The Q&A Archives: Dark Horse Wiegela Is Bare At This Time Of The Year

Question: We bought 4 Monrovia Dark Horse Weigela in May of 2003. They all did really well through the summer and lost their leaves for the winter. At this time of the year, the plants are still bare and I don't see any blooms. Because the specs on this plant say this it blooms in the spring, I'm concered because the first day of spring is only 2 weeks away. Is this normal?

My other question is how do you prune this plant and is it too late this year to prune it?

Answer: It may be too early in the season to be worried about your Weigela. Plants take their cue from the weather and many won't produce leaves until they've experience a few weeks of 50 plus degree weather. Weigela is no different - they won't wake up from their winter's nap until both the soil and the air temperatures warm up a bit. As soon as they develop leaves, they'll burst into bloom. That can be anytime between April and late May in western Washington.

It's best to prune Weigela immediately after it has finished blooming. If you prune it now, you'll be cutting off this spring's flowers. Wait until after it has finished flowering and then cut back the entire plant about halfway. This will encourage a dense, bushy growth habit and the shrub will produce lots of side shoots, which will flower the following spring.

Best wishes with your Weigela!

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