Mistakes to Avoid when Growing a Weigela

Weigela is a very forgiving plant that is generally easy to care for all year round. However, even the most carefree plants need some degree of attention, especially when initially planting or transplanting. Below are some basic tips and things to avoid as you grow a weigela.

Avoid Poor Locations

There are 3 things to avoid when choosing a location in which to plant.

  • Shady areas
  • Pooling water
  • Overcrowding

While some shade won’t necessarily harm your weigela, it will bloom more and with better color if it receives full sun every day. Likewise, weigela can adapt to just about any soil type, but it needs soil that is well-draining. If possible, choose a location that is slightly elevated.

Full-grown weigela plants will vary in size depending on type, but most will grow up to 6 or even 8 feet tall, and equally as wide. When planting your weigela, give it plenty of room to expand. This is especially true if you are creating a wind or privacy barrier. Plant a minimum of 4 feet away from any foundations to protect the roots.

Avoid Planting Too Deep

It is important to not plant the root ball of the weigela too deep. You’ll want to dig your hole about 2 or 3 times as wide as the root ball, but only just as deep. That way, the top of the root ball is roughly even with the top of the soil. Any deeper than this will cause problems, especially with watering.

Avoid Over Pruning

If you are used to dealing with other plants that need regular pruning each year, it is easy to accidentally over prune your weigela. Pruning times are in the spring after flowering, and you shouldn’t remove more than one third of the oldest wood. However, you may opt to prune additional tips, which can make the weigela bloom more often. You should also make a point of always pruning away dead wood from your weigela.

Early Care

Many newcomers to growing weigela make the mistake of leaving it too much on its own for growing when initially planted or transplanted. While it is largely self-sufficient once established, it shouldn’t be ignored for at least the first few seasons. Regular watering is very important, as it likes the ground to stay moist. Also, keep two or three inches of mulch down, especially in the first year or so. This will not only help keep the soil moist, but will help prevent growth of weeds around your weigela. It is a good idea to continue mulching every year, but this is only crucial in the first couple of seasons.

If you are new to gardening, some of these tips may seem a little daunting, but as mentioned before, weigela is a very forgiving plant. You can make mistakes in most of these areas (except for maybe bad planting location) and your weigela is likely to recover if you correct yourself in a timely manner.