|Description: A deciduous shrub with a densely compact, slightly rounded habit. Typical growth is slightly shorter in height than width. Leaves are elliptical in shape and darkly greenish-purple on top, dark green on their underside. Red, funnel-shaped flowers appear either in clusters, or singly along the branches of the previous year’s growth. Bloom time is mid- to late spring. A more sparse repeat bloom often occurs on new growth later in the summer. Flowers are a particular favourite of hummingbirds.
Special Notes: Native to China, Japan, and Korea, the first specimens of this genus were collected by Robert Fortune of the Royal Horticultural Society in 1845 where they soon became established in many English gardens. There are ten to fourteen species in the Weigela genus with roughly 180 cultivars now available…most of which are variations in the W. florida species.
‘Tango’ was bred by Dr. Felicitas Svejda at the Agricultural Canada Experimental Farm in the 1980s. It is one of what is known as the Dance Series. ‘Minuet’, ‘Rumba’, ‘Samba’, and ‘Polka’ round out the dance steps. They were all bred for better cold hardiness, suitable to withstanding our Canadian winters.
As with most plants, ‘Tango’ benefits from being planted in rich, humousy soil. However, most weigelas are quite tolerant of poorer soils but, to be kind to your plant, apply an annual top-dressing of compost or aged manure.
The lovely dark foliage is darkest when plant is sited in full sun but will remain reasonably dark-leaved in light shade with some sun hours.
Like most weigela species, this cultivar is very easy care, plus relatively pest and disease free. Moderately drought tolerant, but does benefit from some watering during particularly long stretches of dry weather. Deer and rabbit resistant. Propagation by cuttings in June, after flowering is finished.
In our Zone 7a garden: This plant is a new addition to my front garden in Spring 2016. Stay tuned for updates on its progress.
Posted on July 12, 2016