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Pruning Weigela

Weigela is a non-demanding and carefree plant that does not require much care, but occasionally trimming it back will maintain the shape and encourage new growth. This shrub is commonly used as a privacy screen, foundation planting, or focal point. 

Cutting back Weigela may be necessary to maintain a shape and ensure the plant continues to fit a space. Pruning Weigela can also rejuvenate the plant and promote more stunning blooms during the spring as well as the stately green foliage throughout the rest of the growing season. Learn how to correctly prune Weigela so the plant can reach its full potential and continue to thrive.

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When to Prune Weigela

After the plant is done blooming in the late spring or early summer is an excellent time to prune Weigela. Flowers only emerge on one-year-old growth, so trimming after the plant has bloomed ensures you do not remove next year’s flowers because those branches have not yet started to grow. It is possible to cut Weigela during other times of the year, but you risk removing new growth and possibly limiting flowers for the following spring.

Deadheading is generally unnecessary for Weigela, and spent blooms naturally fall away on their own. Dead growth can be removed at any time. It can be hard to identify dead growth during the winter when there is no foliage on the plant, so if you are unsure, wait until new leaves emerge in the spring. Trim away any bare branches without vegetation. 

Why Prune Weigela

Dwarf varieties of Weigela tend to maintain a compact shape, but larger types can appear overgrown relatively easily. Plants near foundations or other plants may seem large and unkempt more quickly and overwhelm a space. Trimming the plant back maintains a more desirable size and ensures the plant is a beautiful part of the landscape instead of taking over an area.

Cutting back Weigela will also promote more growth and flowers. Flowers grow on new growth, so trimming the plant will encourage healthier branching and more blooms.

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How to Prune Weigela

Step 1 - Inspect the plant.

Look for dead growth, which can easily be identified during the growing season by the absence of flowers or foliage.

Step 2 - Observe how the plant fits into the overall landscape.

Stand back and look at the entire shrub to see if it is overwhelming the space or blocking sunlight from reaching other plants.

Step 3 - Cut back no more than ⅓ of the plant to maintain size.

If the plant has overgrown its space, trim back up to ⅓ of the branches. Removing more could be stressful and possibly prevent future growth.

Step 4 - Trim branches at a point where 2 branches meet.

Make cuts right after growth points, which can be identified as areas where 2 branches split off.

Weigela Pruning Tips

  • Trim back overgrowth after the bloom cycle is complete
  • Remove dead growth at any time
  • Remove large, older branches on established plants to promote more flowers
  • Trim back no more than ⅓ of the plant at a time
  • Make cuts right after growth points, or where 2 branches meet