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Weigelas leafing only at the base

Posted by vivsmom zone 5, Colorado (My Page) on
Sat, May 1, 10 at 1:09

I planted five sickly, spindly, crooked weigelas last summer after I rescued them from the clearance section for about $2 each. I had never planted a weigela in my life, and figured I had nothing to lose (except about $2/ea). They all had leaves on them and two of them even bloomed one flower a piece late in the summer. Then in the fall, after all the leaves fell off, I cut a few inches off the ends of the branches (for no good reason, just felt like the right thing to do at the time). Today, every single weigela looks dead, except for the leaves that are strangely emerging from the very base of the plant where it meets the ground. No buds have appeared on the branches.

Should I assume that the branches are dead (possibly a result of my poorly-planned "pruning" in the fall) and cut them off to let the new growth at the ground take flight? Or should I give the branches more time?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Weigelas leafing only at the base

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 1, 10 at 14:54

Sickly plants are not a bargain, condition of stock before planting determines results - as you are finding out.

No point in keeping stems that are definitely dead.

RE: Weigelas leafing only at the base

Go ahead and prune off the dead limbs and allow the new growth at the bottom to grow into your new shrubs. The limbs were probably very dry last fall from lack of care where you got them and couldn't survive the winter but the roots survived so they are generating new growth.

RE: Weigelas leafing only at the base

bboy and chohio, thanks so much for your responses. I cut off all the branches, and was happy to see that the inside of the wood near the ground (the "trunk") was actually green. The same thing was also happening to one of my forsythia's that I also planted last year, so I cut off the branches on it, too.

Any idea how much growth - if any - I can expect from the wieglas this year, now that they're all about 1" tall? Do you suggest feeding them anything (like Miracle Grow or root stimulator, etc.)?

Thanks again!

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