Most plants benefit from a good haircut now and then. But, how to prune weigela, I hear you cry? We have the answers for you!
When is the best time to prune this shrub; how should you do it; what can you do to ensure it thrives afterwards? Let’s find out!
What You'll Learn Today
How To Prune Weigela?
Weigela benefits from a good pruning now and then. This will help the plant focus its energies on growing new, vigorous growth and healthy flowers.
If you prune it at the right time and in the right way, you will not only be encouraging new growth but also you’ll be able to keep your big bush in the shape that you want it.
- Only prune at the end of the flowering season – this is generally at the end of spring. You can get away with pruning it in the early autumn too, before the winter kicks in.
- Always use sharp, clean secateurs – this ensures that you get good cuts, and that you won’t be transferring plant diseases back and forth.
- Wear thick gardening gloves to avoid injury, and make sure that you keep your cuttings separate to avoid transfer of disease.
- Saw some of the secondary stems right back to the ground – this will help your weigela become more bushy as it grows.
- Remove the tops of the branches that have flowered – these are the seed pods, and look like little buds.
- Cut off any branches or twigs that look brown, diseased or dead. This will not only help your plant look better, but can help its overall health.
- Prune away the small, thin, wispy branches. These will never end up as strong, healthy growth, so they might as well go!
- Take off branches that are rubbing against the main stem of the plant, as they can cause it to weaken.
- Remove any branches that are over an inch thick. This will not only help keep your plant in check, but it can also help to encourage new blooms.
- If your weigela is huge, leggy and out of control, with very few flowers, you should prune it hard, right back to the ground, to reset it and start again.
Here is another step by step guide, with pictures, showing the best way to cut back your weigela.
When To Prune Weigela?
The best (some say the only) time to prune weigela is in the late part of spring, after the flowers have completely finished.
This plant tends to bloom on new growth, so pruning it back after flowering will ensure new flowers the following year.
You should not expect any new blooms on stems that have been trimmed back hard, but you will definitely see them the following year.
If you give it a good hair cut right after the flowers are spent, this will not only keep your bush in check, but can also help the flowers to come back in force next year!
It is best to prune your weigela right after the flowering season has finished, to remove the spent growth and encourage new growth.
Pick a nice warm sunny day, prune in the morning, then give your weigela a good drink to support it through the shock.
It is a hardy plant, and it will likely barely even notice that you have cut it, but will come back even stronger than before.
Can Weigela Be Cut Back Hard?
Although it is not recommended to prune weigela super hard every year, you can give it a really hard pruning once in a while.
If your shrub is getting out of control and leggy, pruning it back hard is what is recommended.
Taking your weigela back to near the soil line may seem a little drastic, but it will really help your shrub to bounce back!
Weigela flowers will not show up that same year, but the plant itself will come right back with blooms the following year.
If your weigela has been damaged by pests or disease, cutting it back hard may be the only way to save it.
Remove each and every damaged or sick stem that you can see, so that any infection will not spread.
Pruning your weigela every year after it has flowered is the best way to ensure new flowering growth the following year, plus it will help the plant to remove the old growth so it can concentrate on the new.
Does Weigela Bloom On Old Wood?
Some plants only flower on new growth, while others will only bloom on old wood. Weigela is a combination of the two!
These shrubs tend to bloom on growth that is a year old, so pruning it will help it to flower well the following year.
Pruning your weigela right after it has flowered is the best way to encourage a good crop of flowers in the next growing season.
Try to ensure that you only cut the stems that have flowered that year, so that you will get lots of lovely new flowers the following year.
Some older weigela may end up not flowering much, because they haven’t been pruned or maintained.
Giving this type of bush a good trimming will help to encourage new flowering growth, so one way to encourage flowers is to give it a good haircut.
If you have to prune your weigela back really hard, you shouldn’t expect flowers that same year.
Don’t panic though – this plant is very forgiving, and it will bounce back as good as new, even if you have to cut it back right to ground level.
Here’s a video showing you the pruning of a weigela, and explaining how and why to prune when it is recommended:
Pruning your shrubs is often a good idea – it can encourage new growth, and also helps to keep the bush in shape.
Knowing the best way to prune weigela is the best way to keep it healthy and happy – and to ensure that it still fits in your garden!