Tony's Top Picks for the Fall Plant Sale: Week 2

Barberry, Hydrangea and Weigela

Our Fall Plant Sale continues! Every week this season, we will have three types of plants on sale. This week, 9/17/20 – 9/23/20, we are serving up 30% savings on: Barberry (Berberis), Hydrangea and Weigela. Tony Fulmer, Chalet’s Chief Horticultural Officer, has selected 3 of his top picks from each genus to give you a bit of info to make your savings decisions easier.


Barberry Success Tip: Don’t let them dry out to the point of wilting their first year, although that shouldn’t be much of an issue since we’re in the cooler temps and more adequate precipitation of autumn. After establishment, they’re camels when it comes to watering. Yes, I know they have thorns, but those are a great deterrent to deer and children. Heavy gloves make pruning a non-lethal exercise. “Stickers” are far outweighed by the value of the color punch and hardiness they offer!   

Crimson Pygmy Japanese

I’ll happily admit to being a “plant elitist”, but this is one commoner I like a lot - to the point of using it as a formal hedge under my front bay window. Deep-maroon (must have sun to maintain best coloration), boxwood-sized leaves on a dense, dwarf plant that can be pruned into any geometric shape you can conjure up. So, formal hedges (just as you’d use boxwood) or tucked about singly or odd-numbered groups in perennial or too-green shrub borders. Surprisingly, they even have great fall color.


I understand in German is a “spirit” or small, child-sized gnome. I just think of it as the green-leaved version of ‘Crimson Pygmy’, or as a perfectly equivalent deciduous substitute for ‘Green Velvet’ Boxwood. Why? Because it attains a mature height of 18-24” and slightly wider spread. Primarily yellow fall color, very low maintenance as it’s a natural mound without pruning, so can be hedged or used individually. Slow-moderate growth rate.

Rose Glow Japanese

Great as a color accent! Unique in that the first leaves down in the body of the plant are maroon-purple, but the newly emerged shoots have leaves with unique pink (honest) and maroon marbling. They stay that way for weeks before aging to maroon. Naturally vase-shaped, dense shrub maturing 4-5’ tall, 4-5’ wide. Like all Barberry, deer and pollution-resistant.  


Hydrangea Success Tip: The “mopheads” or macrophylla types are best grown in half day sun/half day shade as those big, soft leaves and flowers dehydrate when we have prolonged periods of heat and drought. Don’t go to the extreme and put them in full shade, though. The “panicle” types (cone-shaped flowers) are the ones to choose for max sun and heat tolerance. 

Invincibelle Wee White®

What many of us have longed for for years- a dwarf ‘Annabelle’ – with everything, plant and flower size, proportionate, just smaller. Wonderful slow grower to 30” tall, eventually 30-36” wide. Strong stems support the 4-5” diameter flowers that open with the softest hint of a pink blush before turning white. A really long bloom performance! Rock hardy. 


A reliable replacement for ‘Endless Summer’. A mophead type that has the potential to flower on both previous year’s growth and current season’s stems. Flowers are 4-5” in diameter and typically will be pink in our alkaline soils. Ornamental maroon stems. Since the stems tend to die back to the ground (like a perennial) the plants are seldom more than 3-4’ tall and wide by the end of summer. Burgundy fall color. 

Little Quick Fire®

Little Quick Fire® bears early, loose, fluffy white flowers that age to a peachy pink (my interpretation of salmon) and white, finishing pinkish-red. 3-5’ tall and equally wide. Earned its name from being one of the earliest-to-bloom panicle Hydrangeas.


Weigela Success Tip: Generally, Weigela bloom most heavily in spring on previous year’s growth, so any pruning should be done immediately after spring bloom. Combine them with something evergreen either low at their ankles or behind them to soften their winter branching. At least a half day sun… or more. Hummingbirds love them, deer do not! That’s a good combination of attributes.     

My Monet®

My Monet® is a mushroom-shaped dwarf with striking creamy white and green variegated foliage. Flowers are rose-pink trumpets. The shrub grows slowly to 18” tall, perhaps 2’ wide.


Many plants are touted as having black leaves, but grown in full sun this comes closest to achieving that claim. The black foliage then makes a great contrast for the pristine white flowers, that keep coming summer into fall. 3-4’ tall and 4’ wide. Because of Tuxedo™’s late bloom season pruning it is timed differently from most other Weigela. It blooms later in the season on growth that was made in the spring - so, either prune after bloom finishes in the fall or first thing in the spring before growth starts.

Wine & Roses®

Wine & Roses® is a two-fold threat - great maroon-purple foliage all season long when grown in full sun, and tubular, deep shell-pink flowers. Heaviest flowering is in spring, but it may produce some light intermittent summer bloom. 4-5’ tall and wide.          

Shop the our Fall Plant Sale collection of Barberry (Berberis), Hydrangea and Weigela online or come in to shop the entire collection. Stay tuned for next week's Plant Sale Top Picks!

Tony Fulmer

Chalet's Chief Horticulturist Officer