How to Care for a Weigela Variegated Shrub

Overview

Weigela variegated shrubs are old-fashioned, easy-to-grow flowering plants that produces showy spring flowers and attractive variegated foliage. Funnel-shaped, pale pink blooms appear in early spring and leaves are edged with cream-colored variegation. Weigela variegata can grow to 4 feet tall and makes a wonderful display shrub for the home garden. Although unattractive in fall and winter, the shrub is a prolific bloomer throughout spring.

Step 1

Select a planting location that receives full sun to partial shade. Although they tolerate partial shade, weigela variegated shrubs will flower more heavily in full sun and foliage will be more attractive. Ensure the area has well-drained, fertile soil. Plant bare-root shrubs in late winter before new growth begins, or plant container-grown shrubs in spring or early summer. Space plants 3 to 6 feet apart.

Step 2

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of weigela variegated shrub plants to protect the roots, particularly if planting in winter. If planted during other times of the year, mulching can wait until late fall or early winter. Use shredded bark mulch for the best results.

Step 3

Water weigela variegated shrub only during extended dry periods or in drought-like conditions. Otherwise, there is no need to provide supplemental watering. Soak the soil to a depth of 6 inches once per week when there has been no rainfall for three weeks or more, and cease watering when the rains return.

Step 4

Feed weigela variegated shrubs once every 2 to 3 years with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer. Apply in spring according to the manufacturer's directions for proper dosage. Water thoroughly both before and after application to prevent root burn and to evenly distribute nutrients.

Step 5

Use pruning shears to cut back a third of the oldest wood almost to the ground after flowering has ended in spring. This will promote new growth, more blooms and attractive foliage with more distinct variegation. Remove any dead wood in late winter before new growth begins, and cut back shoots that bear spent flowers immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • Growing Weigelas in the Home Garden
  • Old-Fashioned Weigela
  • Book: Alabama & Mississippi Gardener's Guide; Felder Rushing, Jennifer Greer; 2005
Keywords: weigela, shrub, variegated

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.