. ‘Dark Horse’ is a dense, rounded, deciduous shrub that typically grows to only 2-3’ tall and as wide. It features profuse, funnel-shaped, pink flowers (to 1.25” long) that appear singly or in clusters along the branches of the previous year’s growth in mid- to late spring, with sparse and scattered repeat bloom often occurring on new growth as the summer progresses. Oblanceolate, serrate, opposite, dark purple leaves (to 3” long) retain good color throughout the growing season. Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. The seed parent of this cultivar is W. ‘Victoria’ and the pollen parent is W. ‘Foliis Purpureus’. U. S. Plant Patent PP14,381 issued December 16, 2003.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Good flowering and foliage shrub. Specimen or group for shrub borders. Also effective as a hedge. May be incorporated into a foundation planting.