Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’ update

It has been a while since I chatted you all up about my Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’ shrubs. Back in 2011, I did a little experimental pruning with my three different W&R shrubs to see which of the three options (severe prune, selective prune and no prune) panned out the best. At the time, I concluded (albeit with scant evidence) that some sort of pruning was the way to go for the best foliage display and best overall shape.

Fast forward to 2016 and I’ve lost 2 of the 3 shrubs after moving each of them to a wetter and poorer draining location. Neither was residing in standing water or anything that extreme, but both were not in as dry of a location as the lone standing W&R. So point #1, fast draining soil is a must. I’ve got the evidence to back that up.

The last living ‘Wine and Roses’ Weigela was the one that was originally “selectively pruned” and it did look great for 2-3 years after that. However, in the years since, the shrub has become “twiggy” (the scientific term) as I haven’t touched it since 2011. Here she is current day:


Uninspiring, even in full bloom.

Upon closer inspection, you can see the bare branches which collectively, give it the current mediocre look.

weigela 3


weigela 2


weigela 4

I still really enjoy this shrub as a foliage first plant and a great background to a variety of perennials, especially when the purple coneflowers are in full bloom. With that in mind, I’m going to prune this shrub selectively once again, probably within the next week or so after it has put out its bloom to ensure I do not cut off next year’s flowers. It looks like this will be an every 2-3 year job based on current evidence.

More to come.



5 thoughts on “Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’ update

  1. Kristin

    I have the opposite problem with a weigela that has never been pruned. Its now ready to eat the neighbours if they walk by. Mine is an old fashioned weigela and tops at 12′ high and wide. I read to take a few of the oldest stems out at ground level to thin the shrub. I love how they bloom twice a year. We used the same technique with a large forsythia and its fine. I tend to trim the weigela back each summer but its never enough.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Kristin – this one has stayed in bounds just looking kind of spent. Are you going to prune yours? Would love to see the results. I’m also contemplating a complete rejuvenation but that would leave a big hole for a few years. Such difficult choices, ha.

  2. michaele anderson

    I had a ‘Wine and Roses’ and I think I had it growing in too much shade. I recognize that shabby look except mine was even more sad looking. I suppose I should have moved it to a sunnier location but I bailed on it completely. Sometimes I get in my imperial “off with their heads” mode and just want what seems to be a failure gone. I do have a variegated leaf weigela that is quite tall and has long arching branches…kind of like an old fashioned forsythia. It seems to have escaped my displeasure.

  3. Janis

    In 2011 after reading your post I decided to aggressively prune 3 “Wine and Roses” that had been growing for several years. Worked well so I do it every 2-3 years. They look great due to your influence! So your fame has spread to Vancouver, Canada.
    Enjoy all your musings.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Janis – you are too kind. How aggressively do you prune every 2-3 years? Any pics? Would love to see the results and post them here. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

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