My dying weigela

kpalomboMay 23, 2008

I have a french lace and a wine & roses weigela planted next to a hydrangea. The weigelas have bloomed in the spring, except for on the side where the hydrangea is. A few years ago, I put acid in the soil (maybe too much). Could that be the reason why the weigelas a dying only on that side?

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Could be so you might want to wait until the fall and prune back the weigela so you get new branching on the dead side.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 10:23PM
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lovetogarden(z4 NY)

First off, check around the soil area of the plant. Sometimes, heavy rains or frost can heave the roots out of the soil. This happened to me one year with a peegee hydrangea. All you have to do is dig a little around that area, readjust the plant, put more soil around the root area and place some rocks around the area in a circle to help retain the soil. Next, I would do a soil test. The kit is inexpensive (a few dollars) and sold at most garden or farm centers. Contact your local ones and find out if they carry it first so you don't waste time and gas searching for one. After you do the soil test you can adjust the soil accordingly. Oftentimes gardeners are so impatient to raise or lower the Ph that they try to change it all in one season, which is a very bad idea as it can bind up other minerals in the soil denying plants essential nurtrients.
Then all you really can do is wait. In the meantime cut away all dead growth and after the rest of the weigela blooms prune it as if you are using hedge trimmers, in a nice round ball shape to a central trunk (don't cut into or near the main trunk). After you prune the hedge this way you don't have to do it again for two or three years.
Hopefully, next season it will flower out normally. I have an extensive shrub garden and I use a granular rose fertilizer (the cheap stuff sold at Walmart) that has a high phospherous content, that I broadcast as I walk around the garden in mid-April. That is the only time I fertilize the shrubs, with the exception of my rhododendrons which I fertilize lightly again after they flower with a liquid acid fertilizer.
Finally, for the record, the dwarf weigelas seem to be shortlived and sometimes, for no apparent reason, just die. I've had that happen to me with my wine colored weigela though the ordinary pink varieties are so prolific I have to take the gas powered hedge trimmer to them every 2 years to get them under control. I hope all this information helped. But, if after all that, the plant still dies, just think of it as an opportunity to plant something else that has similiar requirements of your hydrangea, such as a nice mountain laurel, or a rhododendron. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 2:33AM
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lovetogarden(z4 NY)

I located a picture taken over ten years ago of how I heavily prune my weigelas every several years. This is how you should prune yours. They develop that wonderful cascading effect when they grow out.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 3:00AM
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