UACES Facebook Weigelia

Weigelia

February 2008

QuestionWe have five weigelia bushes that have grown quite big in just a couple of years. Since they tend to flower heavily in the spring, and then just a few blooms throughout the rest of the summer, I'm not sure whether to prune them right after the heavy flowering, or wait until fall... or even January or February. What is the best time and method?

 

AnswerThe best time to prune a weigelia is immediately following flowering in the spring. Weigelias are cane-producing plants, with multiple branches coming from the soil line. To reduce size but keep the nice graceful weeping form, prune out some of the older canes at the soil line. You can take out up to one third of the canes if needed.


November 2008

QuestionWe have beautiful "Wine and Roses" weigela shrubs, about 3 yrs. old, and their showy blossoms were absolutely gorgeous this spring. My husband did a little conservative trimming, and they bloomed again a little bit in late summer. They are getting tall, and I think I want to keep them at a manageable height. When is the best time to prune back the branches and how should we do it? Is it too late now? I have the same issue with several butterfly bushes. Is it too late to prune back now, and how is the best way to trim/prune?

 

AnswerFor pruning questions, keep in mind what season the plants bloom--or at least supposed to bloom. We often get errant flowers on a few spring blooming plants in the fall, but their main flush of flowers is in the spring. Spring blooming plants set flower buds in the late summer to fall period. Pruning should be done as soon after flowering in the spring as possible. This allows them ample time to recover and set plenty of flowers for the next year. For the weigela, it is a cane producing plant that makes a living fountain in the landscape. To keep it free flowing, prune immediately after bloom in the spring by removing up to one third of the older canes at the base. Pruning it now would remove next spring’s blooms. On the butterfly bush, it blooms on the new season growth during the growing season. It should be pruned hard before new growth begins in late February to early March. Depending on what size plant you want, you can take it back by one half or almost to the ground each season.


April 2006

QuestionAbout three years ago my beautiful weigela shrub died after giving its usual early spring display. I broke the rotted canes off about 10 inches above the soil line and nothing happened until this year. Now it has two fresh canes growing from the old root. They are about the size of number 3 lead in a wood pencil, tapering to thinner towards the tips. They are trying to unfurl fresh green leaves about every inch or so along the length. I have fertilized lightly and watered well. After a few weeks should I cut off the tips to encourage branching? What else can I do to help it re-grow?

 

AnswerFirst, you need to determine what killed the mother plant in the first place. Weigela are pretty tough plants normally, and for it to rot off, tells me there may be a problem in the soil. If the spot has poor drainage or heavy clay soil, that could be a problem. You may want to move this new plant to a fresh spot and see what happens. They like a well drained soil, full sun and water when dry--but not too wet. Lightly prune to get it to produce more canes which hopefully will build up over time.


March 2006

QuestionWe have five weigelia bushes that have grown quite large in just a couple of years. Since they tend to flower heavily in the spring, and then just a few blooms throughout the rest of the summer, I'm not sure whether to prune them right after the heavy flowering, or wait until fall... or even January or February. What is the best time and method?

 

AnswerPrune weigelia immediately after bloom. They set their flower buds in the fall, so you want to allow ample time for recovery after bloom. They have numerous canes emerging from the soil line. If it needs thinning, cut out a few of the older canes close to the soil. This will allow the plant to keep its nice cascading growth habit. Avoid the practice of pruning them into boxes or balls, as this ruins the overall effect.


 

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