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Weigela & Deer

deer image by Carol Wingert from

Weigela florida is a garden favorite, sometimes called the old-fashioned weigela shrub. Deer do not destroy or severely damage the plant. It is a perennial flowering shrub with blooms weeping from the upright center. The weigela is a member of the honeysuckle family. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.


Old-fashioned weigela is a common backyard or landscape choice. It has oval leaves that are serrated at the edges. Leaves are darker on top. The flowers are pink or a darker rose color and funnel shaped. These shrubs bloom in late spring. The weigela may grow up to 6 feet in the center crown, with limbs arching down. There are also varieties with variegated leaves.


The weigela shrub is used in borders or placed alone as a display specimen. Weigela is a spreading plant that requires pruning after a couple of years. The plant has showy pink blooms with a white center and is sometimes grown near a window for its scent. These fragrant flowers attract hummingbirds.


The weigela is a fast-growing plant that propagates well. It can be transplanted if necessary. The plant requires a sunny location. Insects do not usually infest it and deer usually do not like it, which makes it a good choice for hedges to protect other plantings from deer. The weigela is a fast-growing shrub with little maintenance required.


There are many cultivars of weigela. Some are dwarfs, while others are variegated or produce different flower colors. The Bristol Ruby and Carnaval both produce red flowers during the growing season. The Java Red and Minuet have purplish foliage, while the Rubidor has yellow foliage. Variegata Nana is one of the dwarf varieties.

Deterring Deer

Deer are persistent and frequent visitors to many backyards. Weigela grows in both rural and urban environments and may help send the deer from one location to another to something more inviting and accessible.

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