Wine & Roses is a variety of weigela (Weigela florida) grown for its striking purple foliage and coordinating rosy pink flowers. An easy-care shrub, Wine & Roses grows to a height of 5 feet and tolerates pruning, allowing it to be utilized as a hedge or foundation planting. Wine & Roses is a butterfly magnet as well. Although the variety is marketed as disease- and pest-resistant, problems can occur.
The most prevalent insect that feeds on Wine & Roses is scale, a small white, yellow, brown or black insect. If you find raised bumps on the foliage and stems, the plant is most likely infested with scale. If not managed immediately the Wine & Roses will lose its leaves and growth can be stunted. If the infestation is heavy, it could kill the plant. Horticultural oil, sprayed on all surfaces of the plant, will control scale. Mealybugs can also present a problem for the Wine & Roses. These insects are 1/3 inch in length and covered with a white powder. If you notice what appears to be masses of cotton on the Wine & Roses' stems, branches and foliage, suspect mealybugs. Neem oil sprays, applied at 10-day intervals, should control mealybugs.
Although the Wine & Roses variety of weigela is disease-resistant, there are occasions when improper horticultural practices, such as crowding and improper pruning, leave it susceptible. Crown galls, swollen growths on the area of the shrub closest to the soil, where the roots join the stem, are caused by bacteria that are usually introduced into wounds caused by improper pruning or lawnmowers. Crown gall is similar to a malignant tumor. If the disease is mild, cut out all infected branches and stems. Heavily infected Wine & Roses shrubs should be removed from the garden and discarded so that the disease doesn't spread to other plants. Crown gall can also be transmitted by contaminated pruning equipment, so disinfect your tools after pruning.
The Wine and Roses Weigela is hardy to USDA zone 5a and should withstand winter temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The tips of branches, because they are the most tender part of the exposed plant, may die back. In the spring, prune the Wine & Roses to 1/3 its size and it will come back with new branches and foliage. Poor soil drainage is another problem for the Wine & Roses shrub. Poor soil drainage causes the woody portions of the shrub to die and is most noticeable at the end of winter. Cut the shrub back to 1/3 its size and add enough organic mulch to the soil to rectify the drainage problem.