How to Prune Variegated Weigela


Variegated weigela (Weigela florida 'Variegata') should be pruned to keep its appearance neat. This shrub reaches 4 to 6 feet in height and spread. Its pale green leaves display white-tipped edges. During the spring, variegated weigela displays white and pink flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Wait to prune variegated weigela until late spring, once the blossoms end.

Step 1

Check your weigela for signs of damaged or dead branches, which need to be removed for the health of the plant. Damaged branches appear physically marred or bent, while dead branches feel light.

Step 2

Mix a 1:10 solution of bleach and water in a bucket. Dip your anvil pruners in the bleach. Trim away dead or damaged growth at the base. In between cuts, dip your pruners back into the bleach solution to avoid spreading any bacteria. When you've removed all dead wood, throw away the bleach situation.

Step 3

Head back the variegated weigela if it's grown too tall. Trim back the branches by several inches, cutting each branch back individually. Make the cut at an angle rather than straight-on, so that water will fall off the branch and not pool on it.

Step 4

Thin out old woody branches to open up the interior of the shrub. Cut off branches at their base with your anvil pruners. Remove up to a third of the old growth.

Step 5

Prune away branches that rub up on other branches, since this creates stress. Cut away the weaker of the two branches.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves (optional)
  • Anvil pruners
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Bucket


  • Bluegrass Gardens: Variegated Weigela
  • Penn Live: Pruning Out-of-Control Weigela
  • WSU Whatcom County Extension: Weigela
Keywords: variegated weigela, weigela plant care, prune shrubs

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.