Weigela Shrubs
Q.

Help with shrubs

Zone 07095 | Bas31879 added on April 27, 2019 | Answered

I have Rose Wine Weigela growing in my front yard. 3 shrubs total. They were pruned incorrectly and now look like this. How can i salvage them?

A.
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MichiganDot
Answered on April 28, 2019

You asked what I meant about 1/3 of the branches removed annually. Consider that more flowers and leaves are on young wood. Pick the oldest looking stems near ground level and remove them. Of course, this also removes upper branches which has the effect of allowing more sunlight to penetrate down the interior of the shrub. If sunlight does not reach areas of a shrub, leaves fall and bloom fail to form. Another general rule is to remove no more than 25-30% of the total leaf surface to avoid stressing the plant. Since you appear to have lots of dead wood, it is most important this year to remove that first. See what the shrub looks like after that is done. If you spot one or two really old stems this year, remove them. Down to the ground. Pruning spurs a shrub to send up new growth. To keep a shrub's natural form, avoid tip pruning to contain size. This results in too many leaves on the periphery which blocks sunlight from reaching further down the shrub. Are those New Jersey tea shrubs next to the weigela? They look very happy!

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Bas31879
Answered on April 28, 2019

Michigandot...
When you say 1/3 of the branches from the ground you mean the low growing foliage?

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MichiganDot
Answered on April 27, 2019

It looks like the weigela are packed in too close to other shrubs. They like full sun to look and bloom their best and the other shrubs are shading the sides. Is re-locating them an option? If not, remove all the dead material. Without leaves it is not helping the plant and is adding to the shade it's in. Fertilize with a general purpose fertilizer and water during dry spells. If it gets enough sunlight, it should recover. Another reason for transplanting is that the bed is too narrow for it to grow naturally. Someone is trimming the branch tips when they encroach on the sidewalk and this distorts the shrub form. As with all flowering shrubs, pruning out 1/3 of the branches to the ground annually keeps the shrub young and vigorous and results in more flowers.

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