weigelia - dead?

dentiphileMay 10, 2014

What do you all think? I see some leaves on one or two branches but the rest look bad.


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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Parts of it are certainly alive because the branches on the right are leafing out. Whether some twigs are dead or not you can tell by bending a branch. If it bends it's probably alive. If it snaps it's dead. It's impossible for us to tell at this distance.

FWIW Weigeia would be classed as a shrub rather than perennial.

This post was edited by floral_uk on Sat, May 10, 14 at 10:44

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:29AM
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I'd wait a little longer to see what stems haven't leafed out, before pruning back to healthy growth.

Hopefully there'll be enough regrowth from the base of the Weigela in the next few weeks to re-establish a healthy-looking plant.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 11:04AM
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I feel your pain, I have two White Knights on either side of my drive way, usually covered with white blooms in mid May. Last year the durn voles ate the roots and killed one of them (10 year old bushes!). Luckily the remaining one seems to be surviving even if it's "lonely" LOL. I usually keep mine 3-4 feet tall if I can,

A year ago my vole/weigela looked like yours, just two branches were going to have a few leaves, but it didn't look much better by late June so I whacked it back bigtime to see if I could shake some life into it. Every branch was dry and brittle a month ago, so hubby dug it up for me...boo hoo.

If more of yours leaf out, you might be okay, but you'll know in a few weeks. I hope it makes it.... I'd be tempted to whack it back to where everything is a foot long or so and see what happens, but that's just MHO.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 11:32AM
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Campanula UK Z8

I am normally an optimist - even a tiny sign of leafage sends a little spark of hope.....but I am going to come down on the half full glass here, having had weigelas in just this condition (after an unwise relocation)....suspect this one is going to simply dwindle away and die (totally) so what you do depends on what sort of gardener you are - patient and nurturing (not me, obvs) or ruthless and spade-happy. I know what I would be signing up for (spade) but I would be straight away on the mail order sites - remember, it is not a loss but an opportunity.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 1:30PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Another thought. Weigela is incredibly easy from cuttings so even if you ditch this one you could propagate several new ones from the bits which are still alive.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Campanula UK Z8

well, yes and no, Flora - they are dead easy from either soft tips or even semi-ripe cuttings....but I cannot honestly see this one making enough good fresh new growth to save any cutting material from it. If I squint, I can still make out the dead stems of one of mine (somewhat disguised by clematis) and recognise that hopeless dead branch scenario. However, as always YMMV.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 3:30PM
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My weigela 'White Knight' growing in part sun is just recently beginning to show signs of having survived the long, cold winter. It's an established shrub in an established bed and has been reliably hardy for a number of years. This is the first time since I set it in the ground that I've wondered whether it came through the winter. I pruned the old stems back to 12-14 inches a little over a week ago and just yesterday saw a few signs of new green growth. Looks like it dodged a bullet.

Not sure where you are but I wouldn't give up on yours just yet.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 5:52PM
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Campanula UK Z8

you could always do a scratch test - this is usually a good sign of life in weigerlas - rub the cambium outer layer off to see if there is healthy (alive) green growth.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 6:30AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

campanula - I've grown them from old wood stuck in the ground and ignored - the same 'technique' as forsythia, philadelphus and other old stalwarts.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 1:24PM
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