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How to Care for Weigela in the Winter

By D.C. Winston ; Updated September 21, 2017
Winter frost on shrubs.
Frost on leaves image by Rod Jackson from Fotolia.com

Weigela is a flowering perennial shrub that is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. It is prized for its spring and summer flowers, whose fragrance resembles that of honeysuckle. Commonly planted as hedges, foundation plantings or in beds and borders, weigela is low-maintenance and thrives in sunny sites and moist soil. Preparation for winter will help ensure that the plant emerges in the spring healthy and with minimal damage.

Water your weigela shrub deeply several times in the fall well before the first hard frost to support the roots to withstand winter drought conditions. Water a few times during winter if conditions are dry. Water only on a sunny day, in the mid-morning, when the surface of the soil is warmed. Resume a regular irrigation schedule in the spring after the last hard frost.

Mulch around the base of your weigela with an organic material laid down in at least a 3-inch-thick blanket. Use pine straw, leaf mold or shredded bark to insulate the roots from cold and drought. Reapply a fresh layer each year in the fall as winter approaches.

Prune back any branches that did not make it through the winter, in the spring, after the last hard frost has passed. Cut down to a point of healthy wood or down to the crown of the plant. Use loppers for small-diameter branches and a pruning saw for larger branches.

Pull all of the loose cuttings from the canopy and collect any debris that has accumulated on the soil below, to prevent the disease and insect prone conditions that rotting plant tissues provide. Burn, chip, compost or otherwise discard the cuttings as you prefer.


Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Pruning shears
  • Organic mulch