How to Prune Weigela

Weigela require pruning to control their size. This isn’t necessary of all weigela shrubs–only those you desire to keep a uniform appearance. Being that weigela is a flowering shrub, however, you must use care not to prune away the buds that produce next year’s flowers. Pruning before the spring bloom removes any prospective blooms, but waiting too late in the fall means the buds have already formed. Timing is more important than technique if you want to keep your weigela shrubs attractive and flowering.

Inspect the plant in early spring before the flowers open. Prune off all dead and broken branches that didn’t survive winter. Use sharp pruning shears. Trim right above the location of the leaf bud to encourage lateral branching.

Wait until the shrub stops producing new flowers before pruning it back. Avoid waiting much longer than that, as new buds begin appearing in late summer.

Trim back each branch no more than one-third of its length. Cut each branch at a 45-degree angle with your pruning shears, making sure to leave some live leaves on each branch.

Thin out areas that have become too dense. Cut off branches in the cluster with the least amount of leaves all the way to the main stem.

Complete pruning by shaping the plant evenly. Trim the outer branches to similar lengths to give the weigela a full, symmetrical appearance.

Plant Search

Red Prince Weigela flowers

Red Prince Weigela flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Red Prince Weigela in bloom

Red Prince Weigela in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 6 feet

Spread: 6 feet


Hardiness Zone: 3b


An outstanding spring-flowering shrub, absolutely smothered in bright red trumpet-shaped flowers that attract hummingbirds like magnets; settles into the background the rest of the year, somewhat coarse and open in habit, good for general garden use

Ornamental Features

Red Prince Weigela is draped in stunning clusters of red trumpet-shaped flowers along the branches from late spring to mid summer. It has forest green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Red Prince Weigela is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a shapely form and gracefully arching branches. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season’s flowers. It is a good choice for attracting hummingbirds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Red Prince Weigela is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Red Prince Weigela will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Red Prince Weigela

Planting & Care for Weigela Flowering Shrubs


  • Bushy shrubs bearing trumpet-shaped blooms.
  • Hardy to -13 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It’s extremely reliable and hardy.
  • Most varieties flower best if planted in full sun.
  • Shield them from strong wind, too, which can damage flowers and “burn” soft, new leaves.
  • Encourage vigorous growth by setting plants in well-drained soil, including chalk, enriched with plenty of well-decayed manure.
  • Keep bushes young and packed with blooms by removing from the base one in three of the oldest flowering stems when blooms turn fade.
  • Plant March – November
  • Prune in July.

Opening Plant Material

  • Bare Root – Cut open the bundle (top and roots are tied) and separate all the plants. Soak roots in buckets of water until planted. Each plant type will be labeled separately for identification. Do not expose the roots to sun. They should never dry out. Keep roots covered. All bare-root plants must be trimmed when planted.
  • Containers – Completely saturate all container plants by putting in a larger container of water until stops bubbling, then remove the plant from the container.

Planting Bare Root

  • Plant Bare root in fall. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 6″ wider and the same depth as the root mass. The crown or graft of the plant should be slightly higher than ground level where it was grown at the nursery.
  • Trim off the broken roots and branches.
  • Place fertilizer packets in hole (if purchased). Do not place other fertilizers in the planting hole. *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Spread the roots and fill halfway with soil, then water until soil settles completely saturating the soil and planting pit.
  • Re-adjust plant and fill the hole with the rest of the soil.
  • Back fill the balance of the soil and water well.
  • See our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” for illustrations on planting.

Planting containers

  • Plant March – November
  • Dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container and 6″ or more wider on the sides.
  • Slide plant from pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • With shovel or knife trim bottom 2″ off of the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
  • Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Adjust the plant height so the root crown is slightly higher than the ground.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer
  • Back-fill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.
  • Water frequently when newly planted.

Pruning – After Planting

  • Bare Root – Prune ALL bare root plants to reduce transplant shock and ensure success. Pruning should occur either before or as soon after planting as possible. All pruning should be done with a sharp pruning shears.
  • Thin ⅓ to ½ shrub by removing large branches. Top back some branches to improve general shape. Cut the shrub back to at least ½ its original size to promote new growth from the base. See illustrations in our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” to help with this process.
  • Containers – Although it is not essential for container plants to be pruned after planting, a light pruning to remove any broken branches during shipment and improve shape will help the looks of your new planting.

Pruning – Through-out the Season

  • Keep bushes young and packed with blooms by removing from the base one in three of the oldest flowering stems when blooms turn fade.
  • Prune in July.

Watering – After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.

Watering – Through-out the Season

  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.

Go to our “Plant Features & Video Tab” for more information on container plants and how to plant them.

Trimming Weigela – Tips For Pruning Weigela Bushes

Weigela is an excellent spring-blooming shrub that can add flair and color to your spring garden. Pruning weigelas helps keep them looking healthy and beautiful. But it can be a little confusing when trying to figure out how and when to trim weigela shrubs. Keep reading to learn more about how to prune weigela shrubs.

When to Trim Weigela

It is best to prune weigela shrubs in the late spring after they have finished blooming. Trimming weigela bushes right after they bloom will keep you from inadvertently pruning off next year’s flowers.

This is because weigela bloom on wood that it is a year old. The wood that grows this year will bloom next year. Pruning weigelas after blooming means that you will pruning before the blooming wood has a chance to grow.

Trimming Weigela to Control Size

It is common to prune weigela bushes in order to keep them a certain size. With this method of pruning weigela bushes, get a mental picture of how you would like the weigela to look like when you are done. Then, you can trim off branches as needed to create that shape.

You can cut back any one branch of the weigela by one-third each season if you are looking to control size. Also, make sure that when you prune weigela branches that you cut them back to a point where two branches meet.

When trimming weigelas, you can use either hand trimmers or hedge clippers. But, be aware that weigelas trimmed with hedge clippers will not be as full as those that are hand pruned.

Pruning Weigelas for Rejuvenation

Weigelas look best if they are mostly made up of young wood. This means that it is a good idea to remove old wood every few years. This process is called rejuvenation. If you are pruning weigela bushes for rejuvenation, find the branches of the bush that are old and woody. Typically, you are looking for branches 1 ½ inches thick or bigger. Trim these older branches out from their base on the weigela plant.

When doing rejuvenation, do not trim more than one-third of the branches out from the bush. If the weigela bush is made up of more than one-third of these older, thicker branches, then only remove one-third of the weigela shrub and plan on repeating the process next year.

How to Prune Weigela Shrubs for Renovation

Occasionally, you may come across a weigela bush that has not been cared for or pruned and is in poor shape. This will be a weigela that is made up almost entirely of branches that are more than 1 inch thick and has very little blooms in the spring. You may need to take drastic measures to bring the plant back. In this case, you can try trimming the weigela back to the ground. Remove all branches to about 4 inches above the soil line.

If you do this kind of drastic pruning, it may take the weigela a year before it starts to bloom again.

Weigela ‘Newport Red’ (Weigela ‘Newport Red’)

Botanical name

Weigela ‘Newport Red’

Other names

Weigela ‘Newport Red’, Weigela ‘Vanicek’


Weigela Weigela

Variety or Cultivar

‘Newport Red’ _ ‘Newport Red’ is a vigorous, upright to spreading, deciduous shrub with oval to elliptic, mid-green leaves and, in late spring and early summer, bell- to funnel-shaped, crimson flowers with yellow anthers.




Spreading, Upright

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Crimson in Spring; Crimson in Summer

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Mid-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Leaf and bud eelworms


Generally disease-free.

General care


Responds well to hard pruning.

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Semi-hardwood cuttings, Softwood cuttings

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Where to grow

Weigela ‘Newport Red’ (Weigela ‘Newport Red’) will reach a height of 2.4m and a spread of 1.8m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, City, Cottage/Informal, Low Maintenance, Wildlife


Prefer slightly acid soil but will easily tolerate most moist but well-drained fertile soil in sun or part shade. Will tolerate full shade.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral


Partial Shade, Full Shade, Full Sun


North, South, East, West


Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5

Defra’s Risk register #1

Plant name

Weigela ‘Newport Red’ (Weigela ‘Newport Red’)

Common pest name

Cherry rasp leaf (in part) (European); Gooseberry leaf distortion; Lloyd George raspberry yellow blotch disease; Pfeffinger disease of cherry; Redcurrant ringspot; Ringspot diseases of raspberry; strawberry and flowering currant; RRSV; Spoon leaf of redcurrant (Netherlands)

Scientific pest name

Raspberry ringspot virus


Virus or Viroid

Current status in UK

Present (Limited)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

General biosecurity comments

Pest present in the UK; risk of spread is mitigated by industry certification scheme.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here

Suspected outbreak?

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit:

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