Known as a privacy hedge and very popular with hobby gardeners because of its low-maintenance nature, the weigela has firmly established itself in Germany’s gardens. The plant, which belongs to the honeysuckle family, shows its diversity in around 12 species and up to two hundred cultivars, some of which can reach up to three meters in height and display impressive bell-shaped flowers. The colors of the flowers vary from light pink to dark pink or pale yellow. In addition to being kept as a hedge, certain varieties can also be planted in the front yard as a pretty flowering plant. The weigela is also suitable as a balcony plant.

Ideal location for the hedge plant

The Weigela is best planted in a spot that enjoys full sun. Only if the plant is supplied with sufficient sunlight can it form numerous flowers. However, some varieties also thrive in partial shade. In this location, however, it is to be expected that the plant will not show any lush flowers. A nutritious substrate should be chosen as the soil for the weigela, but it must not be too dry. When planting, you need to leave plenty of space between the seedlings, which can vary depending on the variety. Planted optimally, the distance corresponds to half the growth width. When planting, you also have to take into account that the weigela expands every year and grows up to 50cm a year. During longer periods of drought, the weigela must be watered.

The optimal location of the weigela at a glance:

  • warm, full sun place
  • nutritious substrate that must not be too dry and must be water-permeable
  • Choose a location with enough space for the plant to develop
  • Irrigation necessary during long dry periods

Growing and Propagating the Weigela

The propagation of the weigela is quite easy if the necessary steps are followed. Shoot cuttings are particularly suitable for this. In late spring, an approximately one-year-old shoot is cut off about ten centimeters above the ground. Then the shoot is divided into small pieces, which should be about twenty centimeters. Now the soft shoot tip can be removed. This is cut off directly above two buds, whereby care should be taken to ensure a straight cut.

Now the stick can be prepared. To do this, the small sticks are cut off at an angle at the lower end, also at the height below two buds. The wood is divided up to the lower end of the branch. A special planting ditch can then be created for the sticks. In order to prepare the soil optimally, it should be sufficiently loosened in a first step. The planting trench is then created with the help of the spade by piercing it and moving it back and forth evenly. This creates a small ditch into which the sticks can be entered. With the slanted end towards the ground, the sticks are then inserted up to two thirds into the ground. The sticks should be inserted so deep that only the top buds stick out.

If the Weigela is to be planted in very cold areas, the cuttings can be cut in the fall and overwintered in a box filled with moist sand. Planting takes place the following spring.

If cuttings are to be bought, container goods are to be preferred in any case. Planting the plant works best with varieties that are planted from October to March when temperatures are mild. Roots should never be bought during the summer months; especially in colder areas, such cuttings tend not to take root sufficiently until fall.

watering and fertilizing

  • Watering the plant during the summer months
  • Supply with water after two days of drying
  • high-potassium and nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizers in spring at 25-day intervals
  • organic fertilizers towards the end of winter

cutting and mulching

The weigela should be cut and mulched at regular intervals. Caring for the plant begins in spring. During this period, young plants are best planted, which are then mulched. The shoot cuttings are already cut in late spring. These take root quickly in the cold frame. In summer, weigela are also cut and, if necessary, watered. To do this, the older branches are removed after flowering, just above the ground. The courageous pruning causes a strong formation of buds. Longer periods of drought must be bridged with targeted irrigation. During the fall months, additional mulching is helpful during the first few years of the weigela’s life. This process works best with a thick layer of foliage, applied to the root area of ​​the plant. There are a few things to consider when cutting the weigela. The right time is important:

  • after the start of sprouting, the beginnings of the flowers are cut away
  • These approaches are already available in autumn and will be cut away
  • Radical pruning is best done in winter after leaf fall

Depending on individual ideas, the plant can be cut differently. If you want to achieve compact growth or a second flowering in summer, you should prune the faded branches after flowering so that you achieve the desired overall shape. If, on the other hand, only a thinning is to be achieved, only shoots that are very close to each other or that are already very old are separated. A particularly loose growth that hangs nicely can be achieved if you cut off the shoots directly at the base. When cutting the weigela, you should be careful not to leave any stubs. If the shoots are only slightly shortened, numerous new shoots will also form at the top, but these should always be thinned out. If the weigela is used as a hedge, a conventional topiary is sufficient.

Sometimes it may be necessary to make a radical pruning of the plant. As a rule, this is only done when the plant is already very old and already shows numerous bare spots and neglect. The radical cut then serves to rejuvenate the weigela. When doing a radical cut, certain aspects should be considered:

  • heavy pruning is required and flowering is still desired, then you should resort to a pruning combination
  • After the leaves have fallen, cut off only the very thick and old branches, just above the ground
  • Cut the remaining shoots into shape after flowering
  • carry out this procedure for a few years until the plant is rebuilt

The weigela as a balcony plant

Certain varieties of weigela are suitable for growing on the balcony or terrace. This includes, for example, the “Nana Variegeta” variety, which must be counted among the weigela species that remain small. With such varieties, year-round cultivation in tubs or pots is possible. Like the hedge variant, the potted plant thrives in sunny or partially shaded locations. If the plant is placed in places that are too dark, sparse growth can be expected. The culture takes place in special tub plant or potting soil, which should dry before watering, but should never dry out. Watering is moderate; Waterlogging can lead to root rot, while prolonged drought can result in bud shedding. Long-term fertilizers are suitable as fertilizers, for example in the form of granules, sticks or beads.


The weigela is very robust and can be left in a bucket or pot on the balcony all year round. However, care must be taken during the winter to protect the plant from rain. Rain-sheltered locations ensure better soil moisture control; In addition, the risk of dried-up branches in the event of a frost can be minimized in this way.

ways of use

Since the Weigelia are quite undemanding and easy to care for, they can be easily integrated into mixed natural hedges. The plant is particularly decorative in combination with shrubs that bloom at the same time. It then unfolds a very lush bloom. The Weigela looks great in early summer as a splash of color between the different shrubs that only flower in late summer. Low varieties can be used in the front yard, where they are a real eye-catcher.

Pests – fight effectively

Especially weigela, which grow in dry locations, are sometimes affected by pests. Aphid infestation is particularly common. The parasites destroy the leaves by sucking them. As a result, the leaves curl up and begin to stun. Weigela shoots are not immune to aphids either. In order to effectively ward off the pests, consistent watering of the plant has proven its worth; a powerful jet with the hose removes the pests from the leaves. Alternatively, special solutions for spraying onto the plant have proven to be helpful in the fight against the pests, such as soft soap and alcohol solutions.

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