Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Weigela Shrubs -- Hummingbird Magnets

Weigela Florida 'My Monet'
from Grandma Pearl
There's something special about these beautiful shrubs that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and beneficial insects of all kinds.  The graceful arching stems are loaded with tubular flowers in early spring right through the end of June.  Several varieties rebloom toward the end of summer for a new show.  They are drought resistant, and hardy in zones 4 to 9.

When I planted my 'Red Prince' Weigela many years ago, I mixed up a wheelbarrow full of equal parts of garden loam, clay, peat moss, and sawdust.  To that I added a shovel full of wood ash.  That's it!  These bushes seem to thrive on neglect.  Other than watering them when it is absolutely necessary they are not fussy about water or fertilizer.  In fact, the birds that love to shelter in among the branches provide the only fertilizer these bushes get.  Red Prince Weigela is one variety that blooms in early spring and then again in late summer.
Weigela  'Wine and Roses' along with Rhododendrons
this is a much smaller and younger shrub than my other
from Grandma Pearl

Weigelas can be planted in full sun to partial shade, and add a pop of much-needed color in a shade garden. Plan on giving them lots of elbow room, because they grow from 3-9 feet tall, and 3 to 12 feet wide!  I have one planted in a large container that is very happy; another is the centerpiece of a garden bed and others are part of a shrub 'fence'.  So they can also be used for a privacy border.  Weigelas give you a lot of bang for the buck!

My oldest 'Red Prince' Weigela bush has fed a lot of hummers!
by Grandma Pearl
'Red Prince'  Closeup of these tubular hummingbird magnets
by Grandma Pearl
Bumblebees as well as other beneficial insects love these
nectar-rich flowers.  This variety of Weigela starts out light pink
and turns to white.
by Grandma Pearl
Closeup of light pink and white weigela.  This is the one that
is planted in a large container.
by Grandma Pearl
Chickadee in weigela bush in wintertime
by Grandma Pearl
Birds love to use the weigela all year round.  This one is not far from the bird feeders, so it serves as a good place to watch for any predators.  Juncos and other ground foragers use these shrubs as fast get-away areas where they can easily hide.  During heavy rainstorms, shrubs make great places to get out of the wet weather, while opening up a tasty black oil sunflower seed!

You can't go wrong with Weigela Bushes.  They can't be beat for beauty and for attracting birds, butterflies and all kinds of beneficial bugs.

No comments: