Weigela 'Dark Horse'
Common Name: weigela
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Clay Soil

Culture

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. This is a patented plant that does not produce viable seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

‘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.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Good compact flowering and foliage shrub for smaller spaces. Specimen or group for shrub borders. Also effective as a low hedge. May be incorporated into a foundation planting.