Tips for Pruning Weigela Bushes

By Mark Cook , last updated January 21, 2012

Weigelas are flowering shrubs that are known for their widespread abundant blooms which require some pruning. Weigelas add flair and pizzazz to any garden, with splashes of vibrant color that range from light pink to dark red. These shrubs also are excellent garden additions as they require minimal care and can survive for many years. The one particular aspect of weigela care that requires special attention is pruning. These shrubs can look wild and messy of not pruned back regularly and properly. If you take the time to carefully trim your weigelas, you will be rewarded with beautiful, lush blooms and long-lasting beauty. If you follow these guidelines, you will have a lush weigela bush for a long time to come.

When to Prune

You want to make sure you prune your weigela at the right time. If you prune too early or late, you may interfere with the budding process, causing fewer blooms and hurting the plant’s overall health. It is generally best to prune in mid-summer right after their blooms begin to fade; pruning this early in the year will allow enough time for the re-budding process to occur. Buds grow on new wood, and these shrubs need this extended period of time to develop new wood and flowers for the following spring.

How to Prune

Many people prune their weigela to control the plant’s size. While weigelas generally respond to well to heavy trimming, make sure to not cut off more than 1/3rd of a branch with any cut. When cutting, use a hand trimmer for best results and try and make your cuts on an upward diagonal. Also, this plant looks best when it is composed of mostly new wood so you should cut off any older branches from year to year. You can detect which branches are older by their thickness; any branch that is more than 1 ½ inches thick should be removed.

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