The Q&A Archives: Pruning Weigela Coraeensis 'Moncor'

Question: I planted several Pink-a-Boo Weigelas 5 weeks ago (not rated for zone 5 but my sources tell me they are being grown successfully
here) and so far they have put on at least a foot of growth in
one or two strong leaders per plant but very little elsewhere.
I certainly wouldn't expect much growth at all in such a short time
but I am wondering if I should cut those rapidly growing shoots
anyway to let the rest of the plant catch up or let it go for now
until they are a little more mature.

Answer: Generally speaking a new shrub would not need much if any pruning for the first few years. If the taller shoots look awful however you could trim them back a bit. (Weigela tends to have a somewhat gangly form naturally, but I would also expect it to fill in during the next year or two.) Midsummer is the latest you would want to do any pruning however. Late season pruning can stimulate excess growth which will not have time to harden before the cold weather sets in, consequently increasing the chances of winter damage. If you feel you need to do more shaping, next spring would be the better time to do it, right after they bloom. Reach deep inside the plant to cut out the offenders, so not just shear them off. Also, next spring as soon as the plant leafs out you can remove any winter damaged stems. Since hardiness definitely is an issue, make sure to mulch heavily in late fall and if they are in a windy spot you might also provide a windbreak for them at least the first few years while they are becoming established. Good luck with your Peekaboos!

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