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I have a medium sized Weigela bush in my garden. Can anyone advise me on how best to prune it, when to prune it and how often?

Weigela in bloom

There is lots of new green growth on the tips of the stems that flowered this year. Does the plant flower from there next year?

Also, this picture shows the main "trunk" (the thicker upright branches) of the bush. Do I prune back to that or do I also prune that part?

Weigela in bloom closeup

The bush is quite old and I've never really done anything with it so I'd appreciate any advice you can offer!

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would be very happy to have a weigela that looks that good! They bloom on wood that is one year old. Here are some general guidelines:

  • prune after flowering is finished
  • new stems are more vigorous than older growth so they should be encouraged by removing up to one third of the old growth once a year. For this plant that would mean cutting one of the thick woody stems this year at the base. Use a saw or a pair of loppers to get a clean cut.
  • if you wish to reduce the size of the plant overall you can prune branches back by one third. Prune by hand, do not use a hedge trimmer. Do not cut a branch to leave a stub, cut back to where it divides.
  • the usual shrub maintenance of top dressing with compost, removing competing weeds and pruning other shrubs and trees to maintain the amount of light it gets are also good practices.

Edit: yes, where you prune an existing branch back to reduce the size of the plant you will reduce the amount of flower. It looks like you have enough room for a full size plant so I would just practice removing up to one third of the old growth each year. If you do this every year you will end up with more flowers in a few years as the new growth comes in.

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This is exactly the advice I was after, thanks. If I prune the bush back i.e. wood/branches that flowered this year, is it likely not to flower next year? – Danny Jun 16 '12 at 6:33

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