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How to Care for a Weigela Bush

By Barbara Raskauskas ; Updated September 21, 2017
A sharp pair of hand pruners can quickly and easily cut stems of the weigela bush.

Weigela (Weigela florida), also known as old-fashioned weigela, is a deciduous shrub cold hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 8. Capable of reaching a height and width of 6 to 10 feet, weigela prefers a well-drained location in full sun, though it can tolerate some shade. The trumpet-shaped blooms of weigela may be white or shades of pink and appear in late spring. Some varieties of weigela have interesting foliage, like ‘Variegata’ whose leaves have cream-colored borders. Proper care of a weigela bush can keep it full and healthy.

Water every seven to 10 days after planting and into early autumn if there is no rainfall. A 1-gallon container weigela will need about 2 buckets full of water, poured slowly to reach the roots.

Spread about 1/2 to 1 inch of organic matter, like compost or leaf mold, around the base of the shrub and outward to the drip line.

Apply 2 to 4 inches of mulch, like pine bark chips, around the base of the weigela bush to help retain moisture and block weed development. The mulch can be applied over the organic matter or instead of the organic matter. Replenish the mulch annually if needed.

Sprinkle a slow-release granular fertilizer in late winter or early spring. Choose a commercial product specifically designed for flowering shrubs.

Prune after the blooms have faded in late spring or early summer to shape and thin the weigela bush. Remove broken or dead wood, which is brittle and shows no sign of new growth. If two branches cross one another, cut out the weaker branch on an angle close to a main stem or even to the ground. Stems that protrude outside the shape of the weigela bush can be cut back. Stems growing straight up from roots (suckers) should be cut to the ground. Weigela pruned after spring blooming may bloom a second time on the current year’s growth.


Things You Will Need

  • Mulch
  • Hand pruner
  • Organic matter
  • Fertilizer


  • Weigela that has not been pruned in several years can get leggy, showing more stems than blooms. When that happens, after blooming, cut as much as one-third of the old cane to the ground. Cut the tops of the remaining stems back one-third.
  • Weigela is easy to propagate from cuttings.

About the Author


Barbara Raskauskas's favorite pursuits are home improvement, landscape design, organic gardening and blogging. Her Internet writing appears on SASS Magazine, AT&T and various other websites. Raskauskas is active in the small business she and her husband have owned since 2000 and is a former MS Office instructor.