Pruning a Wine & Roses Weigela

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mark_the_psycho, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. mark_the_psycho

    mark_the_psycho LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213


    I want to trim these so that with this year's new growth they are the same height as they are in the pic, how I do this w/o screwing up the plant?
  2. MassSteelerfan

    MassSteelerfan LawnSite Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 45

    I would trim back approx 1 foot, with a set of hand prunners. Do not use sheers, it will teer at the branch instead of clean cut, which will leave shrub prone to disease. Other than that I don't see any problem. I would probably wait intil mid- march to do, just to be safe. The first year you might not get as many flowers.
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720


    I do this kind of thing to everything in our own landscape; I don't use hedge shears on anything except for the boxwood, just to 'tip back' the new growth to the body of the exterior.

    Now that the leaves are off the weigela you can see what you're doing...

    Prune down the height some with 'felcos' or any other good pruner.
    Of course, make the cuts correctly just as you're pruning a tree, and vary the cutting heights ever so slightly so that the hedge doesn't have the 'butchered' look that hedge shears offer them.

    Then look at the plant from the side and examine the branching as it rises toward the top of the hedges' canopy.
    Reach in and prune out branches that cross and rub each other; or are otherwise too thick in any section. Be careful not to 'over-prune' in any section as water-sprouting will certainly result from that next year.

    Thining out the interior manually like this, at least every other year or so, will rejuvenate woodys to allow more sunlight and air movement inside the plant.
    And the result will be a hedge that will 'perpetuate' itself by putting out NEW GROWTH from below !


    It's funny.....when you travel to Europe, England especially, you see some hedges, evergreen AND deciduous, often times that are been there for hundreds of years!
    I'll betcha next to none of them ever met anyone with a hedge shear!!
  4. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Oh yeah...I forgot to add...MassSteelerfan is right about the flowering.

    Almost without exception you've got to do this type of pruning right after that specific plant's bloom is finished for the season, in order for the buds to have plenty of time to 'set up'.
    Summer blooming plants...including viburnum, hydrangea and the weigelas like you have would be done in early to mid fall, ideally, giving them them the maximum time possible to recoup and set flower buds that remaining fall and the next spring.
    Lilac, forsythia.....all the spring bloomers would be done around June, ideally.

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