A hybrid selection of the weigela shrub, 'Minuet' attains a compact but slightly spreading mature form, growing about 30 inches tall and 4 feet wide. The bronze-green leaves make an attractive backdrop to the bell-shaped, deep violet-pink flowers with yellow throats that appear in late spring and early summer. This winter deciduous plant is best grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 7.
Plant 'Minuet' where it will receive at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. More exposure to sun, such as 6 to 8 hours daily is ideal, as it will encourage uniform growth and branch development as well as produce the greatest amount of flowers. Abundant light also keeps the bronze-purplish tones in the leaves; too little light causes the leaves to turn plain green.
Weigela shrubs need a fertile soil that is moist but well-draining after rains and irrigation. Any soil rich in organic matter works well; sandy or heavy clay soils need to be amended with compost or manure to improve its texture and drainage prior to planting the 'Minuet' weigela. Use of a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch over the shrub's root zone will help retain soil moisture, reduce weed competition and provide trace nutrients as it decomposes over the growing season. Decayed mulch improves overall soil quality in the garden.
After planting, water the 'Minuet' weigela daily with 1 inch of water for the first week; gradually taper off watering to every other day for the next 2 weeks and then once a week for the first 3 months. If the overall weather regime is hot and dry, consider monitoring the soil moisture around the shrub more closely to ensure that the soil never dries out but remains evenly moist. Avoid creating a soil that is soggy and waterlogged. Once the shrub is well established, after 3 to 6 months, water only when the top inch of soil under the mulch layer is dry to the touch. Often natural rainfall will sustain this shrub.
The need for fertilizing the 'Minuet' weigela is greatly diminished if it was first planted in a fertile garden soil and organic mulch is continually applied and maintained at a depth of 3 to 4 inches. To boost growth rate, consider applying a general landscape fertilizer that is in a slow-release granular formula, such as 10-10-10, in mid-spring. Consult product label recommendations for dosage, since sandy soils may need more frequent applications than those made of clay or loam.
'Minuet' is a small-size weigela variety especially well suited for mixed shrub borders and foundation bed plantings. Prune away damaged or diseased branches any time you see them. Once the mature size of this shrub is reached, trim back branch tips after the flowering season in early summer. Make the pruning cuts so as to reduce the overall length of branches by one fourth to one third. Allow the regrowth to mature the rest of the growing season and then produce flowers the next late spring. After flowering, again make the pruning cuts that reduce the branches by no more than one third their original length.