The Q&A Archives: Thinning Variegated Dwarf Weigela

Question: Variegated Dwarf Weigela: We have two. They were planted in 1992. They're now 5' and 7' tall by 5-6 wide but over the past 2 years they've begun losing leaves continually. They still bloom but not as prolific as they once were. Would like to find out what to do to fill them out again? Thank you

Answer: Weigela tends to get rangy unless pruned annually. Some of the oldest stems eventually stop producing leaves and the shrubs begin to look sparse and bare at the bottom. There are two ways for you to rehabilitate your shrubs; cut everything back about halfway after blooming is finished. This will encourage the growth of healthy new stems which will flower next spring. Do this every other year and the plant will renew itself every other summer. A more labor intensive way of rehabilitating your weigela is to cut back the stems that have bloomed this year, leaving only one or two side shoots on each stem. Cut some of the oldest stems to the ground, and thin out some of the newest suckers.

Best wishes with your garden!

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